Restaurant Review: Carte Blanche in Pondicherry

Our second night’s dinner at Pondicherry took us for a ride. Literally!! We had short-listed a few places of which Satsanga had been covered. Now, dinner at Rendevous. We decided to walk to it….bad idea…since it was quite a bit of a long walk to the area, only to find that the restaurant had shut shop some months back. Quickly revisited our list, and zeroed in on Le Club. This time, we showed better judgement of distance and hailed down an auto which took us to Le Club in 5 minutes. Only to be told that they don’t allow kids (we had our six and a half year old with us)!!! Wow!! What an evening!!! Now where?

Another look at the list, we crossed Rendevous and Le Club and zeroed in on Carte Blanche, the Neemrana property. Upon reaching there, the first thing we asked the staff at the reservations was that if they allowed kids. He nodded. But asked us if we had prior reservation. Alarmed, we said ‘No’. Don’t know if our evening’s running around showed on our face, but he went inside looking for a table for 3 and came back soon after declaring that we could dine at Carte Blance. We thanked the Gods above!!! And him, of course!

Ambience at Carte Blanche in Pondicherry: And we entered this lovely courtyard where music flowed from the violin being played in one corner. We could see other diners, quietly enjoying their meals and listening to the music. We looked around, Carte Blanche had a pretty large dining area – the open courtyard filled with house plants and palms, the little adjacent verandah that had some beautiful vintage pieces of furniture, and the main dining room inside. Thankfully, the manager showed us to a table that was in the verandah. And with that, we were sure of a dinner in style, perhaps to compensate for the mini adventure we had earlier on.

Carte Blanche is the restaurant of the hotel L’Orient, which is actually a 18th century restored French Mansion. Surely, the place has seen a lot over the centuries….its decor truly reflects its character….

Food at Carte Blanche in Pondicherry: Our love for sea-food is big, and when we are in coastal cities, it knows no bounds. So we settled for a Seafood Salad that came dressed with herbs. The Bong couple, along with their youngest member, devoured it like there was no tomorrow! Red and White Wine just added to the charm of the evening!

Main course was – Ragout de Mutton (that’s Mutton Stew) for me, which they planned to serve with rice. I requested for breads instead, and they happily obliged me. The stew was very well made, with a lot of mutton that I had difficulty finishing, even when my daughter shared from me. Jayanta asked the manage for dish that Carte Blanche was famous for, and the manager happily jotted down Creole Beef Coconut Curry in a bed of rice. Needless to say, Jayanta loved it.

Desserts was rich Chocolate Mousse. Fittingly!!

Final Word about Carte Blanche in Pondicherry: One debacle dinner upon reaching Pondicherry (at Madame Shanthe’s — read Review of Restaurant Madame Shanthe’s), one basic breakfast the next morning (at the Sea-Side Guest House — read Review of Sea-Side Guest House), one average lunch (at Satsanga — Read Review of Restaurant Satsanga in Pondicherry) – summed up our first three meal-experience in Pondicherry. Another bad/average meal, and we would have cried bitterly. God averted that. And got us to Carte Blanche. Lovely ambience. Yummy food. Happy family!!!

(Note: That evening, when I sat down to transfer photos from my camera to my laptop, catastrophe struck!!! I ended up deleting photos taken at Auroville and thereafter! So have no photos to show for much of Auroville, all of Satsanga and Carte Blanche)

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