The Macallan always holds my interest. It`s sherry cask, amber tones & oaky finish, tends to relax me and I have always preferred the malt, when given a choice. The whisky wears well and one tends to enjoy it more, when you are at The Library Blu, the strikingly good-looking bar at The Leela Palace, Chennai. Soft muted lights, engaging music and warm hospitality, creates the mood & the moment, to enjoy some great whiskies. A Talisker 10 YO followed The Macallan 12 YO and a wee dram of The Glenlivet 18 YO, closed the malt tasting.
Whilst the sojourn at the bar was going well, the evening was, actually, planned at China XO, the fine dining restaurant, at the hotel.
China XO, the high end, Chinese speciality restaurant opened its doors in Chennai with style, inspired by the Design Studio SPIN, Japan. The place welcomes you to intricately woven upholstery & artifacts specially brought in from various places. China XO also has a tea bar, wherein you can pamper your taste buds with wide assortments of offerings.
The restaurant features a unique selection of menu from the regions of Canton and Sichuan, featuring spicy Szechuan beef (strong enough to take on the elegant Lagavulin 16 YO ) and Cantonese chicken, to Beijing style noodles & from the authentic Peking duck (pairs well the Glenfiddich Solera Cask ) made out of wooden fire oven, to a wide assortment of innovative dim sums ( great to enjoy with The Macallan 12 YO. )
“Food is to be shared and enjoyed, in good company. With an exclusive and exhaustive menu, intimate atmosphere and attentive service at China XO, our diners would be instantly transported to China, all the while enjoying the spectacular view of the Bay of Bengal” said Dharmen Makawana, Executive Chef of The Leela Palace Chennai.
We chose a tasting menu, to appreciate the various flavours.
China XO features a wide platter of sumptuous dim sums often mistaken as momos. Some of the signature dim sums would be Chilean Seabass dumpling (Enjoy with The Glenmorangie La Santa), Truffle and Edamame dumpling (enjoy with Auchentoshan 12 YO), Asparagus cheung fun (walks well with a Singleton 12 YO), Prawn cheung fun, Chicken cha sui chefung.
My Favourite dish was Fried soft shell crab with golden roasted garlic, Deep fried calamari with spicy salt, Crispy Pork belly and Scallop with XO sauce (could be paired with Bunnahabhain 18 YO). The menu also includes Teriyaki Tiger prawn (Best with Coal ILA 12 YO) on fragrant ginger soya sauce (pairs well with a Clynelish 14 YO), Whole-Traditional Peking duck with condiments and pancakes, Fukien crab meat fried rice topped with seafood stew. The Food was well planned and the service was quite nice.
China XO has 70 covers with three private dining rooms, which I would use towards private whisky tastings. As the weather becomes better, the alfresco opens up and the diners, look forward to a heavenly experience overlooking, the pristine Bay of Bengal. The fire torches light up the ambience.
The final touch to an XtraOrdinary experience, will be with friends lighting up Armenteros Corona Cigars and appreciating it with a Remy Martin XO. Enjoy Responsibly!!