2018 saw a number of restaurants open up in Bangalore. Many of them hit the right notes with the discerning crowd of the city. Here are 12 that skyrocketed on the popularity charts.
Byg Brewski Brewing Company launches Asia’s biggest brewpub on Hennur Road and can be considered a getaway from the city. The venue boasts 65000 square feet of the finest entertainment and will soon offer 16 different types of homebrews. Master Brewer Martin Bernard will be the man behind all the brews. Till the brews start flowing it is an amazing range of cocktails from Karthik Kumar that can quench your thirst. Chef Sabyasachi Goraihas created over 200 recipes for the live kitchens here, from cultures across the globe.
Chilli Cheese Rolls
From wood-fired pizza to an in-house rotisserie and patisserie to Spanish charcoal over and menu, the food and drink here promises to be phenomenal.
Named after a favourite classic cocktail — The Old Fashioned — the bar set out to revive and create a craft cocktail movement in the city using the freshest of available ingredients, great service and delicious food, all under a classic 1960’s ambience. A coffee shop cum workspace during the day, The Old Fashioned Bar turns into a buzzing cocktail bar in the evenings with live music ranging from classic rock to blues and jazz. The menu is inspired by iconic street food from around the world and recipes from the past and elements of local, Bengaluru cuisine too. Enjoy quick bites such as the Thai Tossed Peanuts, Masala Papad, Garlic Breadlings, The Uru Chaat (a nod to the local version): pineapple and sautekayi (cucumber) chunks dressed in chilli and Congress aka peanuts, Tangra Style Fried Eggs, Fried Spicy Chicken, and Malabar Beef Dry Fry to name a few. The Old Fashioned Bar’s concept is a nod to the classic cocktail, can the drinks menu be complete without an entire section dedicated to it? Pick from 10 variants of the Old Fashioned made with house-crafted bitters, premium alcohol and stirred to perfection. You can try interpretations such as the 1881 Old Fashioned: the official cocktail of Louisville with Bourbon whiskey and muddled angostura soaked sugar, the Juniper Old Fashioned: a drink originally thought to be prepared with gin and not whiskey, and the Cuban Old Fashioned: a variant with classic rum, both dark and light, with tobacco and thyme bitters, served the Cuban way. There are also versions with beetroot, jalapeno and even Tiramisu, among other choices! And there is so much more to try.
Outer Ring Road in JP Nagar is becoming quite the happening place. A string of great restaurants have opened shop here and my current favourite among them is Chicken Man - A cosy family restaurant that makes a mean roast chicken served up with lots of interesting little surprises. It serves up, just as the name suggests some really great chicken. Let us start off by saying that if you are looking for some classic, Old School Roast Chicken and Gravy, this place wins hands down. The moist chicken, the crisp skin, sinfully good gravy and silken mashed potatoes. I can die a happy woman! The chicken is served up in a range of combos – and you can do anything from having a single piece to going the whole 9 yards and getting yourself a range of sauces, rice, veggies, mash, breads and some really good cold pressed fresh juices. For family dinners, the quarter, half and whole cluck combos are a great idea. Of course, if chicken all the way is not your cup of tea, the burgers here are quite the delicious mouthful too. Try out the Pulled Chicken Burger and the Peri Peri Chicken Burger and you will not be disappointed.
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Misu, the popular pan Asian restaurant has launched their second outlet in Indiranagar this year and it opened with a bang. Misu revolves around the story of Miss Misu who travelled around south-east Asia journeying through the flavours and aromas creating a menu of her favourite dishes. The food in Misu is specially curated from a variety of gastronomical wonders across a host of south eastern countries, handpicked for its popularity, uniqueness or compatibility to the Indian palate. Their menu includes steamed, fried and wok tossed sections with ample choice to satisfy the cosmopolitan clientele. They also have salads, dumplings, sushi, baos and a lot more on the menu accompanied by a distinct and tantalising dessert menu. Misu in Indiranagar has an additional grill section along with select dim sums and ramens from their past food festivals. There is much more to choose from in the new food menu.
I love the Yellow Submarine – dedicated to all things Beatles (yes the band) this is just the rooftop kind of place that you want to sit back and lounge. In fact, most of my visits here have ended up crossing the 4-hour mark. Let us start with the beers, shall we? On my last visit, they had 5 of them on tap. The Porter, The Wit, The IPA, a Kolsch and the Hefeweizen. Take your pick based on your palate, because I liked them all. The Coconuta Women is a large cocktail which comes with some fancy dry ice around it. It has coconut rum, tender coconut water, melon and cardamom powder and is a lovely drink. Now for the food – start with the Crispy Lotus Stem Chips – these are quite addictive thanks to the sauce they are tossed in.
The Onion Samosa with Hummus is a surprisingly good combination. The Ghost Chilli Murgh Tikka is not as spicy as you might think it is, a nicely. If you want some nice and simple old school munchies – then the Masala Papad and the Peanut Masala is what you want to order. For something a bit more substantial and brilliantly done – the Char Siu Pork Belly is what you should go for. The Thai Curry here is made from scratch and is worth every bite you take. For desserts, the indulgent Housemade Snicker Bar and the Baked Cheesecake are both winners.
Alchemy is the newest brewery with Australian brand Cavalier, set atop the Chancery Pavilion. The brewery that is on the premises produces 6 beers – 4 of which are the popular ones – the Wit, the Pale Ale, the Pilsner and the Stout. Personal picks from these 4 were definitely the Witbier – very clean notes and refreshing. And the Stout; milder in terms of flavours – with the coffee coming through as gentle hints, this is the perfect one for an introduction to stouts. The 2 speciality beers will be served on a rotational basis and are inspired by the season as well as serve as a tribute to spices that are such an intrinsic part of the Indian culinary fabric. While one will always be a fruit-based beer, the other seasonal one will be dedicated to spices. Currently, they have the Mosambi Beer on tap. 'Chef Hari Nayak' focuses on Indian cuisine but gives each of his dishes an international touch, making them extremely inviting for those looking to explore. Here is what you can definitely try off the extensive menu – for the vegetarians the Quinoa Beet Chop Wild Mushroom Galaouti makes for a great starter. The textures of the quinoa and mushroom come together really well. The Saag Paneer Spanakopita is quite an interesting take and comes with a surprising tanginess to the dish. My top pick is the Aachari Hummus with Soya Mince. The Aachari Masala is in the form of little balls of goodness which you mix into the hummus. For the meat eaters, there is the Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Tikka – moist, flavorful and finished off well in the tandoor.
Converting an old factory and a manufacturing unit into a brewery in a mill-like setting, XOOX Brewmill has not one but 3 floors of food and drinks to be enjoyed.
The brewery offers 6 - 8 styles of craft beers. Diners can choose from their signature cocktails section as well and opt for drinks such as the XOOX G & T - a Gin, Martini Bianco, Campari, Red Wine reduction with grape, apple juice, and tonic water, the C & C (Coffee & Conversation) - gin, black coffee, rose water, orange bitters, ginger ale or the Memory Jar with scotch, milk maid, earl grey, masala mix, soy milk, rosemary syrup and Gems.
Staples such as Mint Juleps, Whiskey Sours, Bloody Mary, and Singapore Slings find a place under the Classics section along with the novel Gingerbread Mojito. The High Energy Cocktails section is where you can order community portions for a group as well.
Bangalore now gets to experience the unique tastes and flavours of Burma at the creation of childhood friends 'Ankit Gupta' and 'Chirag Chhajer’s', Burma Burma. After a successful stint in Gurgaon, Delhi, and Mumbai, Bangalore gets to have a Burmese connection of its own.
Burma Burma Salads
The Burmese Platter offers a variety of taste and brings in influences from India, China, Thailand, and Laos. Burma Burma’s salads (Thoke) and soups are centred around rice, noodles, and curries that are widely popular across Burma. Well balanced for the Indian palate, Burma Burma offers Burmese specialities without the typical meat broths and sauces associated with the cuisine.
Here is a space that is made like a fraternity house is Bangalore’s new address for good times from the Sly Granny family. Made for corporate mavericks and those looking for the alternative. Foxtrot is a space split between bohemian French quarters, balcony suites and an open-air garden. The menu is a global mix of small plates and some large options with a leaning towards some much forgotten hyper-local Indian creations and curated cocktails. This space also includes an urban well-being space Mimansa, with a café garden terrace and a playroom and wellbeing program to support your love and appreciation of a conscious lifestyle.
Global Kitchens, a leading F&B chain of India has transported street foods from all over the world to Bengaluru with Street Mama and is located in the heart of the city at the most popular shopping and entertainment destination - Garuda Mall.
If you are someone who fancies everything American, look no beyond than Guac On Toast - the creamy and spiced avocado loaded black bread or Eggs N Rocket - eggs cooked in a mini baguette with roquette leaves and sharp mustard. The Europe and Africa menu features Long Crosty - crostini of mixed mushrooms, roasted fennel and onion with 3 kinds of cheese and the M.O.O (MAMA’s Own Orly) - Mama's own style of English Fish and chips, crumbed and pan-fried fish with a spiced tartrate sauce and home-made chips. Meat fans in the house will love the Nigerian Suya Lamb - skewered kebabs of lamb, with a generous sprinkling of Suya, also called ‘Yahi' spice. And the Diablo Tiramisu - the deadly alcoholic tiramisu. There is also the South Asian menu with extensive Indian options and the South East Asian and Australia sections, each one expansive and tempting.
Though taps will begin flowing in January, the bar has got some really well-balanced and smartly conceptualized cocktails.
Try the Popcorn – with homemade popcorn fat washed J&B whisky, finished with caramelized popcorn and some orange zest. Also, the Apple Pie with vodka as the base is like having dessert in a martini glass. The La Vie En Rose is a gin-based drink and the Love Me or Leave Me with Gin has some lime, cucumber and pickled carrots. Start your meal with Tempura Vegetables Sushi – neat little rolls that have crispy tempura crumbs coating it to give a nice crunchy touch. The Edamame with sea salt is great. Another great starter is the Coriander Red Snapper Fish Cakes. Also, try the Vietnamese Chargrilled Squid Mango Salad. For the mains, the Spicy Pork Larb with Jasmine Rice is a great pick. The Paris-Brest with Crème Mousseline – Choux Pastry with hazelnut mousseline is a lovely dessert to end with.
A recent launch The Fixx wants to bring a bit of Bangalore to your plate as well as drinks. Dedicated to namma Bengaluru, the menu is a mish-mash of Ajji inspired recipes from Malleswaram, Gowdru spiced curries and continental food from those 90’s Brigade Road eateries. There are craft beer, signature cocktails and shots too. And the vibe — our bar is your bar. Start off with the Classic Fixx section with old school cocktails like the Old Fashioned, Mint Julep, Moscow Mule, Sidecar, Mai Tai and more. Move on to the Signature Fixx’s such as the innovative Bangalore Bees Knees - a whiskey-based concoction with saffron syrup and coriander infused honey, the Namma Vishesha, a whiskey sour sweetened with maple syrup, balanced with egg white and cinnamon and the Fixxed Better, lavender extract mixed with elderflower and egg white in a gin-based drink. You will find local specialities in small plates such as the Usali - seasonal beans with chilli, garlic and coconut, and Street Chow, an assortment of Bengaluru street food, such as Nippattu, Kodubale, Cheeselings and Churmuri - distinctly Bangalorean but with a twist. Vegetarians, there is hot pot, Thai Curry, Veg Stroganoff, and a section on comforting Instant Noodles with choices such as Green Peas & Barbecue Paneer, Crispy Vegetables, Yellow Bean Paste, Chilli and Greens.
Paprika Lamb Humus
Non-vegetarians fret not! There is Mangaluru Masala Prawn with red chilli & garlic or Pandi Curry served with lime butter pav. Bengaluru Quail Kebabs or Gowdru’s Grilled Lamb, Bengali Chingri Bhaja Tempura and Beef Roast with Parotta Taco are other must-try small plates. Mains include Grilled Squid, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Stone Grilled Tenderloin and Crispy Crab.
Ruth Dsouza Prabhu has been a media professional for 18 years now, across multiple platforms. As a passionate F&B writer, she has interacted personally with internationally renowned names such as Marco Pierre White, Janice Wong, Chef Vivek Singh, Chef Vikas Khanna, Madhur Jaffrey, the late Tarla Dalal and many others for her stories. A highlight has been personal interviews with all three of the celebrity judges on Masterchef Australia. She is on several jury panels of food and beverage awards, is sought after for opinions in the field by publications and has her work published in well-known names such as The Hindu, Firstpost, HuffPost India, Condé Nast Traveller, NatGeo Traveller among many others.