For those who want to drink and drive, J’s Five Two offers a temporary mocktail lounge
J’s Five Two — even with a clue, we would never have guessed that the two-star hotel in RA Puram was named after the biblical story about the five fish and two loaves of bread. And yet, with their logo representing five fish and two buns, it is quite obvious. “It so happened that on the day I was trying to come up with a name for the hotel, this story was read out in church,” explains John Salvadore, the owner, whose family has been in the pharmaceutical industry for 40 years. When he acquired a property in the heart of RA Puram, Salvadore, who also has considerable experience in the field of construction, decided that it was ideal for a hotel.
Bane to boon
The barely week-old hotel houses a restaurant, bar and 18 rooms, with a second restaurant, Grill Garden, coming up on the rooftop. It sounds like the perfect mix to tap the demand from the business segment, save for one small glitch — they are yet to receive their liquor licence. But that’s not about to stop Salvadore who has capitalised on the deficiency and is operating his bar as a mocktail lounge till further notice. And to make sure it works, he has thrown in an exciting offer for the season — unlimited mocktails at the lounge coupled with a buffet at their multi-cuisine restaurant, for just Rs699 per head. “The kids love that they can actually order their ‘drinks’ from a bar counter,” says Salvadore. Their mocktail menu has 20 plus offerings with a few hot beverages as well. From a Strawberry Mojito to a Screwdriver minus the vodka, the list will put a smile on any non-alcoholics’ face.
After a quick Blue Lagoon, we head to their restaurant where currently, only a buffet is available. Their menu which launches this Sunday, will feature a mix of Indian, Continental and Oriental cuisine. Meanwhile, the buffet showcases a little of everything. There’s a hot-and-sour vegetable soup sharing the spotlight with a chicken broth, a fiery Chettinad tawa fish fry and an aromatic Rajasthani gosht to start with, and burnt garlic noodles paired with a chewy Egyptian eggplant among the mains. Dessert is kept simple with a strawberry custard, brownies and a melting chocolate fudge that the chefs seem to have taken a tad too literally. Overall, the entire package is definitely value for money. Their rooms (Rs 3,500 onwards), we find, are well equipped to accommodate the needs of a business traveller with ease.
Mocktail and buffet package at Rs 699 per head. Details: 2436 2052
— Ryan Peppin