Pulling wires at the Wire Room



Walk into the Wire Room and your eyes will be drawn to the ceiling. All you see are wires and even more wires that crisscross each other which will keep your eyes riveted (pun intended) to them.

Spools and weights

Plumb bobs and wires

Illuminated carvings

"Madras checks"

Design Hotel Chennai by j├╝Sta lives up to its name. Right from the entrance, up the lift and to the corridor leading to the rooms, there are textures and designs on the walls. However, it's the newly renovated Wire Room Bar + Kitchen that evokes the most interest. 20 kms of copper wires run across the ceiling and down to the floor, making the famous "Madras checks" pattern. The ceiling is covered with painted wood shavings and plumb bobs hang down like fat metal raindrops. Spools hold weights, each spool holds 6 weights each weighing 1.5 kilos and it's these weights that keep the wires that run across the room taut. Behind the bar counter is a series of carvings that are lighted up and enclosed in glass, intensifying the sense of depth.

Cushioned seating is arranged around each table and the DJ spins tracks at the console. I'm still mesmerised by the wires when Karthick, Wire Room's Associate Head of Business and Operations tells me that they need to tighten the wires every two months to prevent them from slackening.   

The DJ and his console

Taste of nostalgia - thaen mittai; ginger chips & sliced mango

Covealong

Magzhchi and a familiar face


The decor is not the only thing representative of Madras. From the names and ingredients in the cocktails to some of the food, there are touches of whimsy, nostalgia and fusion in the menu that started with a plate of thaen mittai, mango slices sprinkled with chilli powder and salt and then ginger chips. Karthick revealed that with his background in mixology, he has designed the cocktail menu and suggested Covealong for me, a mix of whisky and panneer soda. A lovely cold, cold drink that helped to quench my thirst and cool some of the gingery heat. My friend's Less Old Fashioned was a twist on the Old Fashioned with maple syrup, smoke and drama! He also had a Marina Mule with vodka and nanari while I tried Magzhchi - gin with ginger, karupatti and egg white. One look at it and I'm sure you'll figure out how it got its moniker!

Galouti Shots

Executive Chef Mir Hafizur Raheman's food menu is quite delicious. He calls them Galouti Shots, put one of those kebabs into your mouth and they'll just melt without any effort. Deft spicing, superfine meat and the almost biscuit-y ulte tawa ka paratha make it so memorable.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

If you like quinoa, you'll flip for the Mediterranean Quinoa Salad. The coloured stack has a layer of mashed avocado over the top and topped with salad greens and pea sprouts. Blue pearls jazz up the plating. Definitely a well balanced dish, if you know what I mean!

Cilantro pesto and harissa prawns...spicy!

Tikka taster platter

Harissa and Cilantro Pesto Prawns are big and juicy and the harissa paste is deliciously spicy.
The Tikka Taster has 5 kinds of kebabs on a platter, nice but no wow factor. 

Surf & Turf

Surf and Turf was the main course with large, juicy prawns and medium done steak. Accompaniments were asparagus, mashed potatoes and gravy in a toy sized pressure cooker. The meat was juicy with a faint hint of rosemary. The portion was generous enough for the two of us to share.

Chocolate Marquise & lime sorbet



Chocolate chilli baked yoghurt

We tried 2 desserts, absolutely loved the dense and flavourful Chocolate Marquise. The lime sorbet  was certainly very refreshing. If you're not too fond of chocolate, there's Chocolate Chilli Baked Yoghurt with a chilli-studded chocolate disc that toned down the overall sweetness. The little gulab jamun that sat in a chocolate cup was a nice touch.

Just in case you're wondering where the Design Hotel is, it's at Phoenix MarketCity. Cocktails at Wire Room are about 600/++ each and a meal for 2 people would come to about 1400/++.


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