Begin typing your search...
Restaurant Review: Unconventional bar snacks, cocktails make this beach shack memorable
On the winding East Coast Road (ECR) en route to the KoKoMMo tiki shack to get a taste of its new menu, we were verging on the obsessive for seafood with the scent of the sea working up our appetite. The open air resto-bar, which takes pride for being the city’s only beach-side shack, is located in InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort.
The shack offers cocktails, fresh sea food and also curries with inspirations from across the country, while having you seated as close to the Bay of Bengal as possible.
Our expectations rose higher as we walked down to the shack from the hotel entrance. But they were met quickly enough after a taste of their Hawaiian mimosa as our feet rested on the soft sands. With a mix of pineapple juice, sparkling wine, curacao (citrus-flavoured liqueur) and Malibu (a coconut-flavoured liqueur), the drink has all the taste notes of a perfect tropical drink —sweetness from the coconut and a refreshing hint of acidity from the curacao.
Their Malibu sunset is a perfect recipe to beat the scorching Chennai heat, with a sweet and thirst-quenching mix of grenadine, pineapple and pomegranate juice with Malibu. The cocktails here are sure to transport one to the dreamy island of Kokomo as sung by popular American rock band, The Beach Boys.
As the hunger for seafood began to resurface, we were presented by Chef Charul Srivastav a deep-fried spinach snack with six homemade dips, artfully spread on a platter, the way Van Gogh probably readied his colour palette. Wondering what spinach was doing at a beach shack, we took a bite only to be surprised at how the crisp-fried leaves dipped into an aged balsamic and a carrot-based dip paired so well with the drinks. For all those who’ve managed to keep a safe distance from broccoli, we urge you to surrender to their white mustard tossed broccoli. The commonly hated vegetable reveals itself doused in a tangy, creamy white mustard paste — leaving us with a new-found favourite bar snack. The fried root vegetables were another such uncommon, yet wholesome snack.
It was finally the time for us to try the seafood with gambas aioli, king prawns cooked in butter along with garlic and Thai bird eye chilli. The simple and clean flavours of the dish allow one to taste the freshness of the prawns. The seasonal seafood platter, which includes the day’s fresh catch, cooked with a gentle spice rub, is presented majestically to hero the fish. The catch included anchovies, red snapper and baby mackerel, coated in a simple South Indian spicy and tangy mix, and then pan-fried or crumb-fried — respecting the catch and treating them oh-so-delicately to avoid overcooking.
Chef Charul, who is all of 28, hails from the land of Nawabs and kebabs, Lucknow, and recently moved to the city. She has brought with her some of her favourites from across the country — a mutton nihari from the North, Alleppey-style curries from Kerala and a kori gassi from Mangaluru. While the kori gassi and the fish kalia were a bit too salty for our taste buds, both the curries, however, were rich and creamy from thecoconut milk.
The shack not only makes Goa seem closer to Chennai, but introduces one to some unconventional bar snacks, the freshest of the catch and flavoursome drinks. Along with the sand in our shoes, we left the shack hungry again for their friedanchovies.
Address: 212, Nemelli Village, Mahabalipuram
Contact: 044 71720101
Timing: 4 pm to 11 pm
Cuisine: Coastal food, Seafood, finger food, cocktails
Must-haves: White mustard tossed broccoli, seafood platter, Malibu sunset
Star rating (on 5): ****