Home Chennai Grab drinks in the basement at Small World

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    The newest watering hole in town at Ja��s Five Two, beckons with bouillabaisse and cold beers

    When they decided to call it a�?Small Worlda��, John Salvador and Arasu Dennis got it right. For once, we walked into a cramped space filled with leather upholstery and tables and didna��t think a�?gosh, this is REALLY smalla��. a�?Thata��s the whole idea,a�? laughs Dennis, who has moved from Illusions to present another watering hole for the citya��s high spirited. a�?We didna��t want people to get an idea that therea��s a lot of space, so the name sort of disarms them.a�? And thata��s how RA Puram got its first neighbourhood bar, which isna��t a�?locala��, as he puts it.

    J6Focus on the cards
    Set in the basement of Ja��s Five Two boutique hotel, owned and operated by Salvador, Small World is a 70-seater a�?work in progressa�� that will crank up its service starting today. But first things first: like Zara and Illusions, this place doesna��t have a dance floor. a�?Wea��ve worked more on our menu than our bar drinks, because thata��s where we believe we can make the difference,a�? says chef Chandru, whose continental skill(et)s were primed by everyone from Gordon Ramsey to chef Willi of Burgundya��s. The team has been bold enough to forge an exhaustive menu of continental mains, while throwing in the odd fusion starter. Fusion is a word wea��ve come to taste with caution. And that caution is heightened when wea��re given banana chillies (bajji chillies) topped with baked batter and cheese. A few bites in and it hits us a�� this would go swell with a cold beer. The chef smiles indulgently at the epiphany.

    Seafood specials
    Tucking into a creamy bouillabaisse, resplendent with garlic wedges and steamed baby octopuses, wea��re on to a good thing here. And the euphoria of getting decent continental food in a bar continues as the breaded basa with coriander coulis arrives. Best part is, if youa��re not into these a�?oompha�� mains, the kitchen will be more than happy to indulge you with some off-the-menu chilly chicken and kebabs, as well.

    Meal for two with dinner and drinks at Rs. 1,500. Details: 24362052

    -Daniel Thimmayya

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