Restobar: Bay 6 down the ECR in Chennai serves up eclectic cocktails and an epic view
Bay 6 is the kind of beach lounge Chennai has been waiting for. The waves are close enough to race to, if you aren’t giddy from the cocktail glee, that is. And the view — is epic.
We visit on a particularly windy afternoon and pass on a table on the alfresco deck, lest we literally get blown away. Between the upstairs and downstairs, is a spacious 5,000 sq ft restobar accented by tabletops painted aqua blue and a bar counter with inverted boats for shelves! Business partners and cousins Bharath Raju (37) and Karthik Raju (34) — both in the auto parts manufacturing biz — have taken over the space off the ECR (formerly Sunshine Café) and tell us that despite the alcohol options on the menu, the hope is to draw more of a family crowd. “That’s why we don’t really have a DJ booth,” Bharath points out. As for those with social distancing concerns, opt for one of their snazzy private dining rooms — complete with floor to ceiling glass walls and luxurious chandeliers to set the mood. We spot three of these (each one seats eight) on the lawn, just adjacent the main restobar.
Yum and yang
The menu doesn’t disappoint either. Expect a smattering of Asian, Continental and Indian fare to choose from. We find ourselves reaching for seconds of the Yum Neau Yang (grilled beef strips with scallions and a lime chilli dressing) and the Murgh Badami Kebab garnished with slivers of pistachio for crunch. The latter pairs wonderfully with our vodka-based ‘Sand and Pot’ (fresh curd and boiled rice mixed with a heady spice mix) while a pickled chilly balanced on top begs for a bite. This is a rendition of Sunda kanji, a coastal favourite, which as the name suggests, is served in a mud pot and we recommend you definitely give it a go.
The mains which include a Red Thai curry with rice — that tastes confused and more desi than Asian — are less impressive. And the Italian selection seems to be a hit and miss — with the Alfredo pasta turning out to be creamy and perfectly seasoned while the Spanish Ravioli filled with ricotta delivers ‘fusion’ flavors instead.
Vodka and elderflower
What consistently shines through, however, is the cocktail selection by consultant mixologist Prakash D. If you can handle intense tang, sip on the Salamio (a gin-based mix with homemade cucumber pickles and dill). Although, we preferred the smoother and more subtle El Kasango. Think pepper-infused vodka with a hint of elderflower and apple. For finishing touches, expect a single rose petal and an ice cube crafted with a Baby’s breath flower at its centre. Even our dessert straight from the bar (an island of vanilla ice cream sitting in a sea of homemade Bailey’s with dried figs) gives the Mango Red Velvet Cheesecake a run for its money.
Meal for two INR 1,500 approx, exclusive of beverages.