For instance, kuchi mittai, or lollipop, we all adored as kids, is dunked into a vodka-based cocktail to give its sweetness to the drink, and the kadala mittai is infused into bourbon. This expansive bar on LB Road, which opened its doors about a month ago, hits all the right notes to take people back to the glorious 90s.
Besides plush leather seating, the space has a lot of fun elements, including an Insta-worthy feature wall with an installation of motorbike’s parts, a huge pool table, and quirky wall frames.
Flipping through the menu itself can be a fun exercise. Each of the food and beverage sections is titled with a relatable or popular line in Tamil like ‘Naanga late ah vandhalum ‘lit’-ah varuvom’, for a page mentioning shots, inspired by one of superstar Rajinikanth’s dialogues.
The resto-bar, which has an outlet in Anna Nagar as well, was started in Adyar as a neighbourhood bar, one of the owners Raghu Raman (who also owned the now non-functional Illusions pub) tells us. Neighbourhood bars, which allow people of a locality to unwind at a nearby pub, are becoming popular in the city, says Raghu, who runs The Cycle Gap along with three other partners.
From the menu of starters (including pies, bruschetta, tikkas and kebabs), mains (pastas, grilled steaks, and curries), we jumped straight to the speciality menu, inspired from street-side delicacies. The kozhi vada, served hot, is a meatier version of a dal vada one would find being fried on streets, with minced chicken added to it instead of dal.
The drink kadala podu, which is a bourbon-based cocktail infused with jaggery and peanut sauce, comes to us with a potlam holding a peanut barfi, hanging onto the glass by a clothes peg. The fun drink lets you eat and drink peanuts. The fun element is turned up a notch with the drink kuchi mittai, which has an orangey hit with sweet notes of vanilla and the popsicle coming through.
If you loved Milo as a child, the ‘Milo Ma’ cocktail will take you back to old days with its chocolatey flavours from the beverage mix, but also gives a headiness through bourbon. There’s also ‘I love you Rasna’, which uses the much-loved Rasna in a vodka-based drink.
We also tried the roadside beef, which can be a spicy and succulent accompaniment to any drink and a potlam chicken varuval, wherein a flavourful home-style chicken masala is served wrapped in a banana leaf. Thaen mittai (sugar candy) rules the desserts section.
The humble candy sold on streets are served on skewers, served with a crispy waffle. If you like to finish your meal with comforting curd rice, you can do that here and dig into a creamy bowl of curd rice with a side of potato fry.
The Cycle Gap
Address: 73, Kalki Krishnamurthy Salai, LB Road
Contact: 96000 17171
Timing: 12 noon to 11 pm
Cuisine: South Indian, continental
Must-haves: Milo Ma, kadala podu, potlam chicken varuval
Star rating (on 5): ****