Area:- St. Thomas Mount
Cost for two:- ₹2,000
Cuisine:- North Indian and South Indian
Before the entry of MNCs’ to the F&B sector, the number of star hotels in Chennai used to be less. Le Royal Meridien has been one such gems that I’ve frequented as kids along with my family. No wonder a sense of nostalgia hit me when I got to visit Navaratna a while back.
Le Royal Meridien is located at St. Thomas Mount right below the Kathipara flyover. When coming from Guindy, instead of taking the exit towards the flyover, one would have to take the furthest left which leads to the Chennai airport to reach this hotel. Its close proximity to the airport has always favoured Le Royal Meridien. Parking isn’t an issue as they’ve got valet parking service.
Navaratna’s ambience is reminiscent of all the old star hotels. Gold and red interiors, dim lighting and live music performance – the place definitely has its royal touch and to me personally, brings back the memories of old hotels. The moment we went in, we were greeted with a splash of paneer and kungumam smeared on our forehead. We were given each a shot of spicy rasam which, to be honest, got our taste buds all active.
Food & Beverages
Kalan Melagu Peratal – Exactly what it sounds – mushrooms sauteed with pepper and spices. The mushrooms were moist despite the way they were cooked and the spice kick was felt in every bite. Loved it despite being a hardcore non-vegetarian.
Kurkure Paneer Tikka – Paneer that’s marinated and coated with corn flakes. Looked good and tasted even better. Despite being a bit on the thicker end, the chunks didn’t feel raw in the middle.
Chappali Kebab – Grilled lamb slices – enough said I guess. Tasted brilliant and reminded me of the authentic Shawarmas that are made from lamb meat. Soft, succulent and delicious.
Awadhi Gosht Biriyani – I’ve always preferred my biriyani to be light yet flavourful and despite being a bit too light, this lamb biriyani, which was served in a sealed black pot, did a decent job in satiating my biriyani craving.
Gajar Gosht – Super soft mutton pieces in a rich gravy – this dish is one of those that are worthy enough to be served for a royal family.
Elaneer Payasam – Simple as it sounds, I rarely like tender coconut in a dessert and this place is one of those few that have nailed the payasam to perfection.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience filled with good old memories of me running around as a kid in this same building. The food is good and definitely deserves a visit for those who visit the Le Royal Meridien.
Address: Le Royal Meridien Hotel, 1, St. Thomas Mount, Chennai, St. Thomas Mount
Contact number: +91 9940465243, +91 9940465103
Opening hours: 12:30 PM to 3 PM, 7 PM to 11:45 PM