First, the boys moved in. Next, came the lady. And soon, there will be something that aims to get them together. We aren’t talking of a PG accommodation here or community living (if the first were the case, the lady would have come at the beginning, right?), but the sequence in which Pricol, the South Indian automotive major, has been making its entry into the hospitality space. It first launched the cleverly-named Batlivala and Khanabhoy, a Parsi restaurant, the boys in the opening lines (and Parsi men, and men in general, always remain boys), and then Meena Tai’s, a Maharashtrian restaurant, the lady from above. Next up is Abyssinian, an Ethiopian (yes, a first not just for Chennai but perhaps India) restaurant that will come up in about two months’ time, its logo being the mezob, the Ethiopian community-eating table. Meena is on the ground floor, the Parsi bawas on the first floor, and I guess Abyssinian will come up on the second floor, though on the signage at the front of the premises, it’s in the reverse order: Meena on top, the boys in the middle, and Abyssinian bringing up the bottom.
I first came to know of B&K and then MT’s through reviews in The Hindu, and of Abyssinian when I went visiting there. (I ended up being the first person to like its FB page. I had already liked B&K and MT’s pages earlier.) The two restaurants, which opened up within a month of each other, are fine-dining restaurants, so they were closed at the time I went there, which was about mid-evening. My appetite stoking, I decided to come back soon enough, at the right time.
However, my craving for the two restaurants was also incited by their logos, both of which I love (though maybe B&K just a bit more – two typically quirky- and happy-looking Parsi men, what’s not to like?). Logo-loving me dove to find out which agency had done them, and I wasn’t surprised. Chennai’s very own Banana BrandWorks, who I’ve known to do lush, delish design work.
But my fervour was kindled to the max when I met with Mukund V, founder, director and creative director of Banana BrandWorks, at the recently concluded Maddys (the Madras Advertising Club Awards). I have known Banana’s work for some time, and inquisitive me had gone through their FB page and come to know of Mukund. So, when I saw his team and he come up to receive a few awards, I knew I had to speak with him.
Mukund comes across as quite affable and so seemed fine in engaging in a longish chat with me and also to excuse a personal-cultural gaffe. (I make enough of those in Chennai, and no, I’m not sharing that one here.) I told him I loved the restaurants’ branding, enough to really want to visit them now. We spoke at length about this, and in winding up the conversation on this, he suggested, “You should try out the two restaurants. They are really nice.”
Three voices speaking in favour of the restaurant. Dare I refuse?
So, did Meena Tai’s live up to the clamour of the three voices, and to vegan mine? Find out in tomorrow’s post.