Signature drinks, snacks emerge winners at pub

Daruwala is a pocket-friendly rooftop gastro bar that offers an extensive drinks menu

Chhotte Samose

JP Nagar has been revamping itself to be the new pub-hub of Bengaluru with restaurants and pubs popping up every other day. The rooftop gastro bar Daruwala is the latest addition to the area. The joint offers a casual setting, spruced up by quirky artefacts such as an old scooter, and half a cycle. Bollywood music plays in the background, loud enough to keep your head bobbing without forcing you to shout to keep a conversation going.

The menu boasts a wide variety of Indian, Chinese and Italian dishes. We started the night off with some starters that could accompany our drinks.

The ‘Chhote Samose’ was crispy, but the potato masala filling was a little bland for our taste. A good scoop of sauce, however, came to the rescue. The ‘Chicken Lollipop’ was crispy and well cooked, and a good accompaniment for your drinks. Feel free to skip out on the ‘Paneer Tikka’. The paneer was slightly chewy, and while the masala was tasty, the panner was not marinated well enough. The ‘Tomato Bruschetta’ consisted of a toasted slice of bread, topped with a mixture of tomatoes and cheese, and a good helping of basil, and garlic, for flavour. While some might find the flavour of garlic rather overpowering, for the garlic-lovers out there, this is a must-try.

For the main course, we tried the ‘Paneer steak’ and the ‘Fish Steak’. The paneer, once again, had the same issues of taste and texture. The fish, on the other hand, was well cooked, and the tangy Mangloean masala was delicious. The dishes also featured two side salads, fries and a portion of rice. However, overall, the dish seemed a little confused-- the salads were spiced with Italian herbs and sauce, while the rice was Chinese and the paneer and fish were Indian. There was a lot of flavours going around, but no sense of harmony. While the main element was flavourful, the sides could have used a good dose of spices. We also tried their ‘Vegetarian Pasta Alfredo’, which was creamy and cheesy, but slightly watery, and a little sweet. The garlic bread that came along with the dish was crispy and light.

The winner of the night was their cocktails. The vodka-based Mango Masala flavoured ‘Goli Soda’ was strong, and had a flavour similar to that of ‘kaccha aam’, making it a very interesting drink. ‘Thodi Whiskey’, which was made of whiskey, rosemary, jalapenos, cranberry juice and passion fruit syrup was sweet, with a hint of spiciness, making it a great cocktail, especially for those who don’t enjoy the taste of alcohol. We also tried their ‘Paanwala’, which is also a vodka-based drink. However, if you are not a fan of paan, you can leave this one out. They also have an extensive shots menu to choose from--99 shots priced at Rs 99 each. ‘Rajnikanth Rassam’ shots made with vodka, rasam curry syrup and chat masala to ‘Black Russian’ with vodka and kahlua, leaving you spoilt for choice.

Apart from the drinks, the service here was extremely impressive; the staff was courteous and friendly. An extremely pocket-friendly place, with dishes priced as low as Rs 99, this is a great place to go with a big gang and chill. Feel free to skip out on the main course, and order a few starters, and of course, some shots.

Where:  Top Floor, Eden Park, No.7/8 Doresanipalya, Near Kalyani Magnum Tech Park, 5th Phase, Sahyadri Layout, JP Nagar, Bengaluru

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