Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A must visit British Pub in town - The Whitefield Arms, VR Bengaluru

Whether it’s for shopping, eating out or watching new releases, VR Bengaluru at Whitefield is always been a favorite place to hang out with friends and family. Whitefield in Bengaluru has a great history linked to the British rule in India. The name ‘Whitefield’ differs from other places. In 1882, Maharaja of Mysore, Chamaraja Wodeyar granted 3900 acres of land for Anglo-Indian community and thus Whitefield was born. Though British left our country decades ago, their traces still remains through beautiful monuments, colonial architectures and more than anything else the western culture we adapted from them. It’s always an amazing feeling to visit properties with a rich heritage and has a history to tell. Recently I visited one such place – The Whitefield Arms at VR Bengaluru with my better half and friends.

TWA is part of the famous luxury hotel – The Waverly Hotel & Residences. We went there for a Sunday lunch and as our booking was done in advance it was not difficult to get a table on a lazy weekend. We were greeted by a sweet receptionist at the entrance. Once you step into this beautiful pub, the first thing you will notice will be the vintage maps and 64 framed names. The 64 names represent the house names which British built in Whitefield. It’s also said that Winston Churchill has visited this place many times. Okay… enough of history class. Let’s have some serious conversation.

This treasured property, TWA has a spectacular indoor and outdoor seating area with colonial style wooden furniture which gives a modern and relaxed ambiance. A long and beautiful bar counter with a wonderful wine rack next to it will surely catch your attention. Their bartenders have taken this job so seriously that you will realize it when you see the art of making cocktails.

We started off with some cocktails soon after we settled in the outdoor seating area. We ordered whiskey cocktails, ‘Mountbatten’ and ‘Old fashioned’, rum-based drink ‘Mai Tai’ and my drink, a vodka-based cocktail, ‘Cosmopolitan’. I liked Mountbatten most which’s one of their Signature drinks and had fresh flavors from Scotch whiskey, Pamplemousse, lime, strawberry, and bitters.

From the Medley & Stew menu, we had Mulligatawny Soup, an Anglo-Indian version of Madras pepper (Millagai) – water (thanni). They serve a small bowl of rice and lemon wedge along with this interesting soup. Next was a ‘Farm fresh salad’ and as the name says it had all fresh ingredients topped with feta cheese and the add-on poached pears cooked in Merlot wine made this salad an extraordinary one.

From the ‘Quickies’ menu, we had TWA Chips with Cheese & gravy, Veg platter, and a Non-veg platter. The classic combo of crispy fries with the topping of Dal makhani cheese made TWA chips a kickass dish. The veg platter had Suzzie’s Bangles (crispy crumb fried onion rings), TWA Chili Cheese toast, spicy Cottage Cheese Butty (sliders), and Goat Cheese & caramelized onion tartlets with a creamy balsamic dressing. If Veg platter was sure enough to blow your mind, then non-veg platter was absolutely heavenly with the assorted grilled items like Clay oven grilled grouper, grilled prawns, Cavalry’s special, Barrak’s special and Infantry’s special. We savored these by enjoying the view from live grilling counter. These platters were Chef’s special for us to get a glimpse of food they serve at TWA. For the die-hard meat lovers, there was interesting ‘Twice-cooked Pork Belly’ and the ‘Grilled Honey-Chili Beef’. I love perfectly cooked beef appetizers and just fell in love with this regal dish from TWA.

Next was the main course, ‘Grilled spice-crusted Chicken’ served with mint & onion sauce and flavored rice from ‘The King’s Meal’ menu. For my vegetarian friend, they served lavish Spinach, Cheese and Potato dumplings in spinach puree and tomato gravy served with rice. Though we were so full, we couldn’t skip the delectable main course they served us.

How can I miss my favorite Bira from the menu? All these time Bira Blonde was my interest and never tried the Bira White. I guess I like the Bira Blonde than White :P 

For desserts, we had Sticky Toffee Pudding with a scoop of Vanilla ice cream, classic Carrot Cake and the Chef’s special Basbousa (Semolina Cake). This ‘fit for the Gods’ desserts were pure bliss. I haven’t tried such wonderfully prepared desserts in recent time. Still, if I need to pick one I will go with the luscious Sticky Toffee Pudding which gave me an ‘ummmm’ feeling just like Nigella Lawson :P

Happy me after lunch :)

The service was quick, friendly and helpful. Thanks to the entire team at TWA for making our day so special. I am definitely gonna try this place again soon. They also serve breakfast and who wouldn’t prefer an English style brekkie? TWA will have their Microbrewery open very shortly. A meal for two would be ₹ 1500 (approximately). To know more, check out - The Waverly

The Whitefield Arms
VR Bengaluru
For reservations, contact - 080 45128631

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Check out the new watering hole in town - Churchill's Restobar, Bengaluru

“The water was not fit to drink. To make it palatable, we had to add Whisky. By diligent effort, I learned to like it” – Winston Churchill

Winter or summer, there is no specific reason needed to visit a favorite pub. With busy life schedules, people always want to spend a quality time when possible. I have few favorite pubs in town and recently visited a new watering hole in town – Churchill’s at JP Nagar. Now South Bangaloreans got a place to chillax. This pub's relaxing ambiance with English pub interiors, and bar counter with high chairs makes this place very special. All you need to do is quickly grab a drink and enjoy the music.You can also spot famous quotes of the great Winston Churchill on their wall.

Recently I was there to try their new food menu along with few other renowned bloggers who can give valuable feedback to the management. Churchill’s staffs were very polite and their service was quick. We had a feast savoring some of the best food one can get in a pub along with our favorite drinks. Their menu has really splendid stuffs like Hara bhara kebab, Butter Garlic Mushrooms and paneer on fire for the veg souls; Mutton seekh kebab, Banana leaf wrapped fish (available in two flavors and I liked both), Chicken tikka in different flavors, Crispy Chicken tenders if you really don’t care about calories, Nagamese King Chilly Pork for the meat lovers, Lemony Coriander Chicken, and an amazing ‘Egg on Nest’. The food served was flavorful and the spice level was perfect for me.

Often most of the pubs fail when it comes to the main course. One main reason for it is that people often order short-eats with drinks. Churchill’s was an exception to this. Their main course was equally good like the appetizers. The ‘Special Irish Swiss Roll Chicken’ was an exceptional dish with cheese topping on Chicken. Must say… Chicken and Cheese are the perfect match made in heaven. I didn’t like the ‘Chip Butty’ much as they served it with Pav bun which could’ve been replaced with some garlic bread. They also have different types of pasta and pizzas. The Alfredo and Aglio Olio pastas were good. Vegetarians shouldn’t miss the ‘Peppy Paneer and Peppers Pizza’ which they make using all the fresh ingredients. Both veg and non-veg pizzas were perfect for any palate. My drink of the day was a Vodka based cocktail – ‘Sex on the beach’, which was good too.

Overall my experience was really good. I felt it was worth traveling till JP Nagar. Thanks to 'The Three Hungry Men' for inviting me to try this new place. I had a great time at Churchill's and I will surely visit this pub again when I am around JP Nagar area. They have valet parking and a meal for two would be ₹800 (approximately).

#37/953, 2nd Floor (above HDFC Bank)
24th Main, JP Nagar 2nd Phase
For reservations, contact - 080 49652606

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