Sundays are when H likes to eat the most while I hate to cook the most 😆 and we give good business to restaurants the most 😀 For a change, we tried European cuisine, last Sunday. We had been to L’amandier, at Chennai RA Puram on Chamier’s Road. This place is known for its European style breakfast, lunch buffet and weekend barbecue menus. We planned for a Breakfast, hence we could make for the Lunch buffet 😆 Sundays and Laziness, you see!
Except for the Yellow board that read L’amandier, hanging from two huge almonds, there were no fancy signs of a restaurant existing in there or that, perhaps, I am used to associate restaurants in Chennai with large parking spaces.
The ambiance matched the simplicity of the exterior perfectly with long french windows, brick-styled wall design and chalk board visuals with 80’s music playing somewhere far yet near. I liked the comfortable seating and the roomy atmosphere though not the music.
Service was exceptional. From help in choosing the seat till listening to our feedback, we were impressed! I am glad, especially, for their care and entertainment for our little boy.
Okay, let’s talk some food now! This is a review of the Lunch Buffet (only) at L’amandier. Their menu includes several other items which are not covered here. The lunch buffet menu varies everyday. Here’s the menu of our day!
Soup and Starters
Creamy Potato and Leek Soup
It was CREAMY indeed! Though it wasn’t thick, I wish it was a little light creamy because it didn’t feel good to begin a meal with a over-creamy mouth. The potato drowned the leek flavour, yet I did like it.
Non Veg Starter: BBQ Chicken Wings
BBQ chicken wings were great. Well-cooked and not as spicy as it appeared on the outside. We had to excuse when the waitress came with it the fourth time, remembering the big meal awaiting us 😆
Veg Starter: Vegetable Fritters
Crispy and fantastic. Our boy had enough of the vegetables. That makes me to adopt the dish for home cooking.
Simple Veg Salad with Dressings That was a lot of them to fill a whole plate. Onion, tomato, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, red radish, raw mango, zucchini, corn, green beans, lettuce, beetroot and carrot – I wish they didn’t have so many of them. It sort of shadowed the appetite even before the main meal. But the dressings (Balsamic, thousand island and lemon vinaigrette) were too good to try. They tasted unique and perfectly European.
Non-Veg salad: Chicken and Pineapple Salad
That was a strange combination. It felt wonderfully healthy though a little peppering could have off-sided the blandness.
Veg Salad: Roasted Bell Pepper and Corn with Balsamic Dressing
Another healthy one. It felt a lot inside the mouth 😆 The extra vinegar dressing was a delight to the tongue, well if only you like the tangy taste of it. I thought of picking this one too for my home breakfast adoption.
I don’t eat meat. So, had to skip this one. However, had a bite for the taste. It was well-cooked as opposed to its under-cooked appearance. By now, I was getting used to the typical taste of European food – perhaps not blandness; rather less spicy, salt-just-to-the-taste and the olive oil cooking that gives that very light feeling.
Vegetable Wrap Counter
This is the live vegetable counter from where one can choose wraps with available fillings of cheddar cheese, paneer shredded, tomato, onion, lettuce and american corn. We weren’t interested in this one, particularly, for it was getting late for the main course. I did taste the tomato wrap. It was just okay.
Chicken Dish: Chicken Provencal
As the name suggests, this is a classical French cuisine. The garlic-tomato base makes it a tad closer to Indian style of chicken. And I missed to ask them what wine they’ve used; it gave the perfect blend that until one knows the background of Provencal, the taste of wine wouldn’t be identified.
Sea Food: Grilled Fish with Dill, Caper and Anchovy Brown Butter
This was an exclusively new dish for us. I’ve heard anchovies were a popular Italian pizza topping and even used in some sauces. But I didn’t know anchovy was actually a fish. It’s tiny and in fact looked like potatoes. I could hardly get a taste of the brown butter. Dill, I studied later, brought that tangy thing and Caper, kind of looks like green peas added a salty-vinegary punch to the dish. I would give a 5 for this!
Pumpkin and Carrot Cilantro Hash
The best that H liked, so it gets qualified for another home cooking dish. But not my kind of savour, it was overly cooked and overly mashed, if you can imagine how it feels.
Lorette Potato and Vegetable Medley
Lorette potato was a delight to the potato lover in me but I felt it wasn’t the authentic French dish it was supposed to be. Either it was fried too mildly or perhaps the dough used was way too little, almost none. The other one is just one more for the vegetarians, not interesting though.
White Sauce Base: Vegetable Stroganoff: This was just okay.
Tomato Sauce Base: Ratatouille: Simply, yummy!
Rice & Pasta
Olive and Sundried Tomato Rice
The best of the lunch menu! A bit of tangy flavour to rice was great to relish in.
Baked Pasta with Vegetables
Again, the best pasta I’ve had so far! Despite its creamy factor, it shot a ‘good feeling’ that remained memorably marked with the place. The little one enjoyed this the best.
Here’s our boy taking a break from his yummy pasta!
Cut Fruits, Linzer Slice, White Forest & Chocolate Marquise
Though desserts were a big expectation at an European place, none felt like exclusively European. I don’t think any of them made justice to the menu. Definitely disappointed!
Overall, the ambiance and lunch buffet at L’amandier were great. This particular lunch menu is a vegetarians’ delight, I would say. It’s a nice place for non-vegetarians who prefer a little chicken and fish without the Indian heavy ‘masala’ factor and of course, for people who are game to try international cuisines. However, I doubt if sea food lovers would find it interesting.
L’amandier is more known for its breakfast and weekend BBQ menus which are not covered in this review. Here’s a glimpse of their weekend BBQ menus with the prices.
It is a good idea to check the menu of the day before the visit. You can speak to them at 044-30853590
The lunch buffet is Rs.522 per person (inclusive of taxes) and breakfast buffet is Rs.399 per person (inclusive of taxes).
If you’ve been to L’amandier, please share your experience below.