I had heard about Benjarong a few million times by friends and colleagues alike. A month or two ago, a friend and I decided to catch up for lunch at this famous Thai restuarant. I was warned that their sea food menu was far more superior and authentic than their vegetarian fare. I was hoping against hope that I would be proved wrong. Hope is a good thing I guess.
For starters, the much talked about betel leaves stuffed with peanuts, a little jaggery paste, dry cocunut (copra), ginger was a big hit. Things took a turn for the worse from then on. The attendant did not understand the menu or English. He was a Hindi speaking fellow who kept nodding his head for everything. I had specifically asked for non-greasy, oily recommendations and after a lot of cross questions, we found ourselves eating greasy food. I don't remember the dishes I ordered, except that I was teribbly disappointed with the vegetarian menu and the staff. It is never impolite to reconfirm the order instead of presenting your guest with the wrong course. We paid a bomb for a meal we never enjoyed.
This is certainly not authentic Thai fare. I have tasted authentic Thai food from the streets and lovely restuarants in Bangkok and I can certainly tell the difference. Maybe, if you dig squids or Kalamari, and alike, you may enjoy the Thai experience. But veggie lovers, this is neither the place for your palate or your pocket. Infact, the Lotus at The Park, comes highly recommended by a lot of people even if it means burning a hole in your pocket. So hopefully, that will be my next pit-stop.
Benjarong is located on TTK rd, Alwarpet, Chennai (a five minute walk from Adyar Park Sheraton)