Kochi’s Blue Rock bar serves a winning mixture of cocktails and ‘short eats’
There are only a handful of hip bars left in the city. And if you spend more than an hour in some of them, you’ll probably walk away with a mild case of Tinnitus. Thankfully, Olive Downtown’s Blue Rock is not one of those places. The charming 74-cover lounge situated on the first floor of this luxurious property, lets its patrons enjoy a conversation without having to shout over the sound system.
“We hope people can escape from the cacophony of Kadavanthara Junction by stepping into this Irish-theme space,” says F&B manager Sankar V, adding that they convert a section of their seating area into a dancefloor during monthly electronic music events.
After sampling their super-chilled strawberry vodkatini, whose sweet notes go hand-in-hand with a platter of cheesy bite-sized stuffed chicken, I opt for a short stroll around the space. While the bric-a-brac that normally lines the walls of ageing Irish pubs is missing, their decor, with its unfinished walls, tall wooden chairs, and mirrored bar counter, does attempt to mimic it.
Minutes after we place our next order, the friendly service staff serve us their signature ‘bubbly’ cocktail. Their take on the grand mimosa, traditionally served during brunch, is a sweet-yet-heady mix of sparkling Sula brut and curacao triple sec liqueur. Due to the upmarket ambience, it’s easy to see why affluent millennials are starting to flock here during their happy hours (11 am-6 pm). Despite a lack of imported brands, folks who regularly engage in bar-hopping will definitely think of this as an alternative to M G Road’s Mezzo.
While my colleague and I demolish a masala-laden grilled seer fish—which leaves us reminiscing about a kokum-heavy masala usually served on houseboats—the popular tiki drink, Mai Tai arrives. Some resto-bars cannot tell the distinct difference between a bartender and a mixologist. The latter don’t just rehash age-old beverage recipes; they possess a steady hand, an encyclopedic knowledge of spirits, and excel at creating unique concoctions that are exquisitely garnished.
Blue Rock, unfortunately, lacks a professional mixologist. However, at this outlet, the issue is negated, thanks to the culinary staff’s exemplary knowledge of flavour pairings. Case in point—juicy, succulent, and savoury grilled pork chops. This artisanal preparation that will leave you wanting more, works with almost every option in their IMFL beverage programme and is something we recommend that you sample.