Route 42 fills the void left by good old fashioned pubs in the city
If you miss the grungy rock and roll bars of Bengaluru from the bygone days, then Route 42 is for you. Although the music tastes of the city may have changed, this pub promises the same feel as some of the older establishments. “We can’t play just rock and roll anymore, unfortunately,” confides Ashish Kothare, the owner, who is the man behind venues like Legends of Rock, Roadhouse and Moscow Mule. “We are not doing anything fancy here. We have a no-frill approach to the basics, and we do them right,” says Kothare. We headed there for a weekday lunch and to indulge in a bit of nostalgia. The drinks section with its easy-on-the-pocket approach is friendly and familiar. We tried the Route 42 Iced Tea — a twist on the regular favourite, this one is made with red wine instead. We also had the Strawberry and Banana Smoothie — a pink overload, which we loved. They have a special cocktail hour between 6.30 and 7.30 pm, promising options like daiquiris and martinis at an attractive price of Rs 150.
Their food menu is reminiscent of pub classics. From the appetisers section, we tried the Chicken Skewers, juicy and succulent; the meat was grilled to perfection. We also tried the Jalapeno Pops, small nibblets that pack a punch. The Kung Pao Baby Potatoes were well marinated in an Oriental spice. But the highlight of the appetisers section was the Sliced Roast Pork with Chilly Cilantro — spicy and great beer accompaniments. If you want a classic, opt for the Old Fashion Manchurian, available in options like chicken, pork, fish and prawn. From the main course, we tried the East India Kheema Pao. It is named so because of the special masala used in it, says Kothare. The special “bottle masala” used was made by the East Indian community in Mumbai who made a very different style of kheema than the more easily available Muslim variety. This dry spice used to be pounded and then stored in brown beer bottles, hence the name. The kheema hit the right spot and was served with flatbread paos. We also tried the very creamy vegetarian stroganoff, served with herbed rice. Other offerings include the Pork Sorpotel, Pandi Curry and Harissa Grilled fish.Located in the heart of the popular 5th block of Koramangala, which is brimming with pubs, bars and gastropubs, it is to be seen how Route 42 will face up to the competition. But as Kothare sums up poetically, “All I know is, there is no school like the old-school.”
Rs 1,200 ++ for two with drinks. At Koramangala. Details: 8105505404
— Anagha M