“Once you are real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
What happens when one of the most popular children’s books is the base inspiration for a new eatery? You get a combination of beautiful décor, an interesting and delicious menu and a feeling of absolute comfort. The Velveteen Rabbit is RA Puram’s latest addition and one of the few stand-alone bars in the city of Chennai. In a time when the only places to get a drink with your friends is if you visit a 5-star hotel and spend lots of time, The Velveteen Rabbit is a gift from the gods.
Brought to you by the same folks who gave us L’Amandier and Ciclo Cafe, the décor is simple, yet beautiful, featuring a mismatch of furniture and the low lighting giving it the vibe of a speakeasy from the prohibition era. Granted, our only references to these bars are from photographs and movies like The Great Gatsby. But what The Velveteen Rabbit provides is a great spot to relax after a long day at work, drink a few fun and exciting cocktails, eat some specially curated dishes that are a mixture of Continental and Indian.
And if that’s not enough, every Wednesday they have karaoke hosted by Mridula Gopalakrishnan. So not only do you get to drink and enjoy the ambiance with your friends, but you get to stand up on stage and sing with and for your friends, making it an all-round great evening.
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you.”
Did we mention they have a bar? A fully stocked one too! But since we went in the middle of the work day, we didn’t try out any of their cocktails. However, if you do visit them, you should give their house cocktails a try. Aptly named Skin Horse and Fire Truck, these are two drinks you should definitely give a shot. As it is a lounge bar, The Velveteen Rabbit specializes in finger food which they have called Prologues. And here’s what we had to eat.
We started off with the Tandoori Blue Cheese Chicken Tikka – an absolute treat with each bite. The chicken is marinated in blue cheese and then cooked in the tandoor, giving it the smoky flavour, but at the same time the blue cheese explodes in your mouth with the first bite.
Lots of people serve home-made hummus, but not everyone gets it right. The Velveteen Rabbit chefs have found the healthy way to eat Hummus and Pita and it’s an absolute treat. When you order this dish, make sure that you’re getting it with a drink that has a kick, just for the perfect balance.
It only seemed fitting after the Mediterranean food we just ate to have a Lebanese Spiced Kefta Kebab. And before you assume that it’s just lamb, let’s be the first to tell you that it’s a mixture of lamb and chicken seasoned with the chef’s secret spices and then grilled to perfection.
We’re definitely going back to give their cocktails a try, so watch this space for more updates from The Velveteen Rabbit.
“Because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
The whole point of the book is to just be yourself and not change for anyone else, and that’s exactly what they want you to do when you walk through their doors. Be yourself, do things for yourself and live life to the fullest.
The Velveteen Rabbit is located 57, 2nd Main road, Raja Annamalaipuram, Chennai, in the same building as L’Amandier. Call 044 4282 7882 for reservations.