On a festive Friday afternoon, I decided to venture out for lunch in the busy neighbourhood of Koramangala in South Bangalore, a locality that offers a multitude of choices for the die-hard foodie. Restaurants old and new, low-priced, mid-range and the high-end were chock-full of diners. I quickly hopped across the busy road near Forum Mall to a 3rd-floor Goan-themed restaurant, Fenny’s.
Fenny’s Lounge and Kitchen is a delightful dining option with seating at various levels. The interiors are very much in tune with the Goan theme – with pub benches, mosaic chips in the flooring, ornate mirrors, low thatched doorways, and plenty of wooden beams that are the hallmark of the Portuguese style of architecture in traditional Goan homes. There are a couple of seating arrangements at a higher level, accessed by wooden stairways, while an entire upper floor is dedicated to larger parties. A surprising element were the Penny Farthings converted into high tables with a single round block of wood! The two nearly-century-old Bonsai trees add to the greenery in this rooftop venue. Much has been said and written about Fenny’s award-winning, record-breaking “wine bottle chandelier,” and the Limca National Record is proudly displayed at the entrance.
Though sans reservation on a busy Friday afternoon, the hostess was quick to find me a table. Almost every table was occupied, with the bar area half-full, while the wood-fire pizza chef was kept on his toes throughout. The 20-feet Pizza Tower deserves special mention, because Fenny’s tower is constructed using traditional Goan laterite stones, along with local bricks. This attention to detail adds to the charm of Fenny’s.
F&B to suit all palates
The beverage list is long and its cocktails and mocktails are always a hit with diners. Other than the usual suspects, the Classic cocktails, there are innovatively named specialties, such as Tina Maka Dina, Ann’cestral Recipe, Maldai Mango, London Sour and others. This time, I settled for a rather simple Fresh Lime Water.
Fenny’s prides itself on specializing in Mediterranean and European cuisine that suits the Indian palate. Fenny’s food options are wide-ranging, from soups and salads, to vegetarian and non-vegetarian starters, main courses, pastas, sizzlers and their in-house specialty – the wood-fire thin-crust pizzas. Vegetarian choices were aplenty, and I settled for an old favourite – Crispy Potato Wedges. Other starters on the menu included Tikki Bruschetta, Ginger Pineapple Strikers, Lyonnaise Mushroom, Boiled Egg Croquette, Chicken Quesadilla, Crab Piccanta Sticks, Batter Grilled Fish and even Potato Beef Bolognese. The wedges (INR 125) were perfectly fried and seasoned, and an absolute delight to dig into while taking in the balmy afternoon breeze.
All of the main course options appealed to me, so it was a tough choice. Since the wood-fire oven chef was busy, I chose not to go for a signature pizza. I can vouch for them, as on a previous occasion, I had tried their Farm House Pizza, and it was spot-on. This time, I was intrigued by an unusual lasagne – the Bread Lasagne (INR 275). The Fenny’s employee assured me it was a popular dish. He also did add that it was rather heavy for an afternoon meal as it contains too much cheese! It was definitely a humongous portion – meant for not one, but two persons! The wonderful aroma triggered my olfactory senses instantly. It had a couple of layers of bread, instead of lasagne sheets, and roasted vegetables and cottage cheese in alternating layers. Two crisp slices of Garlic Bread complimented it perfectly. The lasagne was seasoned beautifully and just melted in the mouth. The Bread Lasagne is also available with beef, instead of vegetables.
Other interesting Main Course options included Veg Newberg, Chicken Mexicano, Rosemary Baked Beef, Beef Stick Steak, and Pasta dishes such as Penne Alfredo, Tagliatelle Arrabbiata and Sizzlers in Vegetarian, Chicken and Lamb versions. Moving on to the desserts, again, I was stumped as all of them appeared equally appetizing. The Sticky Toffee Cake with Butterscotch Sauce (INR 170) won against the Chocolate Brownie. One of the best I’ve tasted in India, it was artistically presented and extremely flavoursome.
Time and again!
What draws me to Fenny’s every time is not just their food and beverages, but also the attention paid to all customers. It is rare to see a restaurant/lounge treating a lone diner as well as Fenny’s do! It is not always nostalgia for my school and college days in Goa that draw me to Fenny’s – their hospitality means a lot more than nostalgia, though the latter also lends to the wonderful, warm feeling that envelops diners here.