This garage-themed restobar has our appetites going vroom...
With an exhaustive menu and Instagram-worthy installations, we have to give The Mechanic Shop a big ol' thumbs up!
Side-stepping men with hammers and tongs, our entry into the new restobar down Jagannathan Street, The Mechanic Shop, was under apt circumstances. The interior work was not yet completed and workmen flitted in and out as we settled ourselves at a long table that could very well have been the stand for a car wash. As we took in the sprawling 90-seater, we note a motor bike mounted on a wall, a sedan cut in two to make room for a table in the middle, half a bus near the entrance and a lorry piston on the bar wall. “We wanted a unique theme — and being a mechanical engineer myself — the mechanic angle really worked for me,” says Venkatesh Sekar, the 27-year-old owner of this 5,500 square feet outlet in Nungambakkam, who hails from Cuddalore.
Having worked as a trainee at the restobar Small World, for seven months last year, Venkatesh tells us that it was part of his preparation to start this place. When the herbed fries with a dip of delicious, creamy, cheesy, Bolognese sauce arrives — we have only one question for him. Who is the chef? And no surprises — the man behind this menu, of about 110 dishes that has been flooding my Facebook feed since the tasting began, is the popular Chef Willi Willson, who has curated a menu of European, Chinese, Indian and Korean signatures here. With 44 years of experience, the New Zealander is often hailed as the man who introduced Chennai to some of the best thin crust pizzas during his stint at 601, The Park Hotel and later at the Tuscana chain. “I always strive to avoid repetition — so you can expect an entirely different offering this time,” says the consultant chef who helped create menus for the Jonah’s chain of restaurants.
We dig into a heaped basket of juicy pork sausages and soon realise that plating is a big deal here. The sesame dotted Korean Chicken Popcorn is sticky and sweet, an instant hit. Piled trays of crunchy baguettes topped with melted cheese — offering both mushroom and chicken variations — keep us engaged even as the succulent Mutton Chukka, the Chinese Crispy Lamb and saucy BBQ Chicken Wings arrive one after another. The main course finds the wok-tossed prawns with bok choy to be a delicately seasoned peppery dish, while the Chicken and Bamboo Shoot in red curry packs some punch. The Chicken Biryani is a pleasant and tasty surprise. The Lamb Burger patty was moist and slathered with hung curd — a complete meal for sure. The Rice Pot dishes promise to make for good filling meals — with the likes of lamb balls braised in mustard sauce among the lineup.
The brownie with ice cream may sound run-of-the-mill – however, a bite of the dense, fudgy, chewy brownie stuffed with fruit and nuts has us smitten. With the bar not functioning yet — we are definitely counting the days to the formal opening of this place.
Opening in September, meal for two at about Rs 1,500.
Check out the new restaurant which is very near to Nungambakkam - Rosewater Fine Dining