The city gets its first ‘gastro pub’ with Social, featuring quirky interiors and an inspired menu
Their teasers on Facebook read ‘tables are mandatory, pants and shoes are not’. And after following online posts, it was time to see what Sandesh Reddy’s latest, Social, was all about. On the ground floor of Somerset Avenue in MRC Nagar, this ‘gastro pub’ is bent on shaking up the norms that pubs in Chennai go by. To start with, you don’t need to be a couple to get a table here. “You can treat it like a bar to grab a couple of drinks, or a place for a date or even take your family for dinner — a place to socialise,” says Reddy, who is keen on “letting the place evolve.”
Fun and functional
While some of you might be kicked about all the above, we were pleasantly surprised by the fresh, quirky, raw industrial interiors that Reddy has worked on with architect Anoop Menon and Suneeth and Sushanth D’Cruz of design firm Orange Elephant. Stools that spin, tables that you can crank up, wheeled couches that resemble small coal wagons, sewing machines turned tables and even an antique medicine cabinet with a few plants popping out of its drawers. A lot of reclaimed wood has gone into all this (including a burnt teakwood bar counter), we’re told. And in stark contrast to all the naked wood, they have sourced colourful, hand-painted tableware.
Little and lots
We find equal thought has gone into the menu, which chef Vivek Desirazu says is their take on global tapas with a personalised, or local touch. We’re talking chicken curry samosas, grey matter (brain) masala on toast and a Tam-Bram (vegetarian) burger, to name a few. From their menu that classifies the food as ‘little’ and ‘lots’, we try a pork vindaloo that you can choose to relish with rice or like us, mop up with pav, some addictively spicy buffalo wings that could make any beer taste better, and a juicy grilled snapper crusted with semolina, before moving on to ‘indulgence’, aka dessert. Now you simply cannot ask me to pick a favourite from the moist Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, the Dulce de Leche Cheese Cake and their milky, smooth, Bread and Butter Pudding served in a jar with two potent Brandied Truffles on the side. We wash all this down with a mocktail, as their cocktail menu is still in the making. But with desserts like these, who needs to get high on alcohol?
Social opens with a brunch on March 16. Meal for two at approximately Rs. 1,600 (with beer). Details: 8939933039
— Ryan Peppin