Cool Chef Café opened in the city in 2010, but it only came to prominence around mid-July the next year, when the owners started hosting live events. Since then, it has also had its fair share of bad press, including some issues regarding non-payment of dues to artistes. However, the venue continued to hold its own. Now, it has undergone a sudden makeover and has been revamped as an Asian restaurant called Kolonial.
“This was our initial plan. But while we were setting up, we started hosting gigs. They did well, so we went with the flow,” says owner Tarun Thadani. The trigger for the change was when his brother Kaviraj, also the chef of Cool Chef Café, decided to leave for Europe to work with the Fortune Group of hotels. “It (Cool Chef Café) was his baby; besides, what makes a restaurant is the food. We didn’t see a future in just doing gigs, and we didn’t want the hassle of getting bands and DJs after doing it for two years,” says Thadani.
With Kaviraj gone, the family is looking to hire a professional chef. “Right now, my mother is in charge. She’s from Indonesia and is a top-class chef. We’re also doing tie-ups and getting visiting chefs,” he says. Currently, the eatery is hosting a Goan food festival.
Is this the end for the gig venue, as we knew it? “The room at the back is still the way it was originally. It can be hired for a party or event,” says Thadani. Meanwhile, the food at Kolonial — mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam and even Goa — has received good feedback, the owner claims. He adds, “We’re planning to add beer deals too. We’re in talks with a couple of breweries to get handcrafted beer. We might have tubes of beer popping up all over the place or something of that sort.”