Kochi’s new bar offers panoramic vistas with balanced cocktails and Indo-European delicacies
One can’t be blamed for getting lost in a reverie gazing out at a bay from a high vantage point. I’m on the rooftop of Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty enjoying the sweeping view from Colony ClubHouse & Grill, tapping my feet to some tasty Latin jazz as I wait for the chef to turn up to check out their new bar. Wait, jazz at a club?
I check with a butler and realise that I’m at the wrong end of the corridor and head across to the 2,750 sqft space booming with electronic tunes. In my defence, the restaurant and the bar have the same name!
“People from the city have not separated the bar experience we offer from our hotel experience. We want to dispel their doubts about the property not being approachable. We welcome everyone to try out our unique fare; a Kerala-rooted approach to continental cuisine,” says executive chef Hermann Grossbichler, as we settle on one of the couches—pushed against the wall with accompanying low tables—rather than on the stools at the counter in the 70-cover outlet.
The cocktail menu here is interesting because each drink is named after a local spice. I step outside onto the balcony after ordering a drink and the bartender appears soon to light up some mace in a pipe to smoke the long stem glass.
Cucumber and rosemary alongside the spice and turmeric infusion give a subtle earthy note to the gin drink which is served with harissa-spiced duck tacos. I’d have thought there’s a mustard element if chef de cuisine Sajeet Pillai didn’t tell me its tamarind labneh.
“The duck is slow-cooked for six to seven hours and the taco shells are made in-house,” he informs. The mixologist proves that he knows this menu from front-to-back when he brings in a citrus-sweet drink (with gin, clove syrup, honey and orange juice) which goes well with their chicken drumettes smothered with chilli garlic sauce.
Chef Hermann’s idea behind Colony cuts through clearly in the next platter—shrimp marinated in Madras curry powder and tossed like an aglio e olio! The ever so slight sourness of the jus is accompanied by the punch of garlic and I try the dish with a star anise-infused drink, inspired from whiskey sour.
Consideration for the Malayali palate is evident in their special beef fry and toddy-battered fish n chips, but I go for their beef slider platter as the last dish. Bread with crunchy pumpkin and sunflower seeds are used for the sliders with avocado aioli, served alongside pepper fries. Though far from being a fan of film music, I make a note to return on a Bollywood night (every Friday) to try their movie-inspired cocktails.
From 11 am to 11 pm.