This new Chennai restaurant has a Ferrari deliver your lunch!
We got our Ramen delivered via a Shinkansen, a Japanese bullet train. And then a panna cotta for dessert arrived on a Ferrari!
To be clear, we are talking about mini versions of these vehicles moving down 64-foot electromagnetic conveyor belts at 20 km an hour.
But hey, when was the last time you were more excited about your waiter than the food?
At the brand new Locofeast on Nungambakkam High Road, every section is an exploration. A near life-size flaming red Formula One car sculpted out of wood calls out to you for selfies. Tyres painted in white make for ceiling décor. And the seating design is inspired by local train stops in Chennai — with each booth named after a local station.
We discover en route our tour, some folks actually get territorial with where to sit depending on where they live. “Customers who live in Royapettah specifically ask to sit in the Royapettah booth when they drop by!” says a surprised Ramesh Velu, who opened the restaurant just a couple of weeks ago.
Off to the races
If you want to skip town and get outside of the country though, just hop across to the section of booths named after international race circuits — from the Fuji Speedway to the Bugatti Circuit in France. Inspired by restaurants in Japan, Ramesh tells us that he wanted to create a similar themed experience for the Chennai market. So he teamed up with brother Raju Velu, who runs Nanotech Integrated Solutions(technical operations and support) and friends Bharathram N and Arun Jayakumar to set up the 3,500 sq foot dining space with a multi-cuisine menu.
Expect everything from Honey Chilli Chicken (a crowd favourite here) to a traditional Kadappa Kodi Vappudu. We especially enjoyed the creamy Nargisi Kofta Curry with a whole egg placed inside the kofta, a surprise that is found as you dig in.
■ We spotted a London-style phone booth in the reception which doubles up as a
private space for breastfeeding mothers.
■ Look out for the bathroom door knobs made of brightly coloured gear shifts from a car!
Freight to plate
From freight to plate, “The whole place took eight months to put together and about a crore rupees in investment — that latter bit is just for the conveyor belts and moving parts,” he clarifies. However, we are told that the shells of these vehicles will keep changing to make way for new models on the market. “Expect a Mini Cooper soon!” Ramesh adds with excitement.
For now though, we let our phones run wild with gleeful videos of our approaching Loco Kheema 65 and a delightfully named Kungfu Paan mocktail to wash it down with — on the track.
Heads up, plenty of practice runs promise zero spillage — but don’t let your kids put their hands on the track — these trains don’t brake for anybody!
Meal for two Rs 800.
sonali@newindianexpress | @brightasunshine