3 in one: LiBarrel has three menus, three different decor styles, one for each floor!

Three floors, three styles of décor. And varied menus to match. Sip on surprise with every step of this tour  
A CSK-inspired booth on their sports-themed floor
A CSK-inspired booth on their sports-themed floor

There’s a brand new restobar off Radha Krishna Salai (formerly Manhattan Fish Market). And it promises three menus — one for each floor. 

Thrice as nice
Partners Prakash Raghavadass, an (IT professional from Madurai) and Madhavan Ramalingam (entrepreneur from Arani) have named the space LiBarrel. “It’s a play on the word liberal (thinking),” Prakash shares with us. That’s of course, apart from the literal barrels that you can spot in almost every nook and corner — at the reception on the ground floor, propping up the bar counter and even barrels cut out like showcases for a fun display of the spirits on offer. If you do an accurate count of the barrels, we’re told the number amounts to 37, as we sip on Cuddles on the Barrel. The name might be a bit iffy, but we love the sweet notes of mango juice, litchi juice and strawberry crush, served with blackberries on a skewer for a touch of sour.

<em>Paella Arancini</em>
Paella Arancini
Cuddles on the Barrel, a mashup of mango and litchi juice with strawberry crush
& blackberries for garnish

Before we settle down to taste what the menu(s) have in store for us, the manager Shashi takes us on a quick tour of the three floors spread across 6,000 sq feet: each bearing a starkly different decor theme as we come to discover. The first floor has deep wooden tones with soft lighting, comfortable booths and barrels serving as the base of standing tables. The second floor has a sports bar appeal with a vibrant Chennai Super Kings inspired wall, Manchester United and Liverpool posters adorning the wall and subtler details like hockey stick for a door handle and lighting fixtures that resemble basketball hoops. 

The third floor, the rooftop, is still in the process of getting ready and doesn’t have the much-needed comfort of air-conditioning so we quickly head back downstairs to the sports bar — hoping to juggle a game of pool as we go through our appetisers. 

<em>Interiors on the first floor with teak wood and barrels that hold up the bar counter!</em>
Interiors on the first floor with teak wood and barrels that hold up the bar counter!
<em>Seekh & Bunny Chow</em>
Seekh & Bunny Chow

Chow down
The game turns out to be as exciting as the Paella Arancini with pops of pink on the plate, courtesy the beetroot mayo. We also enjoy a more traditional Karvari Chicken Fry that is mildly spiced with a semolina coated crust for a hint of crunch. And of course, appetisers so much better when you’re beating your opponent. A few balls in and we’re all warmed up for the main course of Roasted Tenderloin that arrives in easy-to-handle succulent thin strips with a barbeque sauce and a creamy mashed potato and the Seekh and Bunny Chow (the latter, a South African-inspired fast food is a hollowed out bun filled with the most delicious chicken mince meat).

Sadly, this journalist did not win the game, but what’s a sweeter victory than ending with Death by Chocolate?

Meal for two Rs 1,000 (non-inclusive of spirits).

sonali@newindianexpress.com | @brightasunshine

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