Chennai’s Cappella Unveils Gateway to Global Cuisine: A Culinary World Tour!

by Renee Koch

The East Coast Road, a vibrant corridor known for its evolving culinary landscape, has added yet another gastronomic delight to its list. Located at the bustling Akkarai junction, this stretch, along with its parallel counterpart the OMR, has long been rumored to harbor some of the best Andhra cuisine in the city. However, the recent inauguration of Cappella, a fine-dining restaurant situated in the boutique hotel Palomar by Crossway, is steering the local food narrative towards a more global cuisine.

Barely two months into its operation, Palomar has quickly become a go-to spot, evident from the flurry of activity observed on an ordinary weekday afternoon. Guests, ranging from couples to families, seem drawn not just to the restaurant but also to the hotel’s other amenities like the pool and the bar, named The Spotted Deer, which collectively make Palomar an attractive staycation destination. Yangya Prakash Chandran, the founder and CEO of the Crossway group, proudly regards their establishment as a convenient pitstop for travelers venturing down the coast.

A tour of the hotel reveals a modern, snug setting complete with 20 rooms, a lounge featuring workstations, and an enticing live kitchen within Cappella where chefs are seen meticulously preparing dishes. Their culinary offerings are a testament to the restaurant’s ambition of taking diners on a gastronomic journey across continents, boasting flavors from New Orleans, the Caribbean, Morocco, France, Italy, West Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa on their menu.

The preparation and presentation of the food at Cappella speak volumes of its quality, particularly highlighted by their gochujang pork and Peruvian lamb. The pork dish, a complex blend of flavors accompanied by jasmine sticky rice, in-house kimchi, and spinach, offers a satisfying, hearty meal. The Peruvian lamb deviates from traditional preparation methods, opting for a stir-fry approach yet maintaining a familiar and intriguing taste profile.

Palomar’s executive chef Virgil James attributes the rich diversity of the restaurant’s menu to his extensive global culinary experience, which has involved collaborations with chefs from different countries. Out of 252 trial dishes, the menu was refined to its current form, aiming to cater to a wide palate. Additionally, the desert offerings, curated by Hasnain Abbas, the managing director of the property and the pastry chef at Bakestagramz, their in-house pâtisserie, ensures a fresh display of baked goods including breads and pastries each day.

Reviewing the assortment of dishes at Cappella, from the crunchy honey chilli lotus stem to the uniquely prepared nalli roganjosh, the experience is enriched with insightful interactions with the chef and staff, including discussions on innovative techniques like fat-washing used in creating unique beverages.

Amidst all the gastronomic admiration, the origin of the name “Palomar” remains a curiosity, prompting a promise of a return visit to unravel the mystery behind its name, be it inspired by the Portuguese ‘pigeon mountain’, the intricate fishing knot, or perhaps the famous observatory.

With its strategic location on the East Coast Road, Palomar by Crossway, through Cappella, seems poised to redefine dining experiences in Chennai, offering a taste of global cuisine grounded in local hospitality, promising an exciting culinary adventure priced at ₹2,000 for two, including alcohol.


You may also like