The Bar is Kakkanad’s latest lounge offering a variety of cocktails and short bites
The 32 cover pub is set within Novotel Kochi Infopark
The early occupants of Kochi’s technology hub had a complaint of being too far away from the city’s party circuit. Bacchus has answered their prayers as Novotel Kochi Infopark is throwing open the doors of a new watering hole.
Call it lack of imagination or their pride in offering such a niche space in the area, their outlet is called The Bar. Situated opposite their main diner, the rather heavily carved doors of The Bar opens to plush couches laid out facing a counter. Although one would expect dim lights to go with the dark granite flooring, the 32-cover is lit enough for dining and plays pop tracks at decibel levels that don’t hinder conversations.
“Our primary concern was to create dishes that pair well with our drinks. Also, we’re keen to cater to the native palate with around 60 per cent of the menu featuring Kerala dishes,” says executive chef G V Ramesh.
Sous chef Vishnu Nair has our dinner charted out in the form of a short tasting menu. Nachos reloaded served with a passion fruit martini is a reminder that the kitchen head hasn’t forgotten to bring in some international elements. The chips baked with cheese, however, becomes a little soggy whilst we take a few sips of the vodka and lime-flavoured drink.
As we’re still relishing the lasting taste of the tortilla, the chef mentions a kulukki. I must say that the rum-infused version of the local sherbet (brimming with a chilli and lemon float) has me glued to my seat at their long community table.
“It wouldn’t make sense to go too light on the spices when there’s a drink involved,” Ramesh winks, serving a duo of peri peri chicken tikka (which lacks the peri peri angle, yet is appetising) and a deep-fried Chettinad pepper chicken. Want something more naadan? A rum-based mojito and deep-fried beef with roasted coconut pieces should be right up your alley.
If you opt for a classy evening, just ask the chef for some wine or whiskey pairing. The deal we get is: the sweet aftertaste from a chamomile tea-white wine blend on the coaster balanced by the heavily-marinated flavours of thin-cut pork belly slices doused in hoisin sauce. Business travellers can also go for the vada pav with a whiskey sour.
“We’ve managed the portions so that our patrons don’t have to grab dinner after spending an evening in The Bar,” the chef says. Though it’s too late for a Jamaican coffee— espresso spiked with black rum and topped with whipped cream—I enjoyed it alongside a super tart red velvet roulade and poached apple compote.
From 11 am to 11 pm.