Designed around a military theme, Chennai’s new resto-bar, Barracks, has an arsenal of surprises

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Barracks interiors

Last week, we found ourselves swinging at a bar counter sipping Spetsnaz, a tangy and refreshing vodka-based cocktail. No, we weren’t dancing. In fact we were perched on individual swings and surrounded by camouflage prints. Themed with military elements, Barracks, the new restobar in town takes its concept to fun levels. Located in a basement where Vault was once housed at T Nagar, the 180-seater is spacious and also has a private dining area for small groups, where pictures of army aircraft adorn the walls, as well only camouflage foliage. Expect piles of sandbags, fake guns, and even jerrycans used as props, plus wooden swings on ropes that are part of the seats.

bite the bullet

Owned by a four-partner business, we catch up with half the team – Atreya and Reema Tiwari, who tell us their menu is also specially designed to match the theme. Well, the sharing boards are called Divide and Conquer! The couple had launched the restobar, BFF, a few years ago and are also known for their event management projects. As we sip the last drop of the aforementioned Russian military-inspired orange-flavored drink, we munch on a platter of Barracks Bullet. The appetizer includes delicate canapes stuffed with spicy ground chicken and topped with crunchy fresh sprouts. Light and delicious, this one is a sure winner.

Take a bao

We soon notice that the chef has added interesting dips as an option for most dishes. The Translucent Chicken Meatball Basket comes with unusual meatballs like green chili paste that packs some serious heat! The chicken baos are moist and delicious and Reema tells us the bread is homemade. The peanut sauce that came with it made us want more. The nachos are crispy and in addition to the expected sour cream, the four sides include Indianized salsa and a delicious red bean dip. The chicken satay is exceptionally juicy and the peanut sauce is creamy and addictive.

Dessert Storm

The menu offers main course options in addition to the quintessential South Indian favorite – curd rice – which also with potato fries! We promised to return for the Barracks Kari Potlum Rice. Meanwhile, although there was a cocktail called Bazuka, instead of dessert we opted for a delicious milkshake type vodka cocktail. Dusted with cocoa powder and with a strong icy Milo vibe, the Dessert Patrol promises to keep us lingering a little longer.

Meal for two @ Rs1,000 (excluding drinks)

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