Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Irish are here! The Irish House, VR Mall, Bengaluru - Launch Review

Recently The Irish House opened in VR Mall, Bengaluru and I was invited for a pre-launch party. I was hearing about The Irish House from my friends and was eagerly waiting for this launch. When VR Mall got opened last year, there were not many shops or restaurants which drew my attention. But within a short period of time this mall has became very popular with lots of interesting international brands for shopping and also few places to relax, enjoy a drink with some food after a tiring shopping. Latest in the mall is The Irish House, which is in level 3.

Once you step into The Irish House, you will be amazed to see the harmonious atmosphere with pop music, rustic interiors, addictive food and beverages, good lighting and ofcourse the ambience. The other things I liked about this place would be beer barrels, antique wall pieces, a hanging bike and an outdoor seating area with a mini garden and chilled weather with a wonderful view of Whitefield.

Outdoor seating area
As it was an exclusive preview launch party, we were spoilt with choices. There was a flood of cocktails along with food on our table. They have a very sophisticated menu which focuses on the International cuisines. Some of the outstanding dishes were-

Cajun Sweet Potato fries

The Irish Lions Chicken Tenders- I just loved this Chicken appetizer. Crispy crumb fried chicken supremes served with in-house dips.

Pulled Pork Cigars- Another favorite of mine, which is made of Filo pastry and shaped like a long cigar with pulled pork with harissa and chilli flakes stuffing. Cigars were served with a garlic aioli.

Good Ol' Mac n Cheese and Minced up from the fries menu. Both the dishes were fresh and scrumptious, especially the Mac n Cheese, one cannot stop eating that. It was so yum.

Two face Chicken Skewers (not in pic)- Tasty grilled chicken skewers with creamy Dijon mustard and spicy BBQ sauce.

Skewed Cottage Cheese- Spicy Cottage cheese and Baby corn skewed and grilled to perfection and served with a chunky pineapple butter sauce. This one was visually appealing and tasted delicious.

From the 'Community Eats' menu we tried the 'The Melting Pot', 'Grand Nachos' and 'Our Hummus Platter'. Hummus Platter tasted good with flavorsome items. Grand Nachos was just okay. Everyone just loved the The Melting Pot. True to its name, melting pot had assorted veggies like mushrooms, roasted potatoes, tomato wedges, cubes of breads which was served with a spiked three cheese fondue.
The Great Irish Fish and Chips is a good old traditional dish and here in The Irish House, they make it with a homemade beer batter and served with a homemade tartare sauce, coleslaw and crispy potato fries. Among burgers, Veg Burger served with Onion rings was good. I am not a pork lover, but I couldn't stop having the Pulled pork burger named as 'The sloppy pig out'. What made this burger so special was the right balance of sweet and spiciness in it and the taste of Worcestershire sauce and Dubliner cheese along with the crispy caramelized onions.

The Inverted Beer- Vodka, Apple juice, Passion fruit syrup served with inverted Kingfisher

Irish Trash Can- Vodka, Gin, Rum, Triple sec, peach extract served with Red Bull
Plan B- Vodka, Beetroot extract, mint and Orange juice
Irish and no drinks? Not possible. We got to try their signature cocktails and the community drinks. Partaking the community drink with friends was so much of fun. From the cocktail menu, the first drink to try was the 'Jameson's sperm'. Lol! Funny name, Isn't it? The drink was a blend of Jameson, Orange juice and grape juice. 'Plan B' was a hit with the mix of Vodka, Beetroot extract, mint and Orange juice.

They have a very limited menu for the desserts- Topsy Turvy Apple Cinnamon cake and The Dual Chocolate Torte. We tried both and the desserts were so yummy.

It's #Instatime

The Marketing team guys from The Irish House were really helpful in providing the details. Chef Rahul Kulkarni did a splendid job by cooking up a storm for the foodies. With my friends and other socialites, it was a fun filled night. Will I recommend this place to others? Yes! Why not... The Irish House is definitely a good place to hangout.

A meal for two will cost ₹ 1700 (approximately) with alcohol.
TF-01A, Level 3
VR Mall, Mahadevpura
Whitefield, Bengaluru

For reservations, contact 080 46524251

For more details, checkout The Irish House
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

India's first ever 100% premium grape Brandy, Janus from Sula Vineyards- Launch

Second week of June was so much of fun with few interesting events. One of which was the launch of India's first 100% premium grape brandy, Janus from the house of Sula along with Sula wine tasting happened at Movenpick Hotel & Spa, Bangalore.

As we all know, brandy is made using grapes. But in India, how many brands we really enjoy? Answer to this question is 'Janus'. Janus, name is derived from the Roman god with two faces, who is known as the god of beginnings. Janus is India's first handcrafted Cognac style brandy made under the supervision of Master Blender Yonael Bernard by using traditional French techniques. French Alembic pot stills are used for double distillation. Grapes such as Thompson grapes, Bangalore Blue and Bangalore Purple are used for making Janus brandy and these are the best ones available in our country.

Founder - CEO of Sula Vineyards, Rajeev Samant said, "With this launch Sula takes its first step into the world of spirits with a superbly crafted high end offering. We are confident that JANUS will win accolades and significantly raise the bar for brandy making in India. JANUS is India's first handcrafted cognac - style brandy for connoisseurs - from the House of Sula".

The word 'brandy' is originated from the Dutch word, 'brandewijn' which means 'burnt wine'. Without wine there is no brandy; brandy is made by distilling wine. Brandy generally contains up to 60% alcohol content and Janus premium brandy has an alcohol content of 42.8% v/v (75 proof). Janus brandy is very smooth and has a subtle gold color, strong oak taste followed by spices and vanilla. Aroma is of fruity flavor and you can feel a hint of apricot and grapes.

Our session started with the tasting of some of the best wines from Sula along with the details provided by a charming lady, Cecilia Oldne who is the Brand Ambassador and VP-Marketing at Sula Vineyards. Wine we tasted were Sula Brut Tropicale, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Sula Riesling, Dindori Reserve and Dessert Chenin Blanc. I always prefer red wines and this time my pick was Chenin Blanc. Ms.Cecilia suggested us the right food pairing for the wines we tasted. Movenpick Hotel was an apt place to have this session. Food including cheese platter, starters, cold cuts and breads were perfect for the wine and brandy tasting. Sula being India's leading wine brand, anytime it's a safest bet for me.
(from left) Alok Chandra, Cecilia Oldne, and Yogesh Mathur

Soon after the wine tasting Mr. Yogesh Mathur, VP Manufacturing, from Artisan Spirits gave us the details about Janus. He also shared the making process, effort they put in selecting the best grapes and many other facts. Janus by Artisan Spirits got third position in the 'taste category' at ISC (International Spirits Challenge). Wow! Isn't amazing? Janus bottle looks really cute with the mid-19th century inspired design called 'standard fifth'. Currently Janus is available in 750ml and 180ml SKUs and priced at INR 2000 and INR 570 respectively (in Karnataka). Price varies in other states. It's time to forget the age old tradition where brandy is used with warm water and crushed pepper for curing cough ailments. This premium brandy will surely take a place in your bar cabinet.

***Disclaimer*** Alcohol consumption is injurious to health :(

To know more about Janus and Sula Wines, click here

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Glocal Junction, Bangalore Launch- a modern twist to the global and local cuisines!

Few days back I was invited for the launch of 'Glocal Junction' and for a food tasting session, yes.. you read it right. It's Glocal, an all day dining, bar and restaurant redefining the global and local cuisines.

Ever imagined a Masala Tea Pannacotta or a Biryani Risotto? Our age is all about fusion and molecular technology inspired food and Glocal gives a modern twist to the regional, global and local cuisines.
After making a remarkable success in two of the famous cities, Mumbai and Hyderabad; Glocal finally opened its door for Bangalore foodies and party lovers. Located in 12th Main, Indiranagar, this place has got a relaxed and spacious ambience with rustic interiors and quirky servewares. With its dimlighting and nordic restaurant looks, one cannot get bored easily at this all-day dining bistro.

We tried a variety of starters and some of my favorites includes:
Disco Anda Pav- Desi style light vada pav with masala egg omelette filling, served with a simple onion salad.
Kung Fu Nuggets- Crispy, crunchy chicken nuggets served with a dip. Nuggets were delectably good and tasted different from any other restaurant.

Arab ki Thali which had hummus, muhammara, baba ganoush served with lavash and pita bread. Another Lebanese favorite was the creamy rich falafel pockets.
Chaat Pizza- The famous Indian street food, chaat as the key ingredient for pizza, which was just fantastic.

'Fish and Chips' and 'Chicken and Chips': Crumb fried fish and chicken pieces served with finger fries and a dip were another two tasty dishes.
Grilled potato skin with creamy filling served with Bhutta (corn) was good. Glocal leafy smoked fish was an attractive dish with a wonderful smokey Thai flavored Basa fish fillet wrapped and cooked in a banana leaf.

Both vegetarians and non-vegetarians vouched for Grilled Cottage Cheese with bell peppers and red onions in chimichuri sauce along with two others dishes; Makhani Risotto and Fusion Khowsuey. The Italian Risotto with Makhani (Creamy)  flavor was one of the best dishes from the afternoon. True to the name Fusion Khowsuey was one fusion dish of bursting Burmese flavors of vegetables and noodles served in a glass.

Along with all the yummy starters and main course we also tried some of their signature cocktails. I just loved the drink named 'Bouquet' which was an Absolut Kurrant flavored with passion fruit and floating edible flowers. Before serving this drink they will burn a bunch of Rosemary, so the smoke from the Rosemary will enhance the taste of the drink.

Few other cocktails we tried were - Coalition (Margarita teamed with Corona beer), Black Magic (Smoked whiskey with in-house bitters, along with Orange zest oil), Infused Jar (another favorite drink with home infused vodka with bark, fruit and berries), Toxic box (Vodka based cocktail with far-eastern flavors), GLIT (Glocal Long Island Tea), Thailee (Vodka and watermelon cocktail).

After a wonderful meal with a great company of foodie friends, we were eagerly waiting for the desserts and to our surprise we got some of the most innovative desserts in town- Kolkata Paan Cheesecake, Masala chai Pannacotta served with khari biscuit and crumbs, Baked Filter Kapi and Beeramisu. I couldn't try the Beeramisu, but rest all the desserts were pure bliss. Presentation, taste and creative mind for making these wonderful desserts, I will give a 10/10 rating for it.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the 'Glocal Junction'. Thanks to Sunaina and Prarthana for making me part of the launch event. There are plenty of innovative dishes and drinks to try from their menu. So any day/evening I would prefer this place for a relaxed time.

#2986, Ashwani Complex,
12th Main Road, HAL 2nd stage,
Indiranagar, Bangalore

Phone no: 080 65604999

To know more about Glocal, click here

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