Monday, October 29, 2012

Bricklane Grill invitation from Spiritz and More

Bricklane Grill is a restaurant located at the junction of Indiranagar’s 100 Feet Road and 12th Main Road, in the same building that houses Sunny’s, but on the 12th Main side. The restaurant opened up in a low key manner earlier in the year, and is quite popular with the expats in the city, and is yet to hit the mark with most other foodies and gourmands in town. I was asked to review the restaurant along with some of the alcohol brands that are served at the restaurant by Spiritz and More. The restaurant is high above all the hustle and bustle that takes place below. Awash with white walls, white furniture, and even white exposed bricks, the restaurant takes its name from a lane in London, that coincidentally also houses a large number of restaurants that serve curry.

While the restaurant does boast of a very romantic setup in one section, weekends are lively with DJ events, so that special meal with a special someone would have to be done on a weekday. While my photograph of the table in the romantic section doesn't to any justice, the night time view is spectacular. The night we visited the restaurant, there space was arranged for a party of 6, and I unfortunately was carrying only my 50mm lens, so couldn't get a wider shot.

The restaurant can be broadly divided into the following areas: few seats around the bar and the grill area, some tables under the covered area and some in the open, a table for 12 inside which is a chef’s table, primarily to be used for wine pairing events, and lastly, the upstairs area that has a lounge-y feel to it, with the balcony area having a three 2-seater tables – ideal for a romantic dinner with that special someone. The cool breeze in the night meant that the open air seating area was a brilliant location, and for those who tend to catch the chills easily, there are heaters nearby.

I started off with a cocktail – a green apple Martini, while my friend opted for a Whyte and Mackay Glasgow whisky. While the Martini was quite good, with the sour flavour of the green apple giving an additional ‘spike’ in the taste, the whisky, according to my friend was lovely, and he’s taken a liking to it over other Scotch whiskies like the Black Dog 12 year because of the slightly sweeter taste. Both of us enjoyed the drinks and while we were getting warmed up with the alcohol, a plate with toast arrived. I assumed it was the standard garlic bread, but it wasn’t. It was bread alright, but it was green with envy – basil oil. Very novel and quite a ‘refreshing’ change I might add. Before I get into what we ate and how the food turned out, I must say that Bricklane Grill serves Parsi food, which is their signature of sorts, along with a fusion of select Indian dishes and European favourites. While to some this could be seen as being a little ‘confused’, a closer inspection can present a different picture.

Green apple martini

Toast with basil oil - superb!

The first of the starters was a Chettinad chicken tikka, one of the examples of a slight fusion of the north Indian tikka, marinated in Chettinad spices. While a couple of pieces did feel a little dry, the rest were fine and the heat from the chicken was perfect with both the vodka martini as well as the whisky. Before the spices from this ebbed away, we were served with another special – the mango infused paneer with pomegranate. Superb! The paneer was of good quality (and even if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t fault a Bangalore restaurant for not having good paneer), and the flavours blended perfectly – the sweet and the sour coming together beautifully.

Chettinad chicken tikka

Mango infused paneer with pomegranate 

The crispy yellow chilli prawns were a beautiful golden brown, but there wasn’t much chilli, and the plump prawns felt a little chewy, but that’s probably because of the size, and not over cooking, although some experts may say it could’ve been cooked for about 20 seconds less. I didn’t have any complaints. The ajwain fish tikka was also quite superb – well cooked, and thankfully not overcooked in spite of being cooked in the tandoor.

 Crispy yellow chilli prawns
The Parsi starters, the boti soti, cubes of mutton cooked and skewered on a toothpick with a cube of potato, and the batter coated and fried, lived up to expectations in taste and texture, although the outer coat was quite oily. The bheja na cutlets (brain cutlets) would certainly take getting used to due to the soft texture, but if you’re a fan, then the ones served here would give most places a run for their money. In between all these, I ordered another cocktail, a Moscow Mule – vodka, wine and ginger ale – and while it tasted good, it could have done a little more to make sure I felt the mule ‘kick’ me. My friend was in love with the Whyte and Mackay, and smooth whisky was working wonderfully with the starters.

Moscow Mule
Boti soti

 Brain cutlets

We then moved on to the main course, and here we were spoilt for choice. I mean, there are the Parsi favourites of course, and then there were some very interesting combinations that married flavours from Indian dishes to European favourites. The lamb chops with rogan josh masla and red wine reduction was a perfect example of flavours from two regions coming together beautifully. Ditto with the Jack Daniel’s pork chops – the JD sauce going brilliantly with the pork chops, but the whiskey corn salsa was a bit of a mystery as I wasn’t able to understand the reason for that, although texturally it was quite pleasing. The peppercorn crusted beef tenderloin was cooked very nicely, but I found the amount of pepper a touch overpowering as I wasn’t able to concentrate on the taste of the meat. Whisky or no whisky, the pepper was a bit too much.

Jack Daniel's pork chops

Rogan josh flavoured lamb chop with red wine reduction, and Whyte and Mackay in the background

 Peppercorn crusted beef tenderloin

The Parsi mains – sali boti, mutton dhansak, and the biryani with meatballs was quite a delight, although we were quite full by now, and couldn’t do full justice by polishing off the dishes as we did with the previous dishes. The dhansak was good and the sali boti was quite lip smacking – the sweet and mild sour flavours doing well to give the palate a good exercise. The lone veg dish that we had - the tamarind glazed eggplant and tomato - we had them serve us only a fraction of the portion. The tangy tamarind flavour combined well with the smokiness of the eggplant, but unless you're the kind who doesn't mind a light main course, you may want to stock up on something else.

Biryani and dhansak

Sali boti

Tamarind glazed eggplant and tomato

By the time we got to desserts, we were actually about to pop a few buttons on our shirts. Loosening our belts didn’t help, and so we could only take a couple of bites from both desserts. The ice cream sandwich – warm jalebis with home-made ice cream – was a little disappointing. The sweet, crisp jalebi was superb, but the vanilla flavour from the ice cream just didn’t come through. I mean, if you can’t taste vanilla, then that’ll certainly get you wondering, won’t it? If wasn’t sure if it was the sweetness from the jalebi, or the fact that the ice cream being home-made didn’t have enough vanilla flavouring from the pods, or a combination of both. The South Indian coffee brûlée was a nice idea and the coffee flavour wasn’t overpowering, but the custard below the caramelized sugar could’ve been a little more velvety. Also, while some would argue that the almond biscotti served with the brûlée could be used to spoon out every last bit, I don't know if I'm from that school of thought. We really had stuffed ourselves silly by now, and even getting off the chair was a bit of an issue.

South Indian coffee brûlée

 Ice cream sandwich with jalebis

Overall, it was a very nice meal that we had, clubbed with the alcohol. Both the cocktails I had were good on the whole, and the Whyte and Mackay my friend had was something he was quite pleased about. Given that Bricklane Grill has such a vast array of dishes and some that are obviously something new (marriage of flavours from different cuisines), I think they need to iron out a few creases and be spot on with the every dish, or people would automatically blame them for having their fingers in too many pies. Perhaps cutting down on the number of dishes on the menu is one way to go, but that’s for the restaurant to decide.

1 comment:

Chowirnghee Lane Laxmi Nagar said...

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