IBIS hotel chain from the Accor Group is a renowned name in India and abroad. I have already stayed with the IBIS in Vienna and Zurich, but never really got the chance to try their restaurant. This time during my stay in IBIS Chennai, I was determined to give the Spice It IBIS Chennai City Centre a wholehearted try.
While reserving the room at IBIS City Centre, you’ll find yourself with 2 options – bed only and bed and breakfast. I’d suggest you choose the latter. Their breakfast buffet is indeed worth trying and also a great way to kickstart your day in Chennai.
For me, culinary travel is an important way to understand the place. Here with IBIS located right in the city centre in the Anna Salai district of Chennai, Spice It IBIS Chennai is a perfect place to enjoy a sumptuous meal. The restaurant specialises in Indian and continental food, and the chef believes in innovation & provided unique varieties with typical Indian delicacies.
Review of The Spice It IBIS Chennai
The Spice It restaurant is located on the 5th floor, same as the reception of the IBIS City Centre. The restaurant is sufficient for 50+ guests at a time with a modern cafe like decor. I will present my detailed review of the Spice It restaurant including their breakfast buffet & a la carte menu.
The Spice It IBIS Chennai is a bright restaurant meant to cater 50+ guests at a time and is on the fifth floor just opposite the reception. The restaurant is designed in a way to showcase some of the gorgeous views from their huge windows.
The tables are well decorated with beautiful glass bottles, ample fork, knives & spoons, and a counter for the table number. The seatings are arranged for a couple or a group or even for large families so you can take your pick. I took a seat by the window as I always like to have a good view & also travelling solo means I get to pick a quiet corner for myself.
The right section from the entry serves as the buffet counter, with the live counter and juices & fresh fruits. The entry of the restaurant is decorated with a bright bicycle that carries tea and coffee. The buffet is not only available for the breakfast but also for the dinner. I did relish a filling dinner at the restaurant during my one night stay here.
The Breakfast buffet at Spice It IBIS Chennai City Centre
The breakfast menu at the buffet serves a range of dishes starting from breads, corn flakes, cakes, fresh fruits, north Indian paranthas and South Indian dishes.
They also serve noodles, buns, egg bonda (innovative boiled eggs) and fresh poha.
They serve fresh dosa, uthappam in south Indian. It’s always nice to try authentic dishes so how can you miss out South Indian delicacies when here.
Fresh juices freshen me when taken with breakfast, and Spice It took good care in that aspect. Don’t forget to try their juices. If you like fresh fruits in breakfast, they got you covered.
The live counter not only serves the Indian delicacies but also have pancakes, waffles and omelette. Sadly, waffles weren’t available when I was there, but I did try the pancakes which were a delightful way to start my heavy travelling day.
I prefer to start my day with coffee and Spice It restaurant in IBIS Chennai serves typical Madras coffee which mustn’t be missed when in Chennai.
The Lunch at Spice It IBIS Chennai City Centre
The chef served some of the best dishes to me including – Paneer Kandhari Tikka, Dragon Mushroom, and a huge Indian thali which was a platter in itself and a Blue Haab – mocktail speciality of the bar.
I loved all the dishes, but some more than the others, stay with me to know which I recommend the most –
The Blue Haab is the signature mocktail of the IBIS’s bar which is perfect for cooling our jets in the Chennai’s heat. It is prepared from Mango crush, soda, glass rim, rock salt and the turquoise colour is added via blue curaso.
The rock salt added an amazing flavour to the drink, and I highly recommend trying it out when here.
The mocktail is also available in strawberry flavour, but I liked the mango one refreshing though.
Kandhaari Paneer Tikka
Kandhaari Panner Tikka was the first starter served by the chef and as the name suggests is vegetarian by origin. Paneer is nothing but cottage cheese, and tikka means grilled. What does Kandhaari mean here? It is basically seasoned with beetroot for a unique but peculiar taste.
I don’t really like paneer, but paneer tikka is my usual favourite in North Indian dishes, But a tikka with beetroot flavour touched my senses and I completely loved it. If you have ever tried a Punjabi Panner tikka, I’d say do try a Kandhaari Paneer tikka in the Spice It. The dish is has a nice portion for and of course, the presentation was simply superb.
The second dish proved that the food is first eaten by eyes. The mushroom balls were prepared with mushroom, and filled with spinach & cream and seasoned with honey chilly sauce.
What I loved the most about it? The flavour of cream which made the balls literally melt in my mouth. The spicy honey chilly sauce enhanced the flavour. If you don’t like spicy food, you can leave out the sauce and simply indulge in the creamy flavour of the mushroom balls.
Thali in Indian food usually refers to the platter serving a dry vegetable, gravy beans aka dal, salad, curd or raita (salt/flavoured) yoghurt, rice, bread and a sweet dish.
The one presented here was like a mega platter serving 2 vegetables (sabjis) and one bean gravy and one butter chicken gravy. That literally seemed like I couldn’t finish on my own, I’d say if you don’t have a heavy diet, the single platter can be shared with 2 people or one adult & a kid.
The thali had the masala potato and a mixed vegetable dry in the vegetable section. I liked both but mixed vegetable the most.
Desserts – Rasmalai
The thali is usually presented with a sweet dish, and that said I was served Rasmalai which is one of my favourite Indian sweets.
My Recommendations –
Kandhaari Paneer Tikka in the starters, butter chicken and mixed vegetable in the main course. Don’t forget to try their Rasmalai.
The Spice It IBIS Chennai is reasonably priced in the fine dining range. The price range for two will cost roughly around 2000 ₹ or 50$ or may increase a bit depending on the number of people or any special dishes.
I proud myself to be a responsible tourist and I always look out for places which do their part in sustaining in the hospitality industry. I would like to dignify The IBIS City Centre Chennai in this aspect that they are indeed making efforts to keep it environment-friendly. They don’t clutter the drains with the used cooking oil and rather dispose of it using proper machines. They keep mineral water bottles, but they do serve filtered water on the table in those cute glass bottles, which is perfectly safe to drink.
Would I return?
Definitely Yes! Whenever I will be in Chennai, I am going to choose IBIS for staying and the Spice It restaurant for a meal for sure.
Did I convince you to try out The Spice It IBIS Chennai? Do share your thoughts with me.
Liked my review of the Spice It Restaurant in the IBIS Chennai City Centre? Save it for later…
– The Wanderer
Disclaimer – The IBIS Chennai City Centre generously hosted for a night’s stay & meals but, as always, all opinions are my own.