Shaack, the new restaurant in town, serves a variety with dishes chosen from diverse cuisines

A wave of nostalgia washes over us as the music takes us back to our school days. ‘I’m gonna be around,’ ‘Love me for a reason,’ ‘Someday’…there’s Michael Learns to Rock, Boyzone, Backstreet Boys…We aren’t at a boy band congregation from the nineties but at Shaack, a new restaurant in Anna Nagar.

Spelt with an extra ‘a’, this place aims to create a laid back shack kind of feel. The ceiling is done up in knotted ropes, there’s sunlight filtering in from the large glass windows and sprightly waiters move about in bright Hawaii-inspired uniforms.

It’s a warm afternoon, and as we languorously sit back and glance through the menu we realise it’s going to take more than just a cursory glance to decide what we want. Thai crispy corn cakes and hot and crispy beef are perfect as starters. The crunchy corn cakes filled with juicy corn kernels are good but what’s even better are the glistening chunks of mildly spicy beef sprinkled with sesame. There’s a fine mix of Continental, Pan Asian and South Indian cuisines. . Their specialty dishes include prawn Barbados, shrimp cocktail, stir fries and steaks. The restaurant will soon have a live pasta and salad counter. There’s Pad Thai, Vietnamese fish, mutton paya, chicken biriyani...blackened cottage cheese, pineapple rice and Indonesian-style braised chicken.

The consistency continues with the main course. The blackened cottage cheese is a delight. It comprises fluffy cubes stuffed with spinach and mushroom and served with a portion of tomato red chilli rice. For the others, we go with the waiter’s recommendation — pineapple rice and Indonesian-style braised chicken. The portions are generous. The pineapple rice is sweet with raisins, bits of pineapple and cashew adding to its unusual flavour. It pairs beautifully with the fiery Indonesian chicken in a rich peanut-based gravy. Together the two are quite like the Romeo and Juliet of the menu. It’s disappointing that the menu has no desserts listed. Just when we are about to throw in our towels...erm napkins, the waiter reappears listing out a few desserts. In the company of dieting friends I am allowed to order just one. Coconut souffle is the unanimous choice. By the end of the meal the dieters agree that the smooth, gelatinous and wobbly cup of souffle is worth risking the calorie.

Shaack is located at KG Galaxy, F-36, 2nd Avenue, Anna Nagar East, ph: 26260506