Say cheers to steaks and grills at lounge Lava, International Hotel

Lava, the newly opened lounge at the International Hotel, comes across as a subdued affair at first glance. A few comfortable chairs are arranged neatly in the cosy space and dim lighting sets up a cool ambience that provides a contrast to the searing summer heat. The lounge is presently conducting a summer steaks and grills festival to invite those who have good company at hand and a few hours to kill.

“Nowadays the competition between hotels is intense and everyone has to come up with something new to keep clients coming. We decided to do this by starting a lounge that offers people a comfortable atmosphere to come and spend a few hours, have some food or get a drink,” says Food and Beverages Manager P.G. Thomas

The food menu comprises a single sheet, but that is by no means a short coming as it has something for all kinds of foodies. With a name like Lava, the fact that sizzlers and steaks are the main items on offer is hardly a surprise, and the spread ranges from a seafood platter featuring jumbo prawns, squid, Seer fish and the like to the lip-smacking Lava Special Chicken Steak, a chicken steak stuffed with bacon and cheese, and served with vegetables and French fries .

Your thirst is not going to go unquenched either, with the small bar boasting an array of mocktails, cocktails and Lava’s signature ‘Aflame’ and ‘Xplod’ beverages. The bar staff have been trained by Rahul N.K., Director of the IFM Institute of Flair and Mixology, who casually explains the mixing process while setting fire to a bottle as part of the preparation of the Lava Aflame. “The atmosphere we hope to create is the same one that people get when they go to a coffee shop and spend hours chatting over coffee. The only difference here is the beverage on offer. We have youngsters and families who come in for a snack, a drink and a good time, and our staff is more than happy to indulge them with entertainment, be it good conversation or a display such as this,” he says, serving up a reddish concoction with liquid flames dancing on the surface.

Teetotallers are in good hands too, with a variety of mocktails available. A custom made nutty cooler of the coconut variety and a virgin Pina Colada that is a heady mix of pineapple, cream and a hint of coconut are examples of what is on offer.

The Lava Special Chicken Steak is no disappointment either. With layers of chicken being complimented by soft bacon strips, it is a meat lover’s paradise that is sure to fill the stomach amply.

Vegetarians can sample the vegetable platter that offers stuffed tomatoes, capsicum, baby corn and an assortment of green treats. “Almost 20 per cent of our clients are vegetarians, so we have given emphasis to those dishes as well. Apart from the festival offerings the normal menu has a host of options such as mushroom pepper fry and crispy fried vegetables.

Meat lovers can also indulge themselves with ‘Devils on Horseback’, a grilled pork sausage wrapped with bacon, or the ‘Cowboy Steak’, which is an extra spicy beef steak,” says Executive Chef K.P. Shibu.

Whether it is casual time with friends or an evening with family, Lava aims to have you covered. It may be scarcely a month old, but the lounge boasts plenty of character. So the next time you are in the mood for a relaxing time, give the coffee shop a miss and go for something hotter.

The summer steaks and grills festival is on till May 19.

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