Dining at the District is Dandy

Beer was the first alcoholic beverage to pass my lips, at an age I would rather not disclose. Let’s just leave it at I was much too young, but who knew better in *those* days, especially since, when said cute little girl, who had been given a teeny tiny beer stein of her own, would offer to do gymnastics and yoga after taking a sip? Anyhow, fast forward about three decades and no longer young, cute, tiny or in any shape to perform acrobatics, I do still love me my beers. The explosion of craft breweries in Bangalore is one I have followed with joy and avid interest. I make it a point to visit the places that brew their own beer, some of which are wonderful and successful while others have been rather blah. District 6, which opened at the bottom of the Sheraton Bangalore in the Brigade Gateway Campus, had been on my radar for a while now, but as is the story with almost every other brew pub in town, licensing issues kept them from brewing for a few months, and in the meantime, it was relegated to the back of my mind. An invite to visit was one that I accepted, but then had to postpone not once, but twice, due to a bad back felling me for over a month! Finally, a few Saturdays ago, two work and life worn gals made our way across to sample the beers and menu and spend a few hours in peace and quiet, soaking in the wooden interiors and copper and metal accents. From the furniture to the bar to even the partitions, it’s all beautiful old wood with a minimalist feel. Having checked it out online, I knew a lot to be on offer, spread across different “districts” like Beer District, Mixology District, Shooter District, Wine District, Toddler District (all beverages) and German District, Flame/Grill District, Curry/Wok District for food – all with plentiful options for the herbivores and the carnivores. This should also give you the idea that there was just not enough space in our tummies to do the menu justice, but we sure imbibed a lot of deliciousness!

It's not a German brewery for nothing!
It’s not a German brewery for nothing!

We began, but obviously, with a beer sampler – 6 shots of the flavors of the moment were served to us in a wire basket – that allowed us to sample all the wares before picking our respective poisons in larger quantities. Those, by the way, can go from 500ml (INR 275) to a litre (INR 500) and even 2 litres (INR 900)! There were light and dark lagers and pilsners, along with a seasonal flavored beer (lemongrass – not very impactive). My favorite for the afternoon turned out to be what the menu says is also the Brewmaster’s favorite – Dark Lord, (robust pilsner) though we also liked The Liberator (light lager) and The Chief (wheat beer). Two salads came forth, both of which featured light, crisp and beautiful ingredients: Apple, feta salad (INR 275) and Beetroot, goat cheese salad (INR 345). This was good foundation (well, from a health and guilt standpoint!) for the fantastic Pork belly yakitori, five spices (INR 495) that graced our table next – this is a must-try dish for the porcine inclined! The veg version (INR 295) featuring okra and eggplant was also good, and I loved that almost all the dishes came with some fried side – vadams and fryams and prawn crackers and more.

Another perfect dish was the Cochin roast crab (INR 2700, sharing platter) – spicy and redolent with smells and flavors, this one should be ordered when there’s a group, alongside many beers, since this pairs perfectly. We being dainty (and lazy) ladies-who-lunch (okay, not really, but the day is yet to come when I am willing to fight a whole crab!), requested that the crab be broken into and dispersed for our dining pleasure, a request that the chef kindly acquiesced to. Andhra chilli prawns (INR 425) is another dish to munch on over beers. I insisted on trying items from The German District, and thus German snail sausage (INR 445) and Old high German bratwurst (INR 425) were ordered, and devoured! The former arrived on a generous helping of burnt garlic laced mashed potatoes that was the kind of mash that comfort food and garlic dreams are made of! In truth, the only dish that left much to be desired that day was the Bbq maple ribs (INR 475) – the meat was hard and chewy and flavors lacking. We also had just a wee bit of the Lemon chicken linguine (INR 395) which had the awesome tang of lemon and just done right pasta and chicken cubes – one to order as a mains, for sure! Dessert for us consisted of Chocolate fondant cake (INR 245) with vanilla ice cream – a mass of gooey goodness, as well as Big stuff cheese cake (INR 385), where the sweetened beer cream topping it had a light but discernible flavor of beer and the texture was good. At the end of this meal, we resolved to head back to District 6 with the men, sometime soon!

Natasha Ali

Natasha's first foray into food writing has been with Chef at Large. Who knew all those years spent eating food, reading about it and looking for the next restaurant to try or watching cooking shows would have left such an indelible impression?! She's back in India after having spent over a decade in the US where she studied as well as taught in academia and now works as a content writer seeing as she can write about pretty much anything. Movie mad, obsessed with the English language, and never one to turn down a glass of good wine, cup of tea, or a good book, she's open to trying any dish once, she enjoys a variety of cuisines with favorites being Ethiopian, Thai, and Lebanese. Natasha covers Bangalore for Chef at Large and can be reached at natasha.ali@www.chefatlarge.in