The Beer Cafe calls itself India’s largest and most awarded beer chain and boasts of having around 50 varieties of beers from across the world (from 17 countries) on its menu. A few months ago the chain added Bangalore to its locations, choosing that hub of nightlife in the city, Indiranagar, and 100 Ft. Road at that. A friend and I checked out the space one afternoon and quite enjoyed the ambiance and the food, which was, of course, washed down with a couple of cold ones. What works for this place is its chilled out vibe (though I suspect nights will be louder and chaotic) and a menu that pairs rather well with beer – whether it is Mumbai-inspired street food, thin crust pizzas or even just their fries, everything has that little kick of masala, spice and chilli to make you reach for your beer while still enjoying every morsel.
We started off with French Fries (INR 145), but of course, and also the Corn Bhel (INR 195), which was exactly what its name suggested – bhel puri where the puffed rice had been replaced by corn kernels – and quite delicious. I just had to try the Akuri on Toast (INR 195) which was served with buttered pav – eggs are one of my comfort foods and Akuri is a particular favorite. We liked this dish so much we actually ordered a second round. We also ordered the Thai Fish Fingers (INR 325) which had a nice crunch and a good hit of sweet chilli and just that hint of lemongrass. There were quite a few more dishes to try, and I eyed the Kohliwada Fried Chicken (INR 325), which boasted red chilly, curry leaves and a spicy chipotle mayo – what was not to like, I ask you? Next time I want to try the Chilled Seafood Bhel (INR 345); the first experience at Beer Cafe tells me it will be spicy, tangy and make me crave even more beer!
We decided that not trying one of the thin crust pizzas would be a sin. However, we found ourselves unable to decide on a common set of toppings – I wanted pepperoni which my companion didn’t eat, and he wanted chicken. A happy compromise was reached when the establishment offered to do a half and half: A Dinner Date (piri piri chicken, olives & jalapenos) and Pepperoni Delight (sliced pepperoni, grilled mushrooms, jalapenos, olives & basil) were the chosen combo. The 12 inch pizzas run between INR 345 and INR 475, toppings dependent. A very shareable portion and not to be missed I would say. Burgers, pastas and some Indian dishes are also available, but by this point, we had eaten as much as we could, washing them down as we were, with bottles of beer.
I actually indulged in a beer cocktail, The Beer Rita (INR 395), which was basically a margarita where the lime juice was replaced with beer – beer+tequila=happiness! In terms of bottled beers we both really liked the 1906 Reserva Especial, a Spanish beer brewed in an Oktoberfest style. This was a new one for me, and though rather pricey at INR 525, I suppose that is the price you pay for an imported beer! Leffe Blonde , (INR 495), a Belgian pale ale and many more from Bira and Hoegaarden to Kingfisher, Tuborg, Carlsberg and the other usual suspects were there. They didn’t have Viru the day we visited, so that too remains to be tried on the next visit. Don’t be mislead by the name of the place – they have every tipple covered, from shooters and cocktails and all the spirits – The Beer Cafe won’t leave you thirsty!