Kochi’s latest restobar has one of the most extensive mixology menus in Kerala
Despite being a tourist haven, this heritage town has never had an upmarket clubbing venue before. However, with the city recovering from the deluge and the next edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale just around the corner—the Fort Kochi party scene is poised to raise the roof! No 18 Hotel on K B Jacob Road, just a stone’s throw away from the Vypin-Fort Kochi boat jetty, has regained its liquor license and reopened its restobar.
They’re calling it Club 18. “We have one of the largest mixology menus in Kerala with over 38 cocktails,” claims co-owner Vineeth Kumar, adding, “That’s not all. Unlike the other pubs in Kochi, our bar only closes at midnight, since we’re located in a heritage/tourist space (like Kovalam). ”
In the club
This swank 92-cover space, is decked out with grey walls featuring graffiti art, pale green upholstery, a top-end 10,000 W soundsystem, and hardwood floors and tables. Yet, since it’s one of those rare days when the weather is pleasant, my colleague and I step outside with our cocktails and seat ourselves on one of the many large swings by their outdoor pool.
The raspberry mojito is thoroughly refreshing, primarily due to the well-balanced mix of white rum, freshly-trimmed mint, and sweet notes of raspberry puree, and pairs well with one of chef Vinay Nagpal’s delightful signature starter, dynamite prawns. Served in a tall martini glass, the lightly batter-coated prawns is tossed in a savoury housemade sauce, that’s slightly heavy on the Worcestershire.
Like any bar with a decent beverage programme, Club 18 also offers a ‘Bartender’s Special’ where the mixologist will spend a minute or two finding out what you like and then proceeds to craft your bespoke concoction—which is exactly what we recommend that you do too. That’s how we discovered their Aussie bomb, a shooter brimming with vanilla vodka, creme de coconut, pineapple syrup, and a dash of angostura bitters. Instant gratification, check.
“We serve plated food and our menu is a mixture of Indian, Continental, and Indo-Chinese fare,” explains chef Vinay. While their stuffed/baked tomatoes topped with parmesan cheese and herbed fish heavily coated in a beer-batter, both taste better than they look—our favourite is their tandoor-grilled malai chicken tikka. We bet that this lightly-charred dish, will taste amazing alongside their soon-to-arrive selection of foreign liquors.
Open from noon to midnight.