Chennai’s popular Radio Room launches in Coimbatore

After eight years in Chennai, Radio Room opens its doors in Coimbatore. MetroPlus gets a first look at its wine barrel decor, VIP private room and community table

February 16, 2024 04:51 pm | Updated 04:59 pm IST

  • Restaurant Radio Room
  • Cuisine Restobar
  • Cost ₹₹₹
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A view of the decor

A view of the decor | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Coimbatore’s newly-launched Radio Room has an air of familiarity, like a friend’s warm embrace. Maybe because Michael Jackson’s eyes stare back at you from a bright yellow wall. Maybe its the decor, paying an ode to the evolution of jazz, hip hop, rhythm, EDM fusion, hyper pop and discos. Or perhaps the retro music playing, set to tune by in-house DJs. .

Located at The Broadway Cinemas mall, this new hangout in the city is co-owned by four partners — TV Senthil Kumar, Pradeep Arumugam, S Karthik and R Pravin — all from Coimbatore but regulars at the the original eight-year-old Radio Room in Chennai, known for its live performances, packed Saturday night crowds and hearty food.


Congee | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“Why should Coimbatore miss out on the fun?” asks Senthil, who took the lead to set up the franchise in Coimbatore. “People from the city are well-travelled, and exposed to global culture and cuisines. We wanted to replicate the experience here not just for friends and families, but also for travellers from abroad who frequent Erode, Coimbatore, and Tiruppur on business trips.” He adds that they plan stick to the core idea of the brand which includes well-balanced cocktails, comfort food and great music.

The 145-seater, which includes a private dining space, features tall bar stools and tables, as well as cosy coffee table seating with couches. Talking about the design, Pradeep says they added wine barrel decor to recreate the look of a vintage winery. He adds, “We also ordered customised radio speakers for the radio wall in the private VIP dining space. The interiors feature panoramic glass, which is clear in the morning with sunlight filtering in and vibes with psychedelic lights at night. We also chose warm, grey colour tones, and added a tree element with a square community table arrangement around it.”

“I like to keep it simple,” says Zahir Naina, head of operations of Radio Room from Chennai who is here setting up the place. “We have curated the best from our eight years of serving Chennai. As far as the food scene is concerned, people are eager here. The cocktail culture is still catching up,” explains Zahir.

Given that they are opening in a town where pub culture is still catching on, Zahir says they have thought through every part of experience, especially for women. “There is an exclusive waiting lounge prioritising women’s security and privacy here. And guests can enter the bar straight from the lift,” he shares.

Red head with red wine and hibiscus-infused gin

Red head with red wine and hibiscus-infused gin | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

As we talk, two cocktails — blushing monk and bo tonic — vie for attention on the table. While blushing monk made with vodka, mango, and elderflower is bitter sweet, the sweet and fizzy bo tonic has gin, orange marmalade, maritini rosso and honey syrup in a delicious balance.

“Our motto is not to showcase alcohol or flavours, but perfect the sweet-sour balance,” says Zahir, adding that they make home-made simple syrups, and avoid synthetic sweeteners. To illustrate, the next drink is a congee akasunda kanzhi with a twist. Served in a matka, this quirky woody vodka-based cocktail, which features boiled rice water, spice, sweet-sour mix and a spiced mango slice, is a clever amalgamation of the flavours of home.

The food section caters equally to vegetarian and non vegetarian diners, with the menu packing in as many as 30-odd vegetarian dishes. Try a platter of creamy, cheesy parmesan jalapeno broccoli paired with a sweet tamarind sauce, or the creamy cilantro-pesto malai paneer. And, who can say no to fluffy, ghee-soaked mini idlis?

For the non vegetarians, there are crisp peri peri prawns, a one ingredient dish that is reportedly made in six minutes. Also try the rich badami chicken with kurmi naan, and spicy green chilli chicken, tossed in a paste of fresh green chillies. While the Moroccan grilled chicken with potato mash and a drizzle of honey mustard sauce is a must try, it is the mapu chicken with a fluffy fried manto bun that is unforgettable.

Whiskey business cocktail

Whiskey business cocktail | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Zahir explains that the menu aims to drive home the point what you see is what you get: “It’s not fine dining, but a casual bar experience with decent plating where the food is served in 20 minutes.”

Over another cocktail, called red head made with red wine and hibiscus-infused gin, which highlights floral notes, Zahir explains that every drink is an experience. For example, there is silent dentist, a vodka-based drink made with ‘grandma’s secret recipe’, a homemade syrup of cloves, the age old cure for an achy tooth. (Don’t pick the bar over the dentist though!)

Mapo chicken with a fluffy fried manto bun

Mapo chicken with a fluffy fried manto bun | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

While all the cocktails are 60ml pours, the muddy puddle, a 30ml Milo-based cocktail with home made Bailey’s, is nostalgia served in a cup.

For dessert, I try the hazelnut custard jar with custard, hazelnut and Maltova crumble on top. Followed by a satisfying dark chocolate tart with cheese frosting. But, before we sign off, another drink beckons to end the meal. The gin thanda, a treat from the streets. In a tribute to traditional meals, you can end your night out with yet another familiar flavour: Betel leaves and paan.

A meal for two costs ₹ 2500 approximately including beverages. For reservations, call 8270000200

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