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Home/chennai/The Tapas Bar and Restaurant

The Tapas Bar and Restaurant

Cathedral Road  

  • 04428111462, +917667433366
  • No. 74, Cathedral Road, Gopalapuram, Chennai
  • Spanish
  • Meal for 2 - 2500
3.2

59 Reviews / 61 Ratings

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The Tapas Bar and Restaurant Reviews

Food

Service

Ambiance

Price

Music

Great Place to Chill but Beware of Snobbish Waiter

This place was the coolest place when it opened more than a decade ago and still is one of the nicest places for people who are not so young but can still shake a leg. The food is pretty good, the cocktails are above average and the price is close to stratosphere than close to earth but it is worth it. The service staff can be bad in terms of behavior.

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Food

Service

Ambiance

Price

Music

Lunch with a difference

I had been out on a long early morning meeting across town, one that went on for nearly 2 hours. After that, caught up with a friend for coffee and before i knew it, time was 1pm. I checked my phone to see a text from the bestie asking if we can meet for lunch.. A few text messages later, we had decided to do lunch at Zara's, Cathedral Road.

I called to check if we needed to book a table, the person who answered the phone said there was no need and then proceeded to tel me this "i should tell you, we dont allow access to anyone below 21yrs of age" ;o) [i was kinda flattered that he thought i was 21 or younger..hehe..]

For lunch, they have a combo or you can do a la carte. The combo looked interesting and the price had our eyes twinkling in joy. Vegetarian combo was Rs245, while Non Veg Combo was Rs345. That is quite a steal for the number of dishes they offered.

We ordered one of each- decided to split the soup- Cream of Tomato[ was quite yummy- fresh, and filled with flavour] and the Greek Salad [well, wish the salad was a bit more generous, there was barely anything on the plate]

The combo also came with the option of a Beer, which we gulped down along the meal. For starters, i had ordered the Veg & Cheese Quesadilla served with a side of tangy salsa. My friend got a chicken and cheese Quesadilla. The quesadilla was perfect, crisp, yet not hard, and the filling was good- avocado, capsicum, zucchini, tomato and cheese. The salsa had that little bite and burst of chilli that lingered in the mouth, a perfect side for the nearly bland quesadilla.

While we caught up on the boring, fun, interesting and quirky stories of our life, the main dishes were served. Mine was a penne with red sauce [ wonder why restaurants call it that, instead of saying Tomato based sauce] and oodles of vegetables with a side of Coleslaw and the most soft divine Garlic herb bread [we couldnt stop relishing the bread and asked for a few more as well]

The penne was good, but i wish it had a bit more seasoning- salt, spices and herbs- these would have brought the flavours "bang" to the top.

Finally, it was dessert time. Unfortunately this is the only section with not too many options on the Combo. I chose the Peaches cooked in orange sauce served with a dollop of Vanilla ice cream, while my friend chose the Brownie with ice cream.

I thoroughly enjoyed the dessert, the peach was fresh, soft, and had just that tiny bite to it. The orange sauce blended well, and gave it that acidity cutting through the sweetness of the peach. The brownie was ok, i have had better ones, so dint really go beyond a bite.



What a fun lunch that had been! and to think it came for that price, we felt it was quite a steal. Cheers!!

Ambiance: 8/10 [ it was a weekday and only a few tables were occupied, so peace and quiet]
Price: 8/10
Service: 8/10 [ there is a person waiting on you, asking you if they can bring the food in, and they dont pressure you to pay up and leave]
Overall Rating: 8/10 ..Will i go back here? definitely!!

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Lunch at Zara

I have been to Zara for evening parties but was never there for lunch. It was a girls only afternoon lunch. We had a lunch buffet. Both the veggies and non veggies enjoyed it as we were given equal importance menu vise. The tapas kept coming in and we had a great time. For the main course i order wine battered fish which was bland but flavorful. On the whole Zara rocks not only in parties but lunch too.

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4.0

One of the funnest places to be in Chennai

I've been to quite a few restaurants in Chennai but they've been more of the sobre, have-a-quiet-dinner places. Not Zara! It's a pub cum restaurant that is most popular with youngsters who are looking to catch up with friends over drinks and snacks. The decor is comfortable, but the place feels cramped especially on Saturday nights when it's just overflowing with people. No complains though - that's what a pubs in most cities are like anyway.
The menu is very limited for vegetarians although it's quite alright for non vegetarians. Sadly, stags are not welcome here for whatever reasons. The service is friendly (Can't say the same for the maitre d' though) albeit a little slow on busy days. Their drinks menu is fantastic in terms of cocktails and other drinks (except for beer!).
And of course, it's expensive! Despite all that, the ambiance really makes up for it. One thing worth a mention: on Saturdays, they have a different menu and you can pay a certain fixed amount to get unlimited snacks and two cocktails free, which is a decent enough deal.

All in all, Zara is a fun place to be !

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TTeal - Burrp User

TTeal

3 Reviews

December 28,2012

4.0

Good mocktails,food, too loud music

I have lost count of how many times i have been here and although it is pricier than most places the ambience and the food somehow makes up for it. If a small stretch of flooring is freed for a dance floor it will be good. DJ plays decent stuff on fri and sat nights. Service could be improved. Sometimes we are made to wait longer than 20-30 mins before we can order. I especially like the pinacolada at this Zaras. But never had a sour experience here so far.

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hkmurali - Burrp User

hkmurali

161 Reviews

December 20,2012

3.0

Rude & Expensive

Zara is a very popular watering joint in Chennai with a lot of happening crowed
Yet, there are several downsides to this place. 1.They close way too early even on a weekend. 2. They have rude, discourteous staffs who dont bother nor listen to u ,unless u wave a wad of 1000rs bills at them.. 3. Food is great , but over expensive
On the plus side, its where you can get a decent crowd , plays some really gr8 music and its right in the heart of the city

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Vibhor M - Burrp User

Vibhor M

13 Reviews

November 15,2012

5.0

Love it here!

If you are looking for a good pub that plays good music and serves descent food - Zaras is the place to be.
Getting a table on busy day can be a lucky sign, but once settled you should be good. They serve all that a good watering hole should, and more. The side dishes are quiet sumptous as well. I love their mustard fish, have ordered a repeat .
The music is nice, beer is cold, the crowd is better (mostly) and the service is descent. So, if you have a good company and are in mood, this where you should be!

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foodie2485 - Burrp User

foodie2485

15 Reviews

November 14,2012

3.0

Over rated!

I used to LOVE this place initially, and now, I just HATE it! Ok, first things first. The cocktails here are very average - in fact, they are bad. The food is quite good though, considering that this is one of the few drinking places that serves decent food. The Zara veg and the potato corn thing are quite cool. And so are the pastas, and the combo lunch/brunch options. Of late, the place has become super snobbish, and the crowd is a major turn-off. The music is way too loud, and you have to talk very very loudly. Seriously overrated!!

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4.0

Great Place!

ZARA one of my favorite place in town. Love the food they serve especially the Nachos.
The ambience is awesome. This place is always packed. A perfect place for a friends get together with good music, drinks and food. service is a bit slow but that gets nullified with the good ambience. one of the happening pub with good crowd. Can go this place on any day of the week, promises the same experience everytime you go there. Overall a 4/5 for Zara

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thor123 - Burrp User

thor123

11 Reviews

November 10,2012

3.0

A-not okay

Zara, in my honest opinion, is quite an overpriced place. I've only been there once. And honestly, didn't feel the need to go there again. We went there for a friend's birthday party. So obviously, there were quite a number of drinks going around. While these were just about okay, the food was, let's just say quite a disappointment. Correction- the food was a major disappointment! I suppose it's too much for an ex-vegetarian to ask for a good vegetarian dish at a Tapas Bar for Zara. I read the details on the menu, expected something and got something entirely different. I got something which was a chef's special, but turned out to be Mulaga Bajji with a wannabe sauce on the side. This expensive mulaga bajji made me vow to never return to this place. Although I believe in second chances, passing off something as mediocre as that at a place which claims to be a "tapas bar" is absolutely unacceptable. I'd advice you go there only for the liquor.(There are better places even for that)
The ambience is not anything worth writing home about either.

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hkmurali - Burrp User

hkmurali

161 Reviews

November 10,2012

3.0

Happening Pub with Bad Bad Service...

Given that most of the high profile and Page 3 crowd seems to haunt Zaras on fri,Sat night its just become more ruder. The servers dont answer to you anymore .
You need to wait 30 mins just to get a drink near the counter and another 30 mins ,if you'e lucky to get the change back for the money.
Music and Food served are really great ,but if they can bring their attitude to ground level it'll be much better

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Quality drinks,good service and below avg food

this is probably the only pub in chennai that is strict about underage admission. The oriental cuisine standard was seen with the staff and the drinks but the food was really bad. been here thrice and have tried almost all the dishes here but the quantity and quality of food is below avg....they put salsa on a flavoured nachos that tasted like bingo mad angles.....on the contrary, the drinks are really worth the cost. Again, very few pubs give this. So if you want a good place to booze, without the disturbance of the dance floor, this is the place to go! not a place to have a sumptuous lunch!
p.s. SERVICE TAX should be charged only on the SERVICE CHARGE. i got 80 bucks as service TAX when the service charge was 150 bucks, though the manager told that he ll "look into it" . please do.

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3.0

Only place in chennai with a crowd at night

Food - Awful. It's more like an Indianized version of unhealthy bar food than gourmet tapas
Drinks - The sangria is very good. Might be a tad pricy, but totally worth it.
Music - Confused selection and way too loud for a bar..or a nightclub...or anywhere really ("What??" will be the most common word your friends will say to each other)
Service - Surprisingly quick and efficient, despite how busy it gets
Crowd - The only place which has a consistent one in Chennai. That's the USP here.

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dudez - Burrp User

dudez

6 Reviews

April 20,2012

1.0

TOO MUCH HYPE -NOT WORTH IT

As most chennaites would agree,nightlife here sucks and places like Zara makes it patrons the biggest suckers.To get a taste of real hospitality ,fun & great nightlife,one should visit Clarke Quay In Singapore.These guys here at Zara feel that they are the top nightlife spot and need a reality check.When we visited with a few expat friends,this Dark,Creepy looking,short guy at the front was more interested in 'checking out our lady friends' than getting us a place to sit.The music was way too loud and we thought we were sitting at a village temple festival.No sense of good music.The food was ok( for all that hype) and the drinks so-so.We have been to much better places in other cities in India but we chennaites have to keep up with other places with regard to our nightlife.Cheers.

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5.0

Love this place

I have enjoyed every single of my umpteen number of visits to this place!!
Love its ambiance, music, food and drinks.
Service is sometimes a lil slow, but that can be forgiven :)

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nice place but too loud music

the food is good here, but the music is too loud... u can go here for a good dinner but when you want to have some conversations this is not the place to be

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eat, drink and make merry!!

this place has always kept up its fascination alive. the food has always been on the mark all the time we have visited the place. infact some of us go only for the food sometimes. The ambiance is vibrant and youthful, good music, rather loud i would say, lacks dance floor, good drinks and mocktails... all together makes it a perfect place to loosen up and enjoy all the way! sadly rules want the pubs to be closed by 11.. so no drinks after that and they close down quite fast after that. need to gather my friends, its been few months now!

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4.0

My first face-off with Chennai Night-Life!

Well thankfully.. It wasnt a bad one.. Actually a really nice and memorable one!. On our first ever visit to any of the clubs here in Chennai, we got clicked by Chennai Times cameraman and guess wot.. We were featuring on the newpaper the next day!
The music is really nice.. Ambience is ok. Ample space, smoking terrace, rather quite upstairs and excellent food quality. Would like to visit again.. Who knows we might get lucky again!

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Table Games

Had a lazy day for a weekend and bored... Din know what to do... Heard abt this place from friends... Decided to give it a shot.. Reached the place... Hell, the place was full.. After a short wait, the manager allowed us in... Ordered drinks, played a few hilarious table games... Left the place with a buzzing head... Now that's a perfect regular weekend...

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A great way to spend a birthday!

I was here last night for my birthday. Over the past few years, I've made it a fashion to drink on my special days. Being a Thursday, we were able to find a table. The service was excellent. I've heard of rude bouncers, but I didn't find any. Probably it was their day off. We started off with Kamikaze shooters, then had an Absolut. Yes, foreign liquor is quite priced, and you could get a whole bottle at the price of two large (90 ml). But, that doesn't matter in a place like Zara.
As I ate my Spanish Omelet (a food item I never miss), I was browsing through the menu and found this cocktail called Porto Belle, or I might have spelled it wrong. It's a Jack Daniels cocktail. I decided to try it out. And man! That was the best drink hands down! It tasted like Chocolate milk + JD. Seriously, I'm gonna drink that whenever I go to Zara.
Yes, the prices are a little over the top, but you get to have the time of your life. And this place, I'll recommend any given day!

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Food was ok, but ambience was not great

have been there more than just once... the food is good and the ladies night has some good deals too... the music is too loud and it is not a place where you could go with someone and talk. u can either listen to the loud music or choose to get out of the place and go somewhere else and talk. i wont suggest it is a hangout place

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3.0

unhappy ending!

Went here last night after some stellar reviews on Burrp! Just wanted to relax and unwind after a long week. The drinks were excellent and the food was great. The music was fantastic! but way too loud considering that they don't have a dance-floor. The bill took about half an hour getting to our table.... which was very inconvenient.
The CREEPIEST thing was the way we got out of the place... For paying 1000 bucks a head, one would NOT expect to be shunted out of a back-door like some criminal element from a brothel that the cops are raiding.... NEVER AGAIN!

Pros: great food, delicious drinks
Cons: way too loud music, no dance-floor, needs more waiting staff, hideous exit strategy....
Bottom line - go, but leave before 10:30pm

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Horrible Staff!!!

This is the worst place with the worst Staff!
My frnd and I were at cathedral road on a saturday nite so we thought we 'll goto Zaras. We went at around 6:30.. We asked the manager for a table for 2. he said they are booked for fri sat usually and there are no tables available! How %$%# lamE! he was lying! We have called a couple of time earlier to reserve a table on a fri/sat nite and the same person has told "Sorry ma'am we dont take any booking for the weekend. You can drop by.. u ll get a table"
Anyhow, the week after this happened, I had gone there with my frnds for a party and ordered for a shooter.the waiter asked if we wanted a flaming shooter. we agreed.
While I was having it, it fell on my lips n then my hair was on fire. That bloody waiter was just staring as though he's watching a movie there!
horrible management! did not bother giving first aid also!
atleast the manager could have done smthing But NO! they are all losers! I suggest every1 not to goto that place.
There are no good places in Chennai according to me!

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3.0

Okay..not too impressed

Zara's was on my go-to list for quiet some time. Went there finally. The place is congested. There is barely enough space between tables for the waiters to move around. The music, could have been a bit softer considering that there is no dance floor. The food is good, but the same cannot be said for the drink. Guys, you need to know to mix your drinks. It is a spalsh of cola not a bottle of coke in long island ice tea. Beer is always served chilled. Not warmed at the bar while the cocktail is being prepared. Disappointed with the drinks.

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hserus - Burrp User

hserus

10 Reviews

February 17,2011

1.0

Overpriced. Bad food. Decent bar. Stuck up waiters

The drinks aren't too bad. But the starters are nothing - repeat nothing - like what the actual dish tastes like. Everything has a fancy name but whatever it is - from satay onwards - is a uniform bright, toxic looking red in color and tastes like your basic "chicken 65 chicken lollypop" served in the so-called "multi cuisine restaurants" in Madras.

Idiots who greet you with a pair of cheap looking shoes if you go there wearing hush puppies sandals mean that I'm not going to go there again. I can get far better food than that, most every other place.

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King_jay - Burrp User

King_jay

5 Reviews

January 24,2011

4.0

GREAT HANGOUT

This place has always entertained me and have enjoyed my every visit till date. Great service, good food and highly energetic ambience.

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Shan B - Burrp User

Shan B

8 Reviews

January 13,2011

3.0

ok ok place

went there on a monday as 2 couples .... lot of hassle at the entry had made a reservation in the morning but seems like they had forgotten ... but anywayz was given a nice seat pretty comfy ..... too loud a music for a place without a dance floor ... and then i had to listen to the yelling of a group of new zealand cricket players ... was just too loud ... drinks were good .. my whiskey sour was perfect ... and so were all their dishes ..


so ... other than that pretty decent place ... to just sit and chat with buds i guess ... no sort of dancing or partying goin on in here .... so makes me wonder what the hype is all about .... leather bar is much better than this

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4.0

Favourite place in Chennai!

Yes, this is the go-to place if you wanna hear some good music, be in a good crowd, and get some well mixed drinks!

I am quite surprised by the bad reviews, cause in the last few years, I have never ever faced problems of impolite staff. Yes. Getting in on weekends needs reservations, but guys grow up! Thats the case in all the best pubs around the world. Thats part of the charm! You gotto make reservations. It cant house all of Chennai if they all decide to show up right! I love their food, some of the grilled prawns and chicken in wine and garlic is the best I have tasted. Their fried calamari is yumm and the only deep fried thing I possibly have liked in a long time.

Coming to the drinks, they have some lovely combinations. A menu which is separated by coombinations of Vodka, Rum and other spirits, it is pretty exhaustive.
Expensive, but in my mind, worth a trip every few weeks.

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went to chill out and got stressed out

You want to deal with rude bouncers at the entrance on a Friday or a Saturday evening at 7.30 pm

OMG they make a fuzz. They make you stand out and wait for 10 more mins to say "Sir/mam you need to have a reservation, other days we are free, but today we dont have space"

Is this the most wanted place in Chennai?? or are they running thier pub in a small space or what?

I was there only once and decided not to visit them agian

Dont ever go to this place. Go to Bike N Barrels. The Leather Bar , chill out and have a much better time, without being stressed out.

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Stanoid - Burrp User

Stanoid

6 Reviews

October 25,2010

4.0

I am quite surprised

Yes, I am surprised of all the bad reviews I've just read here. I've never experienced discrimination, the waiters have always been polite, the service quick and we never had to wait for a table. The food is nothing special, I'll give you that, but you don't go there for the food, you go because it's the only proper bar in town. Take it or leave it.

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1.0

pathetic and stupid review by "stonethrow".

I am shocked, amused and feel pathetic by the review of 'hasta manana till we meet again' title. The person has the audacity to justify discrimination by pointing out the benefits that it leads to a select few! - by saying that the ambience/punters e.t.c were good! - amusing to say the least and clearly a pathetic sense of internal locus of control. This was clearly the logic for justifying apartheid and the 'dogs and natives not allowed' concept!. shame on the reviewer to say that we should adapt our dressing styles even of it is of a particular class and accepted otherwise in society

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4.0

Hasta Manana till we meet again

We live in Mumbai and were visiting Chennai as part of a Dravidian holiday. Our hosts said we must spend an evening at Zara. I have been reading the reviews of Zara written earlier. Obviously lots of people are upset as there seem to be, at best, allegations and, at worst, personal experiences of, the management practicing racial, dress and gender profiling, discrimination and apartheid. All this is probably true. However, I must say that all these efforts by the management yield very positive results [at least when you are inside and enjoying your drink]. The punters inside are generally a smooth sophisticate lot. A more than fair mix of men and women and a huge level of comfort for all inside. I mean, it’s not that difficult to dress properly with a pair of shoes, keep your helmet on your bike and go there with a girl not wearing a Salwar Khameez, is it? Life is not always unfair, if you want to go in make an effort. Frankly at Zara it’s worth it.

The drinks are reasonably priced by Mumbai standards. Rs 110/- for a pint of beer, and about Rs 400/- for a reasonably made Caipiroska. The Caipiroska comes with a plastic ice cube which emits a lurid green light. Looks great, of course it does nothing to the taste.

To eat we ordered 3 Tapas. One was fried Cheese, one was Breaded Sausage and the third was Chicken with Garlic in White Wine. All very nice, though to get a single Sausage at Rs. 185/- and the equivalent of 2 ½ cubes of Amul Cheese as the Fried Cheese is a bit cheeky. The sting is in the tail. You are presented a bill with an eye watering 10% service charge hidden inside. Watch out for this. This is very very cheeky. It’s worth the service charge but don’t leave a tip unless you have had the time of your life.

All in all, well worth the effort of getting dressed up. Go there for a fun, lively and enjoyable night out on the town.

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4.0

A place I call home!

When David Villa and his band of boys took home the Holy Grail of football thanks to some brilliant footwork by Andres Iniesta’s 116th-minute strike, the entire stadium erupted in cheer with the vuvuzelas blowing loud and clear. Yes, it was the night when the Dutch dream was shattered and Holland cried orange tears.

Far far away, in a land littered with clichés of being called ‘the mystical place of snake charmers, Kamasutra, sadhus and slums’, and further down south in seemingly conservative Chennai there was one quaint little place called Zara Tapas Bar which was celebrating the victory of Spain. Why you may ask? Well, though they don’t really need an introduction, Zara is India’s first Tapas bar and probably one of the best pubs in Chennai.

As I sat at the pub on a muggy evening watching the finals, nestling my tall glass of sangria (that is my way of supporting Spain, apart from drooling over David Villa) a thought suddenly struck me! As a resident of Chennai and now well into my drinking prime, I have probably spent many a night at this pub drinking, talking, dancing and simply ‘sitting’ night after night with friends, strangers and just about every body. Such is the charm of Zara. Not once will you feel out of place, not once will you be asked to leave, unless of course you beat up the manager (I wouldn’t advise this because he has personally spoken at length with me about his fitness routine).

Truth be told though, if there is one reason I keep going back to Zara, It is probably because I personally think they have the best tapas, cocktails and food. Their Spanish sangrias, which come by the pitcher or glass is made with a combination of chunky tropical fruits and wines, dances like a Spanish chica doing the salsa in front of me. The starters range from the ever popular nachos, to interesting dishes like the jalapeno stuffed with cheese, spicy chicken and cheese, cottage cheese and potato nuggets, shredded crispy lamb with peppers, mushrooms and pimentos in a red wine reduction…the list just goes on!

I have said this before, and I’d like to reinstate that for me, if there is a bar in Chennai that really just lets me ‘be’, it would have to be Zara. The place has become a friend in need of sorts- Monday blues, Tuesday musings, Girl’s night on Wednesdays, retro Thursdays, or the Friday-Saturday weekend partying, there is something for everybody at Zara. It’s like a one size fits all…sigh, if only clothes were like that!

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1.0

Uninspired food. Stuck up waiters.

The drinks aren't too bad I'm told. But the starters are nothing - repeat nothing - like what the actual dish tastes like. Everything has a fancy name but tastes like your basic "chicken 65 chicken lollypop" served in the so-called "multi cuisine restaurants".

Idiots who greet you with a pair of cheap looking shoes if you go there wearing hush puppies sandals mean that I'm not going to go there again. I can get far better food than that, most every other place.

Avoid.

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1.0

Oh no, not zaras!

For starters ( with the management atleast), we ll the service of the managers, waiters, and all the others need to be given a quick course on hospitality and told that they don't own the place but salaried employees like all others who frequent the place. u never get a table and u need to know the manager in person, to squeeze in a spot! u manage to get a seat on the speaker and just when u decide to drop it and have fun, the resto-bar serves me cold starters! the drinks are almost half the martini glasses( now how big is that). But I still wonder, why is this that crowded?? and why are the people soo dressed??? I think people are being starved to enjoy this place. The music is strange, ceramic-bathroom tiles on the wall, sticky tables, cold food, drinks below average, management terrible?!?! really?? is this the best in chennai?? clearly the person who thinks that way, must be in a daze!

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Pathetic but more importantly discriminaton.

I agree. Not only is the service pathetic and substandard, the attitude of the management is clearly discriminatory. I trying to invent a word to describe the kind of discriminatory treatment that they gave to me. I had booked a table for me and my wife about 4 months ago. When we landed there, the buffoon bouncer looked at both of us in a kind of condescending surprise. I was dressed 'normally' - as their kind of restaurant would any way warrant - (with covered foot gear on..) and my wife was in a normal salwar kameez. the bouncer clearly did not want us around. may be he though we were not hip or that i or my wife will not be 'eye candy's' for their 'kind of clientele' or that we would not synch with the crowd!. The fool, (after i called up the manager to say that it was taking a great deal of time to get a seat - inspite of my reserving it -) gave a corner seat that would not catch the attention of 'others' - basically we were ostracized!. Bad for them - appearances can be deceptive and i am pretty well networked. I don't forget these kind of things easily..

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1.0

Worst Place

The server spilled our drink. Another guy comes, wipes the bottle and serves us the same thing. Manners? Or do we drink for free?

Ambiance and other stuff! Not really present.

Give it a miss if u can.

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3.0

ZARA - what you mean to me!

Zara | Noun

1. [trans] - a tapas bar with an Arabic name that serves Italian food... Italian Chicken Lollipops???!!!???

*** Tapas - [trans] - small Spanish savory dishes, typically served with drinks at a bar.

2. [trans] - the name of the girl you should have had with you if you wanted to get into the place.

3. [trans] - expensive drinks & food...

4. [trans] - loud music, great DJ - no dance floor???!!!???

5. [trans] - great service, awesome waiters, fantastic bartenders - one cashier - wait hours for bill!!!!

6. [trans] - bar that closes promptly at 11pm - whether or not you've finished your meal/drink!!!!

7. [trans] - a bar the size of a one bedroom kitchen counter!!!!

ORIGIN - pronounced ZA ra | Name: Arabic | Meaning: Shining Flower | Name of a clothing brand.

The place is cool... chilled... just need to change the attitude a tad... and it would be way better place to smash a couple... and have a great night.

ZARA - we expect better!!!

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1.0

Stags dont get in e z

been here thrice; got to enter only once.

didnt have female friends the other 2 times.

made us wait till we couldnt feel our legs and eventually leave

pls hang a sign outside saying "stags pls wait, until we close"

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2.0

Disappointed

Belonging to Mumbai and having lived in Delhi and Mumbai for most of my past 26 year life, I knew shifting in Chennai would require me to change my expectations as far as city nightlife is concerned. That was till a close friend recommended Zara to me - apparently Chennai's best bar and supposedly at par with the best in Mumbai and Delhi.
So off we went, a group of 3 well dressed (yeah, that is a criteria to enter this place) men, right out of office and in need to unwind with good drinks and music. But I guess being a group of blokes only is a crime in Chennai (I heard whatever places do allow a guys-only group have separate floors to seat them...insane!). So at 8 in the night the maitre 'd (should be aptly named as doorkeeper instead), in the rudest manner possible told us that it would take around 1.5 hrs of waiting, and matter of factly suggested that we would be wasting our time waiting and it'd be better if we jsut waled away. Right then and there, we see a group of 3 guys and 2 girls nonchalantly walk past us into the bar. Upon asking, the by-now-extremely-irritating doorkeeper told us that they were regulars. As were probably a group of girls who again walked past us, 5 mins later, with one of the 'regular' girls asking if this narrow staircase was actually the way in (probably she asked this question everytime)!!! Then, when we asked our names to be put down for the waiting list (about 30mins ahd already gone by), the doorkeeper said 'we dont hold tables on weekends'!!!!! My colleague was almost about to enter into a scuffle with him by this time, when we finally decided to ask our driver to take us to the sheraton bar instead...

Well this aint the end of the story. Next day (saturday) a group of women at the office decided to show us that it's not just the 5 star hotels of Chennai where we could have a drink without being scoffed at for the lack of female company, and that Zara wasnt so bad, and so after a great amount of nagging from their side we agreed to give it another try. Now even with women by your side, you apparently need to enter Zara by 7:45 on Saturdays if you are not a regular (was beginning to hate this word by now). So at 7:45 sharp we land at Zara and lo and behold...the same snobbish doorkeeper who acted like the doorman to utopia the last night, immediately found a table to seat us!!

Once inside, the experience was still decent. Quite liked the sangrias, and some of the tapas as well. The music was a mix of classic rock to 90's britpop to britney spears! But overall a decent experience. But then, my taste was permanently charred with last night's experience, and I really hope that Zara is not the only 'happening' place in this city!! Too much attitude, too little substance. The guys here need to take a cue from the multitude of far better bars that throng Mumbai, Bangalore and now surprisingly even Delhi..

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Good for a tipple, not the place for a meal.

Zara has a lovely selection of drinks and cocktails. A very good joint to hang out and enjoy some drinks. Most of the time, the music is pretty good, albeit slightly on the louder side. If you are looking for a place to sit down with some drinks and have a conversation, this is definitely NOT it. You will tire yourself screaming to get your voice across the table.

Don't count on Zara for a sumptuous meal. They have a selection of tapas that are just average. A handful of meal options to choose from, again, which are nothing to write home about. Plan on an evening of drinks here, but plan on heading elsewhere for dinner.

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4.0

its the martinis

its not very often i write repeat reviews of places but there are 2 exceptions 1 is mainland china at nungambakkam and the other of course is Zara.

Its definitely one of those places where i would go repeatedly solo or with friends. its the ambience and of course the MARTINIS. they have been consistently good with this one and of course the service guys are equally frinedly n good.

i always look out for an xcuse to go to this place. can't help it?

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ZAAAAAAAARRRRRAAAAAAAAAA

The best place in town according to me... There is something about Zara's...It maybe a small place and always packed but it is one of the best places to chill with friends and relax...the music and ambiance is terrific...the food is really good too...esp the spicy squid and veg nachos....I'm a die hard non veg and for me to compliment a veg dish is like a big thing... the waiters are really friendly and make you feel like you own the place... Its the one pub I could go to everyday and not get tired of it...but thats me...

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4.0

Drinks, food & ambiance make up for lack of space

Zara is a great place to chill with friends. The food is yumm, the drinks are flowing, the music is pretty good and the overall ambiance is nice! The place is pretty packed, especially on weekends, so I would defiantly suggest calling ahead and making reservations--though sometimes even that doesn't help! However, the lack of space does help you meet new people! The large throngs of people does slow down service, so please dont hate your waiter because it took a little longer than expected for your food/drink to arrive...just take a good look around at all the people they have to serve! Food-wise I would highly recommend the seafood dishes (ie. calamari and prawns...) they are very delish! Overall, the good: ambiance is good, music is good, food and drinks are good and the bad: its a bit expensive and crowded!

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Great place

Having recently shifted from Bangalore to Chennai (and having mostly been in Bangalore for better part of my life), i have always been seeking out a place that's gud n fun. seems my prayers were answered atlast yday. Although the entry was a real tough thing, even the US embassy guys during my VISA time did not even gimme such a screening feeling. but i guess once i was inside i cud u/s why they do this and wish do this (but may be they can make it a lil quicker and lil more comfortable). But once Uday found me acceptable enough, the change in my perception was dramatic. since it was pretty early in the evening and since the city had partied hard prvs evening, i guess the crowd was a lil less at open time but nevertheless started getting filled in fast time. now about the ambience great except that the center part of continuous stream of tables w/o back rest sort of made me feel it might be a bit umcomfortable if u r late and place is already full and privacy make become a lil dificult. but why bother when everything else seems so good. the guy at the bar, Sylvester (now my friend) is a great guy (he shud be, he comes from b'lore my city - no bias here) and of course his colleagues shiva etc were so cheerful and helpful. i jus wanted to test martini here after having found an affinity for it during my recent trips to the US and this guy did whip up a great one with double olive and the tapas zara veggies were equally good. good to have been to a nice place on the first day of the new year. the guys over there yet do not know that this face is going to be a lil frequent from now on.

good place guys, keep it up.

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Cocktails galore!!!

I started of as a beer and whisky drinker largely and always thought cocktails were a waste of money. I mean, who will have whisky with orange juice? But this place chnaged that. Coz of pier pressure had to go to this place to try cocktails and well, the rest they say is history. I love the cocktails they serve up here, it is fantastic and totally worth the money. And add the ambience and the quality of food, Zara is one of the best Restobars in Chennai. Their lunch, veg or non-veg is a delight and a must have for anyone. And in the evening, especially on weekends, it one of the place to be in Chennai. The service is a bit wanting at times, but its not a telling factor. Overall, an excellant experience.

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Why Zara????

Well I have always been haunted by this question since many of my friends prefer Zara's. Well to start off the first guy you come across at the reception has to see you top to bottom as though he's got the X-Ray eyes and can figure out our background. Then comes the Manager, one of the most irritating character you can come across. "I have never hated anyone in life for whatever BAD they are, but somehow can't take this guy at Zara" is what a friend of mine who has seen the world said on his first visit to this place.

I think as said by many others, the ATTITUDE of the guys here needs some change. All the RICH Kids of town have pampered this place. I just hope the management learns from their mistakes.

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Cocktail paradise

Yes they are very particular about your dress code here.. u don have shoes u cant enter.. we had to leave our friend behind as he was asked to go home.. it is sometimes very rude... but once u enter.,. the atmosphere is not very cozy.. but someone u don feel ur private space here.. mayb the tables are too damn close to each other and the lightin is too dim if ur in a cheery mood.. so go if ur really lookin to just have a booze and eat some international dishes .. ofcourse a bit indianised.

But someone the cocktails here are just awesome and makes you like the place that has stopped me from giving it an average.. since it has a class of its own... even the regular bloody mary and long island ice tea can keep your spirits high..tastes perfect and unlike many other pubs in the city there is a lot of vegetarian options in here.. mayb since it is a spanish tapas bar... one of the very places in the city with a class enough for woman to hang around... so i guess the strict entrance rules are a positive in this regard.. keeps away the unwanted crowd....

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Good food, extraordinarily bad service!!!

When i say bad service in the title, i mean REALLY bad service!! I've been there plenty of times but every experience has left a bad taste of some sort, most of the time involving the maitre'd. He refuses to let anyone inside even if we have a booking!! Its like he scans you from head to toe and if he finds you 'good enough' for the pub, lets you in!! If you ever manage to get past him, you reach the really lovely interiors of the tapas bar. The ambience is superb and the food is not all that bad. The waiters are always hovering over your table and after a point of time, it gets irritating. Prices are high, but the food compensates for all this!! Very exotic and mouth watering stuff!! Do try the chicken sausages and calamari!! The veggies can try the potatoes filled with spicy cheese (keives i think they are called). The bartender is willing to concoct anything that might be of taste to you and the music is perfect for the excellent food served there!!

DO NOT try to call the hopeless manager for reservations!! Unless you are really high up in the pecking order, he treats you like dirt!! Bad bad experiences with the manager and the reception!!

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Love the Ambience

I just love Zara for the ambience. It is definitely one of th coolest hangout places chennai has. Have been there both at lunch times and evenings. the booze is comparitively cheap and the music is usually good. I just love their leather chairs.......you can sit there for hours......the food options are limited as in stand alone dishes can only classify as snacks, all of which i must say is extremely rich when it comes to calories, but tasty nonetheless......so if going for lunch opt for the combo lunch.....and if going in evening just dont go for the food.......regulars know that.......friday evenings its ABSOLUTELY full........stag entries hardly get a place and they insist u dont wear floaters/chappals. Also sit on the first floor only.....dont go on the upper level........it's the neglected uglier step brother........

But in all a totally worth it place to go........nice place for any occasion.......Do try !

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Put off...bad experience without even entering!

We had heard a lot about this restaurant (a lot on burrp.com itself), and eagerly wanted to visit it....When we called for the reservation, the front guy brushed us off and told us to call the manager for the same...before we could speak to the manager, we wanted to get some more info on the place, but the front office person refused to tell us anything - saying that his job was just to receive the guests...i wondered why he was answering the phone in the first place....
We then dialed the manager, who turned out to be the rudest restaurant-manager we have ever spoken to...he somehow felt that we were not worthy of the place and reminded us again and again that the place on Friday night was full.....and that even with reservation, he was not sure if we would get a table...finally, he assumed that we knew nothing about the Spanish food, when we asked him about the veg menu, and told us that we 'would not understand anything' even if we told us the menu...he also treated us like illiterates by saying that 'we can look at the menu and understand the dish'...
The whole experience reminded us of Haryanvi arrogance and rudeness and it felt like we were in Haryana again...!!
Rest assured that this episode will be relayed to all our friends who are thinking of going there.....I am sure the food is nice, but with this attitude, the food counts to nothing.

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3.0

small eats are really good

Drinks are ok.Ambience is ok.But the food is mouth watering.Ive been there couple of years back , the rates were reasonable but this time i find it kind of expensive (and my friend who came with me is a Free loader..he never pays : ..i dont wanna be friends with him anymore lol... seriously )

Food & drink - 4.5/5
Ambience - 3/5
Service -3.5/5
Value for money -3/5

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5.0

Still happening!

I've been going to Zara since they opened some 5 years back. The place is quite small and the decor is nothing to write home about, but this place has a great pub vibe and has been always attracting a good, mixed crowd.
This is still my no.1 choice for a pub evening, or even for dinner with a drink or two - they have the best food you can find outside of five star hotel speciality restaurants. Recommend their chicken in white wine sauce, satays, salt n pepper squid, pastas, desserts....
Prices have been moving north but this is still pretty reasonably priced for the quality of their food and drink.
Cheers!

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4.0

Small Place but Good Food

Even though i had travelled through Cathedral road many a times, i never seen this place until tuesday.

the place is small but still looks neat and nice.

The food was served in quick time and was tasty.

For some reason, the waiters seemed to be fast (atleast i thought so).

There doesnt seem to be many options for vegetarians, but whatever is there does taste good.

Good value for money.
If you are looking to eat fast and exit fast, go here.

not for those who want spend time and relish the food ;)

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Great place to hang out at

I have a weakness for good bartenders when it comes to rating restro-bars and I have to admit, the bartender at Zaras is second only to the one at the Leather Bar (Park Hotel).
I was introduced to this place about two years ago when I complained of having no place where I could listen to good music as well as enjoy some good cocktails at a reasonable price, and viola, love happened.
The music is great here on Wednesdays and the weekends (have never been there any other day of the week) and the DJ is a very friendly guy who shares his best CDs to have a look-see when requested.
Cocktails are out of this world, the Cosmopolitan I had here was the best served so far and the martinis were pretty good for a bar that is swamped with customers as soon as it opens for the night.
Service however is really bad and the place is mostly packed from the word go, so reservations are recommended.
For food, the recommendations include their golden fried prawns and their nachos for vegetarians.
The price is just right and the crowd is pretty good compared to the other places in Chennai.
A definite winner if you can wrangle with the maitre'd there for a table as soon as you make it, sometimes even reservations do not help here.

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New menu - nice!

Zaras has revamped its menu and sports a new look menu - the same has also been extended to its Lunch combo deals. The new food is really tasty and is another feather in the cap of probably Chennai's best pub. Full review available here - http://thesharck.blogspot.com/2008/04/chennai-zaras-tapas-bar-re-fuel.html

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miiraage - Burrp User

miiraage

35 Reviews

February 25,2008

5.0

Lovely Drinks, Great Food

We got a reservation for 7:30 pm on Saturday advised that we wouldn't even find place to get a foot inside if we went in later than 8. True, the place was packed by around 8:30. By 9 the DJ had also got into the swing of things and was really playing some nice stuff.

The drinks are just awesome, I've never had such variety and such nice flavours in drinks. The cocktails were just phenomenal.

I liked the Lupita (a pineapple flavoured drink) and the Strawberry Margarita the best.... the margarita actually tasted of fresh strawberries.

The tapas accompanying it were also really good. For the first time I liked something vegetarian. The veg nachos were sooo nicely flavoured, we ordered another plate! something unheard of amongst us meat eaters.

The main course and the desserts were also really good. The service was excellent with the waiters appearing at just the right time. The crowd kept the place alive and happening till closing time.

All in all an enjoyable place to spend an evening.

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The Oasis in a Desert called Chennai ;)

Zara is a Spanish Tapas Bar. The food and beverages are extremely well-priced (Especially, when you compare them the rates at other restaurant-cum-bars in Chennai.) The service is top-class and the DJs dish out some nice numbers (Esp on Wednesdays, when they play some nice rock numbers). However, the most compelling reason to come here are the pretty faces and the vibrant atmosphere. Also, this is one of the few bars in Chennai which lets in stags even during the weekends.

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bobfet1 - Burrp User

bobfet1

6 Reviews

August 04,2007

2.0

Mediocre yet overpriced

We came in here with high expectations but were soon disappointed. Had read on the internet and heard that it was good. The decor of the restaurant is really nice, and it has a nice atmosphere, but that's pretty much the extent of the good things.

First off, there's the food. The idea of a Spanish tapas bar had me really excited because I ordinarily love tapas and was looking for some good, unique food in Chennai. They have a lot of choices, but the food just wasn't very good at all. It was edible, but just tasted so mediocre compared to other food I've had here at a fraction of the price.

The things I had were the vegetarian nachos (nothing like real nachos at all, not a lot of flavor), gernika (just tasted like tuna salad, but not good), calamari a la romana (actually cooked pretty well - nice and tender, the best thing I had there) and spaghetti with chicken sausage and creamy pepper sauce (pretty bad, on the edge of gross).

Secondly, there's the service. They get an A for trying hard, but I don't think the waiters there understand the concept of good service. When you wanted them, it was pretty hard to get their attention, but when you didn't want them, they seemed to constantly be bothering you. The constant "can I clear this plate?" was okay for the first 10 minutes, but afterwards got pretty damn annoying.

In short, the setting is nice but everything else pretty much sucks.

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