Walking into Diff 42 – Resto lounge, Velachery’s newest pub, we get the vibe that this place is going to be all about the booze. There’s extra dim lighting, an island bar counter, thumping music and even a makeshift dance floor. But imagine our surprise when owner Mohan Raj, a former business man who “always wanted to start a restaurant,” tells us that his focus is primarily food. “I want to make the brand a franchisee in the future,” he says, as we find a merry mix of Oriental, Indian and Continental food on the menu. Their chef, Malai Swamy, hails from Madurai but comes with experience from Scotland. He has created Continental and Indian combos (approximately `249 plus tax) for the many corporate guests they have been attracting since opening in December.
Before our combos arrive, Swamy serves us his signatures, while their operations manager, Kishore Kumar, shakes and stirs our cocktails at the bar. His fresh passion fruit mojito and Mandarin berry prijosika (Mandarin vodka with orange and strawberry pulp) are a bit alcohol-heavy but soon forgotten when the food arrives. The Arabian jumbo lollipops (smokey, tender and delicately charred on the edges), spicy sweet corn fritters (a combo of deep fried mince corn balls topped with mint mayo and juicy, sugar coated fried corn kernels) and cheese fritters, prove that Raj and his team are indeed focusing on the food.
As we finally get to work on our Continental and Indian combos, Kumar shares plans for the future. “We’ll be starting themed nights during the week — like Boozy Brunch on Sunday and Corporate nights on Monday and Tuesday,” he says, as we clean up our bell pepper spiced chicken stroganoff (paired with rice, sautéed veggies) and sweetish chicken tikka masala with naan. But the best news he’s given us this evening, is that Diff 42 will be screening football, among other sports.
Approximately Rs 1,000 per head. Details: 43216667