Hamsa is a luxury style Indian Vegetarian Restaurant located in Adyar, Chennai. They serve unique, selective delicacies, from both the North as well as the South Indian cuisines. Nithya and I visited them once for lunch, and we were blown away by their oh-so-delicious food and extremely prompt service. Read on to find out more about our food experience at this restaurant!
Hamsa provides you with that luxurious, fine-dine atmosphere with indoor lighting mainly overlooking the seating areas. The rest of the place was pretty much dim (or rather dark) to mimic the style of a candlelight dinner. The place is decorated with grand chandeliers, and is styled like the inside of a palace with very royal looking and ethnic, yet chic designs. Seating wise, we have extremely comfortable chairs and couches, nice and wide tables that are candle-lit, and decorated with royal style cutlery over nice looking place mats. The place also had very soothing music playing in the background, with the air being very fresh and aromatic. This place is sure to win your heart in this area.
The first thing on the table was a very interesting piece of exquisite, antique silverware. Inside, was a very pretty looking Gulab Jamoon, served in a small ceramic cup as a welcome gesture. It was warm and soft, had just the right amount of sweetness to it. Also, you will definitely find yourself falling in love with all of their traditional silver serveware 😉
For starters, we first ordered their Rajmah Galouti- Rajma (Red Bean) cutlets, served with Mint chutney and some salad. These were delicious. They were incredibly filling; we barely managed to finish them. They were nicely grilled to a crisp and were not oily at all. We particularly enjoyed this because it was a totally guilt-free, healthy, yet delectable appetizer.
The Mint Chutney was nice and spicy. The salad served alongside was really well seasoned and made for a great accompaniment with the cutlets and the chutney. Overall, great.
I had ordered a Roti (An Indian Flatbread) for main course, along with their Bhindi Bhaji (Okra, stir-fried with onions and tomatoes, and some spices) on the side. Nithya had their Zeera Pulao (Aromatic Basmati Rice tempered with clarified butter and cumin), with Dal Palak (Lentils cooked with spinach and tempered with spices) on the side. The Bhindi Bhaji ended up being slightly dry for my liking alongside the Roti, so I paired it with the Dal Palak since all their food portions were pretty big, anyway. Served alongside was again a salad- some freshly sliced onions, lemon and green chilli.
The Roti was nice and soft, unlike what is being served at most restaurants today (crunchy and pretty much like Papad, sometimes too stretchy with the addition of Maida as well). The Dal Palak was amazing- smoky, smeared in ghee, had the right consistency. The dal was well cooked and really melted in the mouth. Typical restaurant style!
The Bhindi Bhaji, although slightly dry for my Roti, still went extremely well when I paired it with the Zeera Pulao and the Dal Palak. All this together was a comfort meal in a box, literally. The okra was well seasoned, not too hot and not very spicy. It was also crispy, just the way I like it whenever I have it with rice at home.
The Zeera Pulao was very good- nicely tempered in ghee, had a great cumin flavour. It was cooked to perfection. The grains were separate and so good; with every bite you could really taste the roasted cumin.
Finishing off with dessert, I had ordered their anjeer aur adrak ka halwa (a ginger and fig based Indian sweet). This was new to me, as I’ve neither had fig in any Indian sweet, nor have I ever heard of this combination. This screams winter to me, as it reminds me of sitting in the cold AC for a long time, and this was served “hot” at our table. Every spoonful had so much warmth to it, that I had one spoon after another and just could not stop. When I said “unique, selective delicacies”, this is what I meant.
This had the just the right amount of sugar in it- I could taste dates in this dish, so I am assuming most of the sweetness came from that. It also had a lot of ghee, surprisingly I did not hate it at all (as I hate ghee). This was a pretty unusual dessert for me, but done right.
Nithya ordered a gulab jamoon créme brulée– this was definitely the best we’ve ever tasted. This is your typical créme brulée with mini sized gulab jamoons inside. If you’ve had this before, we’d highly recommend this place to you. You may even change your mind. This was, hands down, the best dessert ever! You may not like this much if you do not have a sweet tooth, since this is pretty high on the sweetness scale. It is rich, creamy, sweet and DELICIOUS. I’ve had this at multiple weddings since it is quite a famous wedding delicacy and many other buffet lunches, these days. But, this one, has to be the best. For a vegetarian restaurant, mastering an eggless créme brulée, is truly commendable as it is one of the toughest desserts to get right, in my opinion.
I would suggest sharing if you are especially ordering the anjeer aur adrak ka halwa. It can get a little saturating after a few spoonfuls.
The food was fantastic, overall. No complaints at all, just silent eating 😉
The service was great. As it is a fine-dining restaurant, prompt and quick service is a given after all. The waiter was courteous- he made sure he came and asked us for feedback after every dish was served. He also made sure we did not serve anything by ourselves; he waited and served the dish every single time.
Their menu had a wide range of dishes to choose from. Every dish was great in terms of taste, served on time. There was a brief waiting period before the arrival of our desserts, but he did inform us about it in advance and we were happy to wait as we were quite full from our main course.
As for the price point, every dish was priced decently. This is definitely not on the affordable side, since this is a fine-dine restaurant after all. This will be a great option for occasional dinners, when you want to pamper yourself and be a bit spend-y. It costs you approx. 2000/- for two people. The portions are quite generous, and we did pack all the leftovers, though. Overall, the price was a bit expensive.
To sum it all up, this is a great restaurant. They definitely make you feel very welcome when you enter the restaurant, and make sure you have a fuss-free experience throughout your meal. This is yet another restaurant that proves that vegetarian food need not be boring, and the dishes can be very unique. If you are a vegetarian looking for great, exotic, vegetarian food served royally in a fine-dine atmosphere, this place is worth a shot.
Have you visited Hamsa? If yes, how was your experience? Let us know in the comments below 🙂