A place with panoramic views of the sea, sunset violets, languorous lilac creepers, and the distant sound of the sea carelessly enveloping conversations: Marmoris is the new beach lounge in town. Located on the fringes of Mamallapuram, the three-storey building is comfortably nestled amidst curio shops, beach wear stalls, and leather sandal shops.
Jeeva Rathinam, the owner explains that Marmoris translates to the shining surface of the ocean. “I designed the place such that it is Instagram-able and wherever you sit, you get a sea view. For example, the ground floor has an inside as well as outside seating area facing the waves, the first floor has a sea-facing hammock and the roof top has a cabana.”
The ground floor is divided between an inside sitting space which is close to a small outdoor dining area, also overlooking the sea. The second floor has the same arrangement but shares space with an artfully done bar. The cabana styled third floor might be too warm for summer days but is ideal for breezy evenings, especially moonlit ones.
Marmoris is situated in an expansive resort called Sea Breeze that Jeeva owns. The resort has rolling green gardens punctuated by tall coconut trees, a children’s play area where the blue of the sea merges with the cerulean blue of the sky.
Settling down in the outdoor dining area, we order a glass of aam panna and a bowl of sea food bisque soup. While the drink is too sweet, the soup is a delicious tawny brown infused with calamari and tender shrimps.
For starters, we order their crispy lotus stem, pan seared sticky honey whisky chicken, masala fried calamari and tawa prawn.
While the lotus stem is crispy and flavourful, the chicken, that is presented in four shashliks, is too bland and does not live up to its inviting name.
The calamari comes in generous portions and makes for an ideal snack to complement cocktails and drinks. The lounge does a twist on classics here — from a spiced Guava Mary to their Marmoris retreat, fragrant with rose water and cardamom.
Apart from all time favourites like the Long Island iced tea and Long Beach iced tea, the bar is experimenting with cocktails inspired by the location, like the Mahabs Dreams which ebbs with kaffir lime, white rum and coconut cream.
The prawns are spicy, albeit a tad too rubbery. For the main course we order Marmoris’s Genovese pesto pasta which feels like a warm hug for the insides after the fiery prawns.
Since the project is still in soft launch stage, many dishes (especially pastas) are unavailable on the menu. Many of the cocktails too are not available right now, though Jeeva says that will be remedied over the next couple of weeks.
For a city that loves sunsets on the beach, Marmoris is a welcome new addition to the scene.
Marmoris is located at 18, Othavadai Cross Street, Fisherman Colony, Mamallapuram. Open on all days from noon - 3.30pm and 7pm - 10.30pm . A meal for two costs approximately ₹ 2,000. For reservations, call 7845663035.