Coconut Grove ( located above Hotel Saravana Bhavan here) offers great views of the sea on one side and of Mylapore on the other. Coastal cuisine and some Chettinad specials mark the menu here.
The entry is through Hotel Saravana Bhavan. The lift travels up slowly, increasing the anticipation. Coconut Grove, on the fifth floor, is beautifully decorated in a combination of designs – Kerala style wood work matched with traditional copper utensils, green plants, all add to the quiet charm of the place.
The views are very good – the sea and its rolling waves provide a rare visual but the other side is equally interesting – a couple playing tennis at Christ Tennis School across the road, the backdrop of the old CSI School for Deaf and Dumb building, and the gopuram of Sri Kapali Temple.
This is the third restaurant of the chain. The first one came up about 28 years ago in Bangalore’s Church Street. Raju Thomas was the founder. His son Nihal has taken it a step further and opened up a branch in Sydney, a second one due to open soon in Bangalore and this one in Chennai.
The restaurant prides itself on the fresh seafood. “We have tie-ups with local fishermen and also those in Kasimedu. So, we get fresh seafood every day. We don’t store frozen food”, promises manager James.
“Crab roast and karimeen fry are our specialty,” says Nihal, as he takes us around.
“Many people also like our appams with stew and dishes”, says Nihal. “Though beef and pork may not be on the menu, we can prepare them for those who order.”
The restaurant hopes to get a liquor license and can serve some drinks too.
Valet parking is available. Large parties can be accommodated. Prices are a tad high; the ambience is enjoyable and staff are courteous.