You know your culture has gone global when a sleepy city in the South East corner of India decides to host its own Oktoberfest. If the people of Chennai can’t go to Bavaria for the festival, the Hyatt Regency has decided to bring the festival to the people of Chennai. Now in its sixth incarnation, there is nowhere else in the city where you can celebrate Ocktoberfest quite like at the Hyatt – even if it is September.
I’ve been to German bars before, I’ve even been to Bavaria and drank in the beer halls there. Never in my life did I think I’d walk into a German beer tent on Anna Salai in the middle of the city. But last night, that’s exactly what happened. The first beer barrel was even tapped by the German Consul General of Chennai, Achim Fabig!
The Regency has decorated the outdoor veranda of the AS 365 bar with the most incredible setup I’ve ever seen at a hotel. A blue and white tent covers the customers who are sat at the traditional long German tables.
Nothing is left to chance for this Oktoberfest and the food is as authentic as you can make it, 7,500KM from Bavaria.
Beer aside, the masterpiece of the whole event was the roast pork belly. Combined with apple and mustard sauce, it was an absolute delight!
No German beer festival is complete without frankfurters and bratwursts and the Hyatt doesn’t disappoint with a range of options available. A dozen different condiments means you are spoiled for choice on what to eat your pork and chicken sausages with!
Oh, and don’t forget the pretzels! Lightly salted, caramelized onion pretzels. I could have eaten them all night long. They were so moreish I went up for seconds and while my wife wasn’t looking, went back for thirds.
On the dessert front, a traditional bee sting cake takes the centre stage. I’ve never heard of it before, but an unverifiable legend says that it’s not a true bee sting cake until the honey has attracted a bee and it’s been stung. Either way, this light, fluffy cake is uniquely German as men in lederhosens.
Also on the dessert menu is ubiquitous black forest cake – which honestly could have done with being a bit more dense and moist. There was also a rather nice apple strudel to round out the evening.
In the true spirit of Oktoberfest, once the beer has been flowing for about 10 minutes, the dancing and singing starts up. If you’re not dancing within minutes of turning up, you are doing Oktoberfest all wrong!
About the Hyatt Regency Oktoberfest
The special event runs from 17th September to 7th October. The party happens every night from 7pm to 10pm on the veranda outside the AS 365 bar. It costs Rs 1,444+tax (so about Rs 1,700) per person. It includes all the food and drink that you can consume within the three hours – if you turn up late then it’s less eating and drinking time for you. Reservations are strongly recommended as seating is limited.
The hotel is trying to procure German beers but due to the unpredictability of importing such items, domestic beers are most likely to be served.
HYATT REGENCY CHENNAI
365 Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600018, India
Tel: +91 44 61001234
Mob: +91 9176633310