Bengaluru’s perfectly crisp weather and its zany-zesty citizens are a fertile ground for the mushrooming of stylishly chic al fresco resto-bars and pubs that are dotting the city’s ever-evolving landscape. Targeting well-travelled, well-heeled, young and dashing men and women who make up Silicon City’s social fabric, these party zones are out dishing lip-smacking cuisines from every cranny of the globe, while promising an ideal landscape for relaxation and restoration. RITZ explores 10 of Bengaluru’s oooh-so-spellbinding al fresco hangouts.
A favourite leisure haunt of the city’s glitterati, Citrus has added a new zeal of life to dining in nature’s lap, amidst exotic flora and relaxing waterfalls. In fact, Citrus’ unique differentiator, especially post sunset are the live torches with serene waterfalls in the background.
Boasting a capacity to host and indulge guests in excess of 200, Citrus, also referred to as the International Food Theatre, offers a host of cuisines from across the globe, from Italian and Mediterranean to Malaysian and Singaporean; thus staying true to its legacy of being a hub for international cuisines! What’s more…Saturdays bring out the flavours of Karnataka through the Namma Bengaluru brunch, while Wednesdays and Thursdays erupt with the aroma of seafood and a live grill.
Must try: platter of steak, char-grilled jumbo asparagus with a dressing of truffles, pine-nuts and parmesan, roti canai (an assortment of chicken, potato and egg plant in spicy coconut gravy).
Cost for two (approximate): Rs. 4500
Location: Citrus, The Leela Palace, 23, Old Airport Road, Bengaluru
Contact: +91 80 – 30571234
The Fatty Bao
This Asian gastro bar is the love child of two fabulous ideas – new Asian-style dining and a cool rooftop bar. A sexy bar established on mint-fresh ideas, this trendy place is a great spot to find designers, artists, actors, models, cricketers and corporate citizens. Breaking new ground, The Fatty Bao presents inventive food, against a vibrant décor, blending a chic, laid-back vibe with an amazing cocktail and culinary offering. It pays rich tributes to the flavours from Asia, and offers a super innovative selection of drinks like popcorn-infused whiskey with a dash of wasabi syrup, fiery combos of kimchi and vodka shots, and more. This season, they strip down stems, pop open pods, muddle leaves, seeds and fruits; and blend them together to create exotic cocktails that use it all…from roots to fruits!
Must try: Chasu Ramen, lamb shanks braised in massaman curry, char sui bao, spicy beef salad with roasted rice, brie tempura, and more.
Cost for two (approximate): Rs 2500 plus taxes
Location: The Fatty Bao, 3rd Floor, #610, 12th Main Road, HAL 2nd stage, Indiranagar, Bengaluru
Contact: +91 80-44114499
Bringing the best of two worlds – the balmy, al fresco surrounds of the poolside and succulent grills and steaks, is one of the city’s newest pop-up restaurants. Guests at this high-end restaurant get soothed by the calming pool and the luxuriant greenery on the fringes, offering much-needed respite from the daily hustle-bustle. Grill 99 boasts an unmatched ambience of refinement running through its 24 covers, most of which are cosily tucked into alcoves, lending the place a touch of romanticism. Providing discerning diners an urban retreat, the clever play of light and shade enhances the intimate feel of this place. Presenting a range of the freshest food, with the best cuts of meat, delicious seafood, steaks and grills, and the finest wines, the place is already a favourite with cricketer Chris Gayle, who vouches by the steak, which he enjoys with a side of mashed potatoes and pepper sauce!
Must try: Grilled scallop salad (with apple salsa, caramelised cauliflower and 15-year old balsamic) and whole lobster grilled.
Cost for two (approximate): Rs 8000 plus taxes
Contact: +91 7829988086
Bengaluru’s first open-to-sky bar with a 360 degree view of the city’s skyline, Skyye has it all, from under-lit flooring and a central bar with stars and moon for a roof that makes for a truly beautiful sight to behold. The dizzying ambience at Skyye is a surefire hit, coupled with a wide array of cocktails, fine wines, appetizers, platters and mains. Guests can even shake a leg to the pulsating music. The guest list at Skyye includes the who’s who of the country, from perhaps the entire Bengaluru IPL team to the likes of Virat Kohli, Shahid Kapoor, Imran Khan and Deepika Padukone. So, when are you looking to head there?
Must try: Mezze and non-veg platters, peri peri chicken, veg and cheese tartlets, stuffed grilled chicken.
Cost for two (approximate): Rs 2500 plus taxes
Location: Skyye, 16th Floor, UB City, Bengaluru.
Contact: +91 9481779670
The Open Box
From the ambience to the décor to the foods that are on offer, this is truly one of the quirkiest places around. Located on a vibrant terrace in the heart of the city, The Open Box allows everyone from partygoers to professionals, from socialites to executives and cricketers (yes, a big draw at this place) breathe in some fresh cool air that Bengaluru has to offer. This one year old restaurant has quirks lurking in the form of a real goli soda making machine, an old telephone booth, a typewriter, old movie posters and what not! As for the menu, well, ever had a cocktail called gulaabi lassi, which is pink lassi laced with tequila and rum? Or chilled avocado pani puri soup? Or pickled ‘khichdi sushi roll’? Or papdi chaat nachos? Gosh! The menu is a super intriguing amalgamation of seemingly incompatible ingredients! Indeed, as the founder Amit Ahuja says, an “innovative twisted menu.”
Must try: Hummosa (broken samosa salad with hummus), Fettusuey (Burmese khowsuey with fettuccine pasta), Goan curry Phad Thai.
Cost for two (approximate): Rs1800
Location: The Open Box, 4th Floor, No.9, Halycon Complex, St.Marks Road, Bengaluru
Contact: +91 80 41290055
An inviting farm. Flowering trees. Soothing music. Tables surrounded by scented flowers and candles. And a 7-course meal! This pretty much sums up the Grasshopper experience. A romantically chic restaurant started by NIFT grads Sonali Sattar and Himanshu Dimri, Grasshopper embraces nature, and is for those who prefer subtle tastes and a quiet ambience. Here food is celebrated and eating is an unhurried, multi-sensory experience. Situated on the porch of a warehouse-like structure, and surrounded by verdant greenery, the restaurant is minimal and uncluttered in design and idea. The cuisine is fresh, innovative and pleasing to the senses; and focuses around European, sprinkled with flavours from Asia and the Middle East. The meals, prepared with herbs and ingredients grown in the adjoining garden, are custom-designed, with courses designed to complement each other.
Must try: Prawns with ginger, sesame and sea weed is a big hit. So are the lamb medalions with red wine sauce and zucchini pappardelle and the lemon grass ice-cream.
Costs: Rs 2,500 per person. Prior reservation is essential.
Location: Grasshopper, 45 Kalena Agrahara, 1 Km after Meenakshi Temple, Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru
Contact: +91 80 26593999
High Ultra Lounge
It’s location on the 31st floor and claim of being South India’s highest lounge is best believed when visited and experienced. With the star-lit sky as the roof, the High View area provides vertiginous views of the city. An all-white space that metaphorically reflects the lightness of floating within a surreal garden of paradise, the lounge has water bodies hugging a vertical wall of greenery. The changing lights, introduced through pre-programmed LED lighting are created to resemble the aurora borealis. When you feel you’re floating in the air, it’s time to savour the gourmet Japanese and pan-Asian menu crafted by Chef Myo Zaw Aung, who is renowned for his exquisite fusion techniques, with modern cooking methods and artistic plating.
Must try: Spicy celery prawns, banoffee pie, Peking duck, seared tuna with red radish, salmon avocado with tenkasu and kizami.
Cost for two (approximate):Rs4500
Location: High Ultra Lounge, Rooftop, World Trade Centre, Bangalore Brigade Gateway Campus, Dr.Rajkumar Road, Bengaluru
Contact: +91 80 45674567
Looking for some freshly brewed beer? Then head no further than Biergarten, this glitzy brewpub which is inspired by a typical Munich beer garden with large community tables serving the best of beer. With an open kitchen, bar and benches, Biergarten is owner Kapil Dua’s attempt at capitalising on Bengaluru’s “beautiful weather, luxuriant nature and draft beers.” Done up in white, green and grey alongside a landscaped garden, this popular hangout, which witnesses a steady stream of high-profile guests, presents cocktails, wines, sangrias, salads, soups, dim sums, platters, ‘full square meals’ and desserts, all with a Mediterranean-Asian-European touch.
Must try: Spicy soya spring rolls, Biergarten chicken wings, Biergarten sausages, and fresh brews such as wheat beer lager, Biergarten strong and Biergarten dark.
Cost for two: Rs 1500
Location: Biergarten – 2, Rd. Number 2, Doddanakundi Industrial Area 2, Seetharampalya, Hoodi, Bengaluru
Contact: +91 80 4965 2776
This dazzling rooftop bar lounge provides some of the most scintillating views of Bengaluru. A big hit with the crème de la crème of the city, Hype, with its 130 seats, sleek and classy décor, and an open bar provides utmost comfort and luxury for party animals looking to unwind and live it up to the beats of a DJ. Providing a mesmerising array of tailor-made cocktails, an extensive international wine-by-glass menu, and delectable grills and foods from the Far East to the Middle East, the Hype experience is one you cannot miss. It’s even managed to bring Mumbai’s humble vada pav onto its menu, albeit calling it Hype vada pav!
Must try: Blue moon burger, chicken shawarma burger, Malaysian chicken satay and of course…the Hype vada pav.
Cost for two: Rs 3500
Location: Hype, Level 19, Shangri-la Hotel Bengaluru, No 56-6B, Palace Road
Contact: +91 80 45126470
Calling itself a ‘modern Indian bistro’, this unconventionally chic café aims to bring Indian cuisine back to the gourmet diner. Synchronising Indian food with the best of global experiences and contemporary culinary styles and presentations, Farzi Café is restaurateur Zorawar Kalra’s (he’s the son of restaurant czar Jiggs Kalra) take on comfort food using the freshest ingredients and blending them richly with Indian cooking styles and flavours. Providing an elegant al fresco seating overlooking the amphitheatre with the bar in the centre, the café also has daybeds cushioned in serene white for guests who like to laze around and enjoy the “global comfort food” that the chefs boasts.
Must try: Mini raj kachori, dal chawal arancini, chilli pork ribs, tempura fried prawns with nimboo mirch aire.
Cost for two (approximate): Rs 1500
Location: Farzi Café, UB City, Level 2, Vittal Mallya Road, Bengaluru
Contact: +91 72594 00900