Restaurant Review: The Grill Lab in Kochi Is the Perfect Hangout Place

Last week, we were in the mood for a burger, yet we didn’t want to stray too far from Edapally. A quick search on Zomato led us to The Grill Lab located in North Kunnumpuruam, near the Amrita Hospital signal. The place is slightly hidden from the main road and after taking a wrong turn that delayed us by a few minutes, we reached there around 9 p.m.

The restaurant, with its orange walls, is a small, cosy place decorated with beautiful wall paintings. The bean bags on the floor and the peppy music playing in the background gives it a great ambience. Once we were seated, we had the menu given to us, which had a range of wraps, pastas, burgers, and pizzas along with fries, garlic bread, and cheese balls as starters. There was a wide range of burgers to choose from but the vegetarian option seemed limited. After much enquiry and discussion about the menu, we ordered cheese balls with homemade mayo for starters, a crispy chicken wrap, BBQ pulled chicken burger and a garden burger, along with a thirst quencher and a green mango and ginger from their homemade juice range. I would have loved to give the pizza a try as well, since we were told that the pizzas are thin crust (the way I like mine), but we were in a mood for burgers and decided to keep it for the next time.

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Once that was done, I took a look around and found a stack of books along with a few games arranged on a wall shelf. We picked up the Jenga and soon we were busy removing blocks and balancing the tower, while waiting for our food to be served. The cheese balls and the homemade mayonnaise came first, which we had as we continued to play. The cheese balls were good but definitely not the best that I’ve had. However, I loved the homemade mayo, which was pleasantly different from the usual store bought one! It was perfect as a side dip with the right balance of flavours along with a slight tartness.

By the time the main course was served, our Jenga game got over and we were eager to relish our burgers. The burgers don’t come with any accompaniments though and so, we ordered a plate of spicy fries to go with the burgers. The garden burger that I ordered looked the most appealing, layered perfectly with the veggie patty, coleslaw and cheesy fries. I loved the fact that the burger was modified to add the chilli cheese fries to it, giving it a new twist and a  whole lot of flavour addition. Of the dishes that we ordered, this was undoubtedly the best. While the chilli cheese fries, a cheese and minced beef topped french fries, is a must try here, my burger had the vegetarian equivalent of the same as a filling and it definitely changed the entire look and taste of the dish. The little boy and I polished off the garden burger, while the husband and his brother had the BBQ pulled chicken burger and the crispy chicken wrap. The husband loved his BBQ pulled chicken burger filled with melt-in-the-mouth pieces of shredded chicken dressed in barbecue sauce. The spicy fries were cooked just right, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, but it was a bit too overpowering in taste with the peri peri flavour standing out a tad bit more than how I would have liked. While the crispy chicken wrap was good taste wise, the portion size was less considering that there was no accompaniment to go with it. It would have been good if it was served along with a salad or french fries to make the dish more appealing.

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The green mango and ginger juice was very refreshing with the taste of fresh ginger being quite prominent. The thirst quencher felt like our normal lemon mint cooler with the mint flavor dominating. The juice was more refreshing and definitely tastier than the thirst quencher. However, I would have preferred to have the green mango flavour stand out a little more for that tangy hit on the palette as you take a sip of the green goodness.

We finished the dinner with a moist, super soft nutty brownie topped with chocolate sauce. By then, I was too full to even consider taking a bite of this heavenly treat. Yet, the smell was too appealing to give it a pass and I finally gave in and took a bite. More than us, our little boy loved the brownie (it was his choice) and he was very reluctant to share it.

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All in all, we had a cosy, lovely dinner. Though it might be a little heavy on the pocket, the place is perfect as a hangout place. Pick a book or a game from their collection, make yourself comfortable in one of those beanbags and you will not feel the time pass you by. I’m sure I am going back again, even if I’m alone, for more tasty treats with a book in hand and some amazing music in the background.

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