Grand is her middle name

Well, well, Love birds ! Valentines day is around the corner which means running to Odyssey to get that big fuzzy teddy bear, trying to find something exclusive to gift your man other than watch or perfume and finding an exquisite place to fine dine. I am here to help you with the food part so that you can concentrate on other important things. You are welcome.

So where am i suggesting you to spend a bomb? ITC GRAND CHOLA, Of course. This 5 star property located in Guindy oozes royalty and luxury and I can’t think of any place other than this magnificent beauty to spend an expensive valentines dinner. Cafe Mercara Express, an all day dining restaurant located in the hotel has revamped their menu and added lots of delicious dishes for us to experience and why not this place for your D day, I mean V day… .

We were invited by the hotel for a pan India bloggers meet ( #trendingatpavilion) to learn about the new menu and the history behind it and you know me, I devoured the food as quickly as possible. The theme of the new menu as explained by Chef Nikhil Merchant was, ‘ Caringly Selected, Mindfully Prepared, the menu reflects healthy food from various cuisines, keeping in mind the No wastage, Eco system, and lifestyle priorities of the guests’.

Tulsi seed and summer fruit muesli


We started our journey with this energizer which is a dish made of Fruits Muesli served with Orange cinnamon Yoghurt. So fresh and clean, this is a PERFECT start to the day and maybe even afternoon or night. Ok…I don’t mind having this at any point of the day. Extremely tasty and instantly refreshes your palate.

The Crusty bread with house dips ( as seen behind the energizer in the above pic) is a dish by itself thanks to the creamy, spicy, minty and cheesy dip. The multi grain bread was fine but the dip stole the show.

BEST SOUP EVER – Carrot and Coconut Puree

I am a sucker for Carrot. If you are my friend, you know that I strongly believe that I was a rabbit in my previous birth. This amazing amalgamation of creamy, rich carrot and coconut was beyond delicious and the taste lingered so much that I went a week later just to enjoy my soup.


Buratta and beet salad

I mean it’s ITC. A salad cannot be just a bunch of leaves and vegetables tossed in olive oil right? It has to be glamourous. This buratta and beet salad was just that. Buratta served with some roasted capsicum sauces garnished with orange slivers, pickled beetroot,  balsamic vinegar with drizzle of Parsley and a generous sprinkle of salt. It was visually so beautiful that I didn’t want to destroy the palate but I.COULDN’T.RESIST.


Starters – VEG

The options in vegetarian weren’t as exorbitant as its counterparts but whatever was served to us was delicious, so no complaints. From the ‘Kitchen of India’ section, we chose the Quinoa Shakarkandi Kebab which is a dish made of sweet potatoes. If you are a fan of this vegetable ( like me), you are going to have a mouthgasm. I did receive mixed reviews on this one but I had absolutely NO complaints.


Main course

Brie En Croute is the most technical dish I have ever eaten. Brie is a type of Cheese available only in france ( Do i deserve to eat this) which was layered with caramelized onions and wrapped in a puff pastry. This was served with Asparagus, wine soaked grapes and other fancy things. This screams GRAND. Even though, many felt that the cheese made this dish very heavy, this is an experience not to be missed.


Local love

Local south Indian food including Kerala red rice, Parottas and a plethora of curries to go with it were served. I might not recommend this to you, not because it was not tasty (IT WAS DELICIOUS) but because this is available everywhere else and you should invest on something exclusive.


After a scrumptious meal, we were ready for the dessert. Kulfi Falooda with Tulsi seeds on Rabdi served with Pomegranate Glaze and Pistachio soil. Visually pleasing and the taste…oh god. Foodgasm.


This Kulfi was absolute perfection that only a miracle or another kulfi falooda could surpass the expectation. We were served another masterpiece, MIlk Chocolate parfait with Darjeeling Tea Namelak. The Rasperry sorbet was a turn off since it cut down the sweetness of the rich milk chocolate but was a decent affair overall.


Price for two would be approximately 3500 rupees which is definitely pricey, but Valentines day seems like a great excuse.

I am extremely sorry for tempting you with this blog post. All you can do is, book your table and enjoy a royal meal in Cafe Mercara, ITC Grand Chola.

More Vday posts coming up. Stay tuned…z

Happy eating



Cafe Mercara Express - ITC Grand Chola Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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