Novotel just opened a brand new rooftop restobar called KooX
When you walk into the new rooftop restaurant at Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road, the first thing that draws you in is the seductive vibe of the place accentuated with nearly-invisible glass panels, cosy lighting and the thumping deep house. Exuding chic global aesthetics, we soon find the menu at KooX to be an exciting mix of popular Japanese signatures and Schezwan options.
Shweta Gupta, the owner of the property, and of the brand, KooX, is clearly smitten with her ‘new baby’ as she tells us how her travels across the world motivated her to start this hip 65-seater. “I wanted that fine balance — where we are offering an experience that is between a casual resto-bar and an exquisite fine diner. A unique vibe that is reflected not only in our choice of menu but in the aesthetics, the sound and the service,” says Shweta, as we peruse the menu which is peppered with dishes inspired by popular global brands — like the famous Black Cod dish from Zuma and the Alaskan Crab dish from Wasabi, Taj (which has shut down).
Don’t miss this boat
We roll out the scroll of charcoal suede and pick the White Nature cocktail from the exclusive ‘Kooxtails’ menu — that has smokey cognac and a dash of whiskey making for a spirited offering. As we sipped on the potent mix that has an ice ball (instead of a cube) chilling it, Shweta picked for us an assortment of finely crafted, fresh sushi — that was served to us on the famed boat-shaped sushi platter. And what was meant to be an elegant affair involving dainty nibbling found us gorging with delightful abandonment! The KooX Crunch was crispy on the outside and had a juicy centre with prawn and crab meat. The Ninja Maki was our favourite, with Assamese black rice, tuna and sriracha mayo coming together perfectly — and in keeping with its name, it vanished without a trace! The Mexicano was a burst of fresh salsa with avocado and sweet corn. Soon, the aforementioned Alaskan crab arrived — long claws stuffed with seasoned meat. The filling retained the unique sweetness of the shelled meat without getting smothered by the delicate seasoning, while the spicy Japanese mayo complemented it all.
Shweta’s pick, the Black Cod Miso Shire, was an outright palate-pleaser! The exquisitely flaky fish found us eating each forkful in reverential silence — allowing only the clink of cutlery as we scraped the last drop of the sweet, buttery, miso sauce with a bite of the asparagus. Next, we sighed over the Avocado Beetroot Tartare that surprised us with strawberry chips and an addictive flavour. While we mused over the root vegetable’s recent popularity as a gourmet element, the Giant Tiger Prawns and the Bangalore Tenderloin arrived from the Robata-Yaki grills. The former, as promised, was humungous and succulent, with perfectly-charred curls, while the latter was medium well-done and dripping juices — ensuring we had no space left for the mains!
Cinnamon & coffee
Despite protest, we managed mouthfuls of their truffle garlic sticky rice and the heat-packing Sichuan Chicken before the dessert platter distracted with pretty macaroons, squiggles of cream amidst a tiramisu, baked yogurt brûlée and the oh-so-soft Japanese Cotton Cheesecake. The rooftop view of winking city lights held us back for a bit as we contently sipped on a Fresh Essence — a vodka-based cocktail with palm sugar and a dust of cinnamon. However, it was the filter coffee in the mix that was the clincher!
Only dinner. Meal for two at INR 2,600 nett.