New in town: Bass & Soda on OMR, Chennai serves up sprawling space and South Indian signature fare
With the city bustling with new restobars, S Naveen Chandra wanted to open a watering hole away from the hustle. The entrepreneur who hails from the garment industry found this sprawling space of 365-seats, bang in the middle of the IT district coincidentally, when a good friend offered the property for rent. Split into three levels, Bass & Soda is delightfully spacious and offers varied vibes and music in each section. We settle ourselves at ground level, where the interiors are plush with heavy, deep sofas and retro music — perfect for a long lunch session — while we promised to checkout the mid-level space (that is peppy and contemporary) and the rooftop (which is more private) on another day.
Naveen, the CEO of Bass & Soda starts by telling us how curating the food and deciding the menu was a big part of putting together this project. With an in-house bakery and a separate building for the kitchens, it is no surprise that the menu is exhaustive and global. “We have tried to include dishes from across the country — popular signature dishes. Our USP is that we are offering great ambiance and comfort food — at reasonable pricing,” says Naveen. While the menu boasts salads, pizzas, wraps, sliders and more — one bite of the homely Vanjaram fry, the Chef's special, tells us that the South Indian cuisine is definitely their forte. The fried fish is flaky and evenly covered with the spicy marinade. We next try the succulent pieces of Syrian Beef Roast — and the bits of roasted coconut seal the deal for us.
A gulp of the Orange Dill Soda makes for a perfect thirst-quencher and the mild fragrance of the fresh dill leaves make this vodka-based summery cocktail a repeat-order. The Mutton Mundiri Chukka is redolent with spices, cashewnuts and cooked to a delectable tenderness. The Bass & Soda Signature Prawns turn out to be addictive where we find the prawns have been delicately fried and then tossed in oriental sauces. However, the Mangalorean prawns, the Karida Yetti, trumps the previous, with crunchy fried onion rings for garnish. From the tandoor we munched on some creamy Malai Broccoli, though it was the Andhra offering — the Pachi Mirapakai Kodi Vepudu — that won us over with spicy fried chicken tossed in bits of scrambled egg. The spice demands that we immediately sip on a smooth vodka-based Gooseberry Basil cocktail in a chilli-salt rimmed glass.
For mains we try the Bass & Soda Signature Pizza — a paper-thin crust heavily topped with juicy chicken mince. We also try the quintessential clay-pot mutton biryani — and after tucking into the fragrant rice and well-cooked meat pieces, we declare that we are too full to eat another morsel. Well, the modestly sized brownies couldn’t be ignored and after the fudgy dessert and a pretty caramel pudding later — we finally left, grandly promising to skip our next meal!
Located at Kottivakam, a meal for two is at about INR 1,500 (not including beverages).