J C RESIDENCY
LUXURY MEETS TRADITION
As part of my May trip to Madurai, Day #1 was arranged in this luxury 3-star property J C RESIDENCY located in Chinna Chokkikulam which is kind of the heart of the city. Rated as among one of the top stay hotels in the city of temples, this hotel is also among the lite luxury boutique hotels and well appreciated by locals and tourists. Considering the array of services, they offer, they are also known for their corporate lunch events in their in-house YAAZH, traditional cuisine restaurant. With contemporary styling, affable service and distinctive southern appeal, you are to relax, unwind and refresh to the fascinating hues of a vibrant heritage native to the city also known as the "The Athens of the East".
As we entered late night, we could see bright wood textures everywhere and beautiful chandelier in the center hanging over majestically. It was wooden finesse everywhere and the bright dark brown exuded luxury in its own traditional south Indian style. We got checked in in few minutes but couldn't stop gazing at the entrance lobby area.
Highlight to me was how they have embraced cultural designs into contemporary style and made it appeal to everyone. the king size chess board is sure to attract people of all ages to sit back and be dazzled by a game. The majestic elephant wooden statues ooze majestic look again to the lobby and the whole aura just brings in a whole new experience.
Post quick check-in formalities, I was escorted to the room. AS I entered into the room, I felt spiritual. Not sure and don't ask me why that rustic wooden decor and the warm lighting totally gave the Temple city feel. The apt traditional decor keeping it pakka regional yet rustic with contemporary designs definitely impressed me. Impeccable space and decor. Ample amenities that you can think of and everything you need in a stay was arranged in a well-planned manner. The bedding was super comfortable and definitely one you need after a tiring travel. The staff was courteous to give me extra bottles due to the hot and humid summer and even asked if I would like gorge on some munchies. Politely, I declined and as I casually unpacked, the well ventilated A/C started pampering me to get a good night sleep. As I slipped into the bed and the bedding cover, I just dozed off in a minute. The overall experience of the room and service is definitely matching their ratings and brand name.
On Day #2, we were invited for lunch to their in-house YAAZH, a traditional multi-cuisine restaurant by the management. With warm greetings, we started the lunch with colorful veg and fruit salad and refreshing cucumber aqua fresco to beat the heat. The mocktail, in particular, was subtle and definitely my kind of summer drink. Good job on it. Starters started to flow in and the management was quick to service them in order and also explain the dishes. Pls bear in mind being in foodie world in Hyderabad, my mind was rating the dishes as normal but then the reality stuck as its Madurai, A traditional city that's trying to embrace modernization in its own way and such hotel brands do play a part in this. From the starters, I personally loved the Kalan Varuval Sukka (though the decoration was just overwhelming) the flavors to give an authentic pepper feel for the sukka style of cooking was evident and mushrooms were also cooked properly. The panko fried prawns and Karuvepillai Eral (Curry leaves Prawns) both impressed me with its simple and rustic flavors. Not over the board but apt for the local palate. Both chicken dishes, unfortunately, didn't impress me mainly due to the dryness of the meat. Gunpowder chicken was lacking the spice punch and too dry chicken while the volcano chicken lollipop was average and nothing interesting going on.
We all completed the round of starters and I should say overall coming from a city like Madurai that's embracing more multi-cuisine, Chef and his team have definitely impressed me in their dishes. Next came in home style fish curry and mutton chops curry. Mutton chops curry was damn delicious though looked very basic. The flavors with phulka was one to hog on. Homestyle meen curry was not having the tamarind punch for me and was a different taste appeal overall. But with rice, I wouldn't mind having it as it didn't get overpowered on any specific flavor profile. The dessert is always what I look forward to but unfortunately, they had a huge disappointment. The tender coconut pudding was too much on agar agar and it wasn't just feeling like pudding at all and more of a badly made gelatin dessert. It needed more proper proportions of the gelatin or agar agar which Chef definitely acknowledged and then brought in their base tender coconut gel which he thought of using. Contrary, that tasted more authentic and at chilling temperature proved to be the perfect dessert for the fuming summer heat. The integrated coconut malai within the gel was super delicious and definitely should be in their menu as a seasonal item to beat the heat.