#TheIrishMenuMadness at The Irish House, Bangalore

#TheIrishMenuMadness at The Irish House, Bangalore

New Menu at The Irish House – Review

The Irish share a warmth that is infinitely complex. Their unembellished informality will either put you at ease {if you are the kind who takes goodness with a pinch of salt} or leave you at tenterhooks. Interestingly, Bangalore has adopted an Irishman of her own who has brought a certain level of credence to the city’s enthusiasm for the Emerald Isle.

Situated on the top floor of VR Bengaluru, your friendly neighbourhood Gastropub, The Irish House with its bright eye-catching entrance is every bit as Irish as it suggests. From the detailed interiors to the carefully crafted food and drinks menu, there’s warmth in the services they provide and a delightful sense of merriment in its environs no matter which part of the day or night you visit.

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Weekends are meant to gather strength for the coming week; to forget the craziness of our hectic work schedule and immerse ourselves in some “me time”. Personally speaking, it’s all about indulgences – delectable food, heady drinks and foot-tapping beats to shirk off the fatigue of the week that has passed. This Saturday afternoon, I walk past the heavy-set wooden doors of The Irish House into a wide passage showcasing a high-ceiling wooden-decor space that effortlessly accommodates the pub’s trademark green trimmings. 160 covers across a well designed 3,300 sq. ft. space packed with both young and old alike. The music rolling out rock and roll numbers and the whole atmosphere is abuzz with laughter and conversation.

I love the outdoor balcony section with its minimalist décor, giant fronds and the gentle caressing of wind. I slip into a booth for three. With their newly curated menu, The Irish House brings an expansive repertoire of specialty cocktails and delicious food options.

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Food & Drink

The most delightful part of my evening, of course, lay in the range of cocktails introduced by The Irish House. Specialty cocktails that give you a whole new perspective on innovative, rustic concoctions with the use of fresh ingredients, the prudent blending of indigenous and imported liquors and the frivolous use of quirky trimmings – promising the ultimate Irish hangover! If you are in the mood to experiment, then allow the affable staff to delight you with one of their creations and you will realize that leaving it to the pros has its own advantages. Their deliciously potent concoctions were definitely pouring some Irish essence into my soul by the end of a few drinks.

I begin with their first recommendation of Fresh Red Head – a tall glass of vodka, watermelon and fresh basil. This is followed up with the Irish Mule Cocktail – a mix of Jameson, bitters, ginger ale and fresh lime. I relish both the refreshing drinks; although I would advise you not to linger over the Irish Mule too long or the melting ice will wear down its original taste.

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There are then platters of food from the elaborate new menu:
Their team of servers quickly and comfortably introduces me to the extensive new menu, and lets me take a moment to familiarize myself with the creative new selection of food and drinks. More than their knowledge, I appreciated the warm smiles and pleasant nature of the staff at The Irish House.

Pita Pockets
{Spinach pita pockets filled with crispy falefel, classic hummus and tahini mayo; topped with shredded cabbage}

Have I told you that I love pita pockets! The ones served here were flavourful, seasoned with exotic herbs & spices and had the perfect selection of ingredients — tomatoes, cucumber, shredded cabbage, onions, crispy falefel, red pepper sauce, hummus, and a little tahini. The chef had packed everything in well enough so that it all held together as you were eating it. Did I forget to mention that the pita bread was really fresh, and interestingly, shaped like oblong discs which definitely made more sense for pita. They clearly know what they’re doing here.

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Spinach N Cheese Jammers
{Vermicelli crusted spinach and cheese fingers infused with sweet chilli jam}

These light bites packed a fiery punch. The pillowy interior a stark distinction to its crunchy exterior; the Spinach & Cheesy jammers accommodated a reasonable measure of both titular ingredients, and the sharp tartness of the feta really shone through. The taste was favourable and the texture even better.

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Cheese Burst Chicken
{Crispy fried chicken pops with a cheese burst, served with creamy ranch and crispy garlic fries}

Crunchy fried chicken loaded with cheddar and topped with sour cream to create a tantalizing experience – nothing compares to the feeling of warm melted cheese on your tongue! The sauce had a smacking flavour which worked admirably with the garlic fries.

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Baked Anglo-Irish Fish Fillets
{Baked Basa fish cakes on crunchy polenta crackers served with a spicy mango dip and fresh carrot salad}

The baked fillet was love at first bite – what’s not to love about baked Basa, topped with a piquant mango dip served with crunchy slivers of carrot on the side, right? The fish was fresh and baked to perfection – with a succulent interior and a nice crusty exterior; the crackers had an appropriate amount of crunch, and the veggies were crispy. The dip had a spicy aftertaste, which I really enjoyed.

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Drunken Prawns
{Crispy crumb fried prawns on sticks, served with a creamy brandy dip}

Crispy and crunchy, mildly seasoned scrumptious fried shrimp. The key to the crunchiness is in the panko. Its consistency permits it to fry-up beautifully golden-brown before the protein it is adhered to {in this case, shrimp} gets overcooked. I dipped these in the accompanying brandy dip and they tasted awesome!

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Ghost Pepper Smoked Chicken Salad
{Assorted fresh lettuce, spicy smoked chicken tossed with creamy ghost pepper dressing, seasoned black beans, char grilled corn, spicy jalapenos; topped with fresh carrots, pickled cucumbers and sliced boiled eggs}

Afternoon meals deserve a healthy dose of refreshing salads and at The Irish House this came in the form of a chicken salad. The use of fresh herbs with a smooth & tangy dressing, along with a generous addition of protein made this salad an interesting one. The chicken which was shaved off a rotisserie post and grilled was tender, and the spiced cucumber and parsley along with cinnamon gave it incredible flavour.

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The Sourdough Fondue Bowl
{Sourdough bread bowl filled with three cheese sauce, served with crispy grilled chicken bites, smoked chicken sausages, char grilled broccoli and roasted sweet potatoes}

This platter was surprisingly delicious. The sausages were soft and juicy, and thankfully not the frozen kind. The nutrient-rich sweet potatoes just grow on you. The perfectly seasoned grilled chicken had an upfront taste, and the rich and creamy fondue had an earthy flavour enhancing the taste of the meal. Try this dish, and you will know what I really mean.

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Twisted Cubano
{Spicy pulled pork, hickory bbq glazed chicken, ghost pepper smoked chicken, topped with yellow cheddar. Served with chilled house slaw and crispy garlic fries}

What’s a nice Irish lunch without a delicious Irish House Cubano! This sloppy juicy sandwich made using toasted multi-grain bread can be a bit clumsy to eat, but the caramelized onions and the oozing juices from the chicken and pork topped with jalapenos, ghost peppers, fresh assorted lettuce and cheddar – made it every bit of a hearty meal!

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The chain has launched an ‘off the grills’ section of one bowl meals: 

Grilled Sriracha Chicken Bowl
{Grilled chicken served with apple cider rice and char grilled broccoli}

Scrumptious! Being a huge fan of chilli sauces in general, I feel that Sriracha isn’t incorporated into nearly enough recipes. The rice here was wonderfully fragrant and beautifully complimented the moist, sriracha-flavoured chicken; and the broccoli balanced indulgence with healthfulness.

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Moroccan Lamb Bowl
{Grilled Moroccan spiced lamb served with cracked wheat and honey glazed carrots}

A true paradigm of a lovely meal, the juicy and tender lamb was the shining star in this main dish that was simmered with fragrant spices! A totally new and delicious approach to serving lamb; Chef Sandeepan’s creative efforts are remarkable indeed. This recreation of the Moroccon classic was justly worthy of applause.

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DESSERT

Wonderful beginnings lead to mesmerizing endings at The Irish House. Their delectable choice of desserts included a decadent slice of caramel pie and “community dessert” served in a bucket size mug for a whimsical finish to a great afternoon!

The Irish Riverdance

Desserts have always been my weakness, a temptation that I seldom turn away from. The Irish Riverdance was the highlight of the dessert selection; it was a perfect example of the unvarnished Irish friendliness that I had earlier described – complex yet charismatic. It was an indulgent combination of gooey chocolate brownie, vanilla ice-cream, brownie crumble, chocolate truffle, dark chocolate bites, chocolate cookies, caramel sauce, caramelised nuts and fresh lager beer served in a one litre beer mug! Remembering the flavours of this self-indulgent dessert as I write about it brings back the exotic tastes!

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Nutty Caramel Pie

Gooey caramel and peanut butter pie layered with rich chocolate ganache and served with warm caramel sauce. This rich, fluffy dessert was a great finish to my delicious food journey at The Irish House.

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Restaurant Manager Balaji, Chef Sandeepan and server Saurav

Verdict: The warm cheerfulness in its ambience and the music that plays in the background without interjecting impolitely in your conversations, makes The Irish House a great place to let your hair down after a hard week. The new menu has the winning combination of food and drinks that complement each other, making it easier for guests to order without giving too much thought to pairings. A delicious lunch and an interesting pick of beverages made my afternoon an amazing one! Here’s looking forward to many such lovely afternoons at The Irish House. Cheers!! Or like the Irish say “Sláinte!”

 

Getting there: The Irish House, Level 3, 60/2 ITPL Main Road, Mahadevapura, Whitefield.
Opening hours: 12 Noon to 1 am
For reservations: 080 46524252/9513325870

 

*Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review.

Photography: Poornnima M Reddy

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* I love bringing together a bunch of conflicting items and weaving my own sense of one-ness to them. *

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