Phone: 044 30853873
Address: Shop No. 23, Dr. Ambedkar Road, Kodambakkam, Velvette Building, 1st floor, Chennai 24, Tamil Nadu, India
Time: 12 Noon – 4 PM, 7 PM – 11 PM
Meals for two: Rs. 800
Cuisines: Biryani, South Indian, Chinese
Facilities: Home Delivery, No Alcohol Available, Table booking recommended, Live Music
Kokkarakko, Kodambakkam, Chennai: Decor
Kokkarakko, named after a 1983 Tamil movie, is in the right place – in the heart of Kollywood – right where the Tamil film industry dwells and thrives – Kodambakkam.
A narrow stairway leads to the first floor with a tiled roof covering the open space that could’ve been a terrace of sorts. I like the natural light filtering in and the simple decor. It has technically nondescript interiors with flimsy MDF walls. But somehow, the vibe makes an impact. Clean lines, large tables big enough to hold a sizable spread; there’s no chrome to camouflage flaws.
Kokkarakko, Kodambakkam, Chennai: Food
The Kokkarakko Virundhu has 63 dishes that include chicken and seafood. So off I go on this multi-layered roller coaster, starting off with some crunchy vadams and dips (if I may call them that). Karuvapillai Thokku is quite predictable, but the Avakkai Mayo actually has some mango pieces hiding in its creaminess. The Mirapakai Pachadi has its roots in Andhra and doesn’t contain any curd.This one does its name proud, thanks to the taste bud jolting Mirapakaya chillies. I like the Indian-ness in the Tomato Jeeraga Soup. Quite home style, with its ghee and jeera tadka. Hints of garlic and the green of coriander leaves make this warm, thick-ish soup familiar territory for the taste-buds.
First comes the crunch, then subtle Chettinadu flavors: cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves being the most prominent. All of it mingles with the softness of the baby potato. This one is called Chettinadu Bash Potato.
In the middle of the vegetarian starters line-up, I’m get anxious to taste the chicken. This is Kokkarakko, remember? It has chicken in its name… Here it is. Without any hungama, after eight hours of marination, called Kozhi 65. Coated with egg, rice flour and maida, the chunks are deep-fried to seal in all the juices from the marinade and keep it succulent. The last finish with butter adds to the aroma of this classic. Kadaknath Chicken is truly an acquired taste. Free range and wild, this bird has high protein, black, tough meat and grows on an organic farm in Pondicherry. It is very expensive, so I treat it with the respect it deserves. Kadaknath tastes a little like mutton, and the textures are like it too. It is definitely more chewy, fibrous. I let the Kadaknath Kuzhambu soak into my puffed up, layered Madurai Bun Barotta, and enjoy the whole dish with Onion Raitha adding its bit.
Memories have gone into the creation of the Tirunelveli Halwa with ice cream. Chef goes one step further by adding butter biscuit crumble to make this one loaded with nostalgia from his childhood when he ate the hot stuff on the biscuit base. Of course, like everybody else, I love the stories behind the creations, and this one is no exception.
Kokkarakko, Kodambakkam, Chennai: Plus & Minus
Hardly anybody knew of Kokkarakko in its initial stages. With a change of the consulting Chef who closely monitors quality and introduces variety, it is garnering a lot more attention.