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    With a liquor license in hand, Ink 303 on Khader Nawaz Khan Road opens with signature cocktails and global bites

    DESIGNED by the well-known Bengaluru-based Michael Foley, Ink 303 has the city’s serial restaurateur, M Mahadevan, managing the franchise. A slick, 110-seater lounge bar located on the third floor of the building that also houses Mamagoto, I find myself surrounded by the familiar Zara team (now Sera the Tapas Bar & Restaurant) headed by Bablu SM, the business manager. Not to encourage you to hang around the smoking area, but the marker-penned linear art there by Brijesh Devareddy could elicit a quick ‘dekho’. Bablu assures us that the imported brands will soon find their way to their blue-lit bar while the domestic spirits are available now to keep the cheer, especially with a pint of beer at less than Rs 200.

    A good start
    With some familiar (think retro) music in the background, we get ready to sample their new menu of global offerings and are recommended the refreshing vodka-based Classic Lagoon and a Pretty in Pink (with pearls of pomegranate) from the bar to sip on as we wait, which is not long. While getting their liquor license is definitely worth celebrating (it took them nearly five months since opening) with a tall cold glass, I am happily distracted by the starters that are spirited and flavoursome right from the word go. The spicy red snapper that is complemented with sautéed corn and peas is flaky and filling while the sticky ribs are sweetly caramelised and make you spear the baby potatoes hiding underneath with ardour. My vegetarian companion gushes eloquent about the broccoli cheese balls and I give in and try the crunchy spheres with warm melted insides—and agree with her greedily. We manage to give a cheery thumbs up to chef Veera Rajan, who has completed 19 years in this organisation. He tells us that our meal is just half done. We are clearly not complaining.

    Say cheese
    The mains find me dividing attention between the Thai green curry (chicken) and makhni paneer, and ends with me favouring the succulent cottage cheese chunks. The chef’s platter of assorted desserts has my complete attention— comprising a lychee caramel pudding, besides their classic New York cheese cake that is perfectly complemented with a fresh strawberry compote. Declaring the kulfi with the stewed fruits and crumble as the clear winner, we take leave promising to be back soon!

    At Khader Nawaz Khan Road. Meal for two will cost about Rs 1,100 plus taxes (not including drinks). Details: 42163303

    —Sabrina Rajan

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