Friday, September 6, 2019

Anniversary Celebrations @ Byg Brewski, Hennur, Bengaluru

When I received a call inviting us to join the 5th Anniversary celebrations at Byg Brewski, I readily accepted. Not only because I would have liked to be a part of their celebration or because Byg Brewski highlighted Hennur on the map of Bengaluru or because I live in the vicinity. It was because it is a fun place to visit, their open to the sky ambiance and the grandeur you experience enthralls you. Their friendly service crew also ensures you keep coming back for more. I firmly believe that this is a destination pub in Bengaluru and we, my wife and I, host our outstation guests here with pride.

Matka Magic. 

We made our way to the SYN bar on the upper deck and were welcomed by Arati who offered to and help us get our first drinks of the evening. We consciously stayed away from their well-crafted home brewed beers and stayed with whisky based cocktails.

Crown with edible gold dust
We started with the award winning “Crown”, a whisky based cocktail with edible gold dust. Must have been good as there were several orders of this drink at our table.

I opted for the very popular “Matka Magic”, which is a whisky based cocktail with jalapeno, rosemary, passion fruit and cranberry juice. I personally enjoyed the lingering taste of the jalapeno spice as I sipped the drink through the evening.

Old Fashioned

Whisky Sour
We followed this up with Old Fashioned, whose origin dates back to the early 1800’s.  The drink is popularly made with Jim Beam, sugar, bitters and garnished with a peel of orange. The Whisky sour was also very popular at the table. It is generally made with whisky, lemon juice, sugar with the option of using egg white as well. 

The Byg Brewski famed large ice-cubes stand out in the cocktails. The ice cubes are made with the same water that is used by the brewery for their crafted beers. That probably explains why the cubes are crystal clear. The cubes also have the markings of the Byg Bewrski logo on them. 

Crisp rashers of Bacon with
Pepperoni Pizza

Lamb Chops
While there were plenty of appetizers like tempura prawns, fish tikka, mutton seek kababs, the chef was kind enough to help us with some of our personal favorites that included the cheesy garlic bread our request  with extra cheese and extra spice, hand tossed wood fired pepperoni pizza with crisp bacon rashes on the side and grilled lamb chops. The skillet comes really really hot, so please mind your fingers. I burnt a finger despite the warning given. The Malnad pork is a must try.

 It was a fun evening with the weather gods being kind blessing us with awesome weather including a rain free evening. Unfortunately,  we had to live with the live music ban across the pubs and clubs in the city.

A big thanks to Hitesh, Deepak & Amit for giving us this fantastic experience.  

Executive Chef Sandeep standing to the extreme left,

Rohan, award winning mixologist and
Chief Intoxicating Officer at Byg Brewski, extreme left

The Culinary Parade! 


Thursday, September 5, 2019

Dewar's @ Highland Nectar, ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru

I always love the energy when I walk into the lobby of ITC Gardenia. The gentle to strong breeze through the wind tunnel and especially the open lobby is always inviting and relaxing.

Highland Nectar is ITC Gardenia's Lounge Bar which was host to the Dewar’s Academy, for a learning, tasting and mixing session of Dewar’s whisky.

Dewar’s currently owned by Bacardi, founded in 1846 by John Dewar, John Dewar & Sons Ltd has grown from a small wine and spirits merchant shop in Perth, Scotland, to become a global brand. DEWAR'S is also known for its flair for innovative advertising and promotions. Dewar's White label claims to be the largest selling blended scotch in the United States of America.

Dewar's Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned
On arrival at Highland Nectar, we were welcomed with an Old Fashioned, a cocktail that dates back to the early 1800’s. Here, the ingredients include Dewar’s white label, a dash of bitters, ginger ale and a slice of orange.

Avinash Kapoli - Brand Ambassador Bacardi

Our host, Avinash Kapoli, brand ambassador for Bacardi was at his best both inside and outside the bar. Here we see his drummed-up version of a coconut high-ball with Dewar's.

After the initial ice breaking conversations we settled into our seats and ready for our excitement, we were introduced to Fraser Campbell, global brand ambassador for Dewar’s and co-founder of The Global Bartender Exchange, an online platform for bartenders, now over 150,000 members strong.

Fraser Campbell, Global brand ambassador Dewars interacting with the
whisky  lovers of Bengaluru

At our tables we were taken in by the well appointed display. A platter of crackers and cheese was accompanied with all the great stuff for our master class. Measuring jars, beakers, whisky glasses, tasting note pads, pens et al.

Well appointed tables

Cheese platter

In the first part of the session, we were give 5 decanters with different expressions of whisky fruity, floral, grain, cereal and smokey.

We discussed and experienced all 5 expressions and were left to decide what appealed to us the most. Then came the most interesting part where we created our own blends.

 We were provided a measuring jar and a beaker to mix the whiskies in the proportions to the desired taste.

This was the fun part as we got to name our own created blends.

Drinking responsibly, we started the experience or should I say, the tasting sessions of the three blended scotch whiskies.

Three expressions - Dewar's portfolio

Dewar's 12 years

Dewar's 12 year old blend, called 'Double Aged' due to the 6 months of marrying in oak casks that the whisky does after initial maturation and blending

Tasting Notes
Nose: Fruity like stewed apples, raisins, vanilla, floral, sweet with notes of barley and a tinge of honey.
Palate: Notes of barley malt, buttery, a little honey, and some aniseed spiciness.

Finish: A touch oak, alongside plenty of thick malt and sweetness.

Dewar's 15 years

A 15 year old blended Scotch whisky expression from Dewer's. This is definitely better that the 12 year expression. The finish is interesting and you can feel the spirit come right through.

Tasting Notes
Nose: A good balance spices, nutty elements and fruity.
Palate: Hint of coconut honey, Vanilla toffee.
Finish: A lengthy and warm finish

The famous Dewar's blend aged for 18 years then married in a vat for an extended period, hence the name 'Double Aged’.

Tasting Notes
Nose: Honey poured over fruit. Almond,
Palate: Almond, butterscotch and a little oaky.
Finish: Soft, flavourful and sweet
Overall: This is an easy drinking malt plush, reassuring and lasting

While my friends preferred the Dewar's 15, I personally preferred the Dewar's 18 which was smoother. Overall a very nice evening that went late into the night. 
Flanked by Avinash Kapoli on the left and Fraser Campbell on the right



Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Sharief Bhai - Frazer Town, Bengaluru

Sitting at my work desk in office around noon, I took a break to decide what I should order as I had not carried my lunch from home. So I picked up my phone and looked at the two food delivery apps I had downloaded . There were a plethora of restaurant options to choose from. I decided to pick on Sharief Bhai as I had not tried their food and the outlet had a rating of 4.4. Flicking through the very tempting menu, I picked chose the Nalli Nihari and Sheermal.

As I waited for the meal to arrive I was reflecting on how the delivery apps have changed the way we order and consume food. In the pre-app scenario, I would be left with no option but going down to the food court and eat whatever was on offer.

Nalli Nihari

Nihari is a stew from the Indian subcontinent consisting of slow-cooked meat mainly shank meat along with bone marrow. The dish is known for its spiciness and taste and is slow cooked overnight.

 In some restaurants, a few kilos from each day's leftover Nihari is added to the next day's pot. This re-used portion of Nihari is called taar and is believed to provide the unique flavor. Some Nihari outlets in old Delhi boast of an unbroken taar going back more than a century.


Sheermal is a saffron-flavored traditional flatbread from Greater Iran and made its entry to North India along with the Mughal invasion. Sheermal is a mildly sweet naan made out of maida, leavened with yeast, baked in a tandoor or oven.

The meal arrived in about 35 minutes as promised, the Nihari still hot and well packed. The meat was extremely well cooked and the gravy tasty. I would have been happier with a little less oil in the dish but I guess that’s how it is served. The sheermal was average and could be better but for the price of Rs 25/- each you can’t ask for much more.

The Nihari and sheermal make a great combo.

Two sides to a coin:

The restaurant still used plastic containers. They should move away from doing so. 

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Anniversary Celebrations @ Byg Brewski, Hennur, Bengaluru

When I received a call inviting us to join the 5 th Anniversary celebrations at Byg Brewski, I readily accepted. Not only because I woul...

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