On International Beer Day that falls on August 3, the best ode to the barley malt one could pay is to say cheers to a couple of mugs of draught beer. Especially Kingfisher and especially as an old Bangalorean.
Googling for pubs that serve draught beer in north Bangalore, I came across just one entry: Denny’s Pub, next to Yelahanka Police station, the search engine threw up my phone.
Scrolling further, I found that they did serve Kingfisher draught along with platters of sea food, birds and sturdy four-legged feasts. Curious on how I had missed this place despite driving past several times, I scrolled further to look at reviews.
“Not very good food”, declared one. “Nice place to chill out with friends”, declared another. “Bad service”, wrote a third. Denny’s had earned 3.8 to four plus stars on average. But, the management had taken care to engage bloggers who had reasonably good things to say.
Social media can be unforgiving especially if someone had a bad day. And, never take the open reviews as a barometer is what I strongly believe.
Still, before convincing my cofounder to accompany me there, I called the number asking if they served draught. Yes, said the voice at the other end. I asked him if it was fresh. “We also serve craft beer. When can we expect you?” and the conversation went on. Any restaurant prolonging a conversation on a cold call is a good sign.
We were there within minutes, finding a parking slot opposite the pub, along cement pipes – a sure sign that the all-important road would be dug up over the next couple of months.
Denny’s Pub is on the first floor, opposite the tile factory which has now morphed into a modern tech park with Apple and other brands housed in it.
I double checked at the entrance whether they served draught beer and made it a point to say “I had called a few minutes ago!”
The pub-cum-restaurant is spread out on a very large floor, is quaint and dimly lit. The high seating reminds one of past pubs of Bangalore which helped give the city the beer capital moniker. At the far corner is a lit up bar with inviting liquids of every colour.
A friendly waiter came up and offered craft beer. We politely declined and opted for what we longed for. The table was soon piled with a purposefully tall pitcher and frosted beer mugs. A few sips and it took us back by two decades. This is what we had come for.
The waiter returned and quickly finding we were locals, got even more friendlier. He told us the place has been there for a year-and-a-half or perhaps more. On Friday’s there is live music – Rahul lends his voice to period songs accompanied by music churned from his playlist. It was a bit loud, but we didn’t mind it a bit.
The large pitcher held almost five mugs of the liquid. The disappointment was that Thai food was not being served though it was listed on the menu. The food wasn’t great. The chilli chicken was rather lukewarm and bland. But, the effort from the kitchen was good as we requested the waiter if they could add finely chopped cucumber to our plate of peanut masala. Any place that obliges such a request wants to make that extra effort to get the patron to return.
“From traditional wisdom, we know that draught beer is better than bottled beer. And some of the brands such as Kingfisher supplies kegs for pubs in the city. Glad that Denny’s offers options such as draught in north Bangalore which brings back fond memories of time spent with friends over beer and finger food. It’s a good place to visit and chug fresh draughts,” says Nameesh N. Rajamane, North Bangalorepost’ food critic and blogger.
We chilled along with the beer. Rahul did not have our Tezaab song request and apologised. It would have added to the nostalgia trip. The bill was reasonable and set one back by early four digits.
On our way down, with the sound of music in our ears and beer in our heads, we found the Denny’s valet. “Where were you when we came?” we surprised him. He politely replied: “I had gone out for a quick dinner, sir. Next time, I’ll be there,” he promised. We promised too, for a next time.