Kryptos by Willi
No. 24 Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai 600 034
Tel: 4503 8001
Meal for two without alcohol: Rs 2,000
At the entrance to “Kryptos” the owners have installed impressive signage with Greek characters carved into stone. It looks exactly as if Asterix and his pal, Obelix, have left their menhirs on the doorstep of the underground restaurant. The duo behind this Greek-Cypriot restaurant, an Indian businessman and an expat chef, have already scored a hit with their Tuscana Pizzeria, an olive stone’s throw away from Kryptos. Chef Willi, an Obelix-sized New Zealander, first came to Chennai to set up an open plan kitchen at the Park Hotel. He never left. Instead, he has been setting up wood-fired pizza ovens and serving see-how-I-can-toss-them Italian-style pastas and salads with great panache.
At Kryptos, the cold mezze buffet (reasonably priced at Rs 450) hovers just outside the see-through kitchen area. It’s not just the different kinds of olives from the Mediterranean that are enticing, but also the fragrant cheeses that make you think of Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni in their golden prime. There are marvelous dips, dolmades and stuffed chicken slices, platters of calamari and the freshest looking sardines, lightly tossed in olive oil.
At around Rs 650 each, the main courses are so lavish that they would do justice to one of Obelix’s banquets. Chef Willi insists his menu is Greek-Cypriot so there is plenty to choose from, a separate section for kababs and one for vegetarians. The desserts are the best part, Baklavas bursting with nuts, rich fondant chocolate cake and semolina puddings that merits a line in the Beatles’ Lucy in the sky....