This Chennai restobar serves chicken pani puri

Trippin Town makes an effort to dream up unlikely combinations, like tequila with betel leaf and litchi

Chubby cherubs sit huddled on bar stools. Behind them is a white bust of what looks like a Roman hero. In another corner of the room, shiny red horses leap out of virulently orange and blue pillars. These are recurring themes at Trippin Town — one of the newest restobars in the city.

The space, spread over 10,000 square feet and two floors, is a weird mix of colours, décor and patterns. Some sections look like the aftermath of a Holi party. But weird is wonderful, believes the team. The words are even written in bold letters across one of their smoking rooms.

“When people go out, primarily, they want a lot of pictures. We wanted to create an Instagrammable bar with 200 décor pieces and vibrant colours. It was a conscious decision to stay away from the regular colours. We didn’t just want to give food, we wanted to offer an experience,” says Raj Thiru, who started the place along with Karthik Ramesh and Vijay M. That explains the cherry blossom tree, around 100 planters overflowing with greenery, birds, rhinos on walls... oh and a grand bronze throne replete with a dignified lion’s face that looks unamused with some of the people’s poses. “Trippy things,” laughs Raj.

This Chennai restobar serves chicken pani puri

Trippin Town’s penchant for the unusual reflects in its menu. Case in point: the chicken pani puri. Before you recoil in horror, let me tell you it is addictive. The puris are crisp, the pani is tangy and shredded chicken adds an interesting texture.

The menu has sushi, well-stuffed burgers, pastas, pizzas and popular bar food. Also a winner is the mutton galouti kebab redolent with distinctly warm notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, mace and cardamom, all infused in the smooth kebab served on crisp, biscuit-like roti base.

Wrapped in rich flavours, the beef Thai green curry too has everything going for it. However, things go awry with the little spheres of Andhra baby potato fry that look like minions on a plate. They are fiery, but lack any other flavour.

Trippin Town
  • 105, PS Sivaswamy Salai, Mylapore
  • Hits: Galouti kebab, vegetable biryani, beef Thai curry
  • Misses: Malay mutton rendang dumpling, chilli beef, Andhra baby potato fry
  • Meal for two: ₹2,500
  • 9114999000

The Malay mutton rendang dumpling has an excessively doughy exterior and minced mutton filling with hardly any trace of coconut milk or galangal. This borders on mediocrity as well. That’s when the vegetable biryani steps in, like the redeemer. With balanced spices and fresh diced vegetables, it ensures that even those who declare that biryani without meat is just vegetable rice, eat humble pie.

To end the meal, we opt for cocktails over dessert. One look at the bartenders — wrapped in the golden glow of the dramatic island bar — furiously concocting various infusions (like betel piper with betel leaf-infused tequila, litchi juice, Irish caramel and lime juice; and hot desi jalapeño spicy tequila with cucumber and green apple nectar), and you can tell that Trippin Town takes it cocktails seriously.

This Chennai restobar serves chicken pani puri

The cocktail sales are better than the beer sales here, I am told. “Clients want something new,” says one of them, handing me a bulky glass of BBC. A delicious combination of Baileys, bananas (caramelised), and coconut crème with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, it takes care of your sweet tooth and is heady enough to send you spiralling to the dance floor.

And since it is Wednesday, it must be Bollywood. Pehla Nasha, anyone?


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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 5:52:28 AM |

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