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Shrubs and appetisers — the USPs of Jonah’s Terrace Lounge

Chef Willi was travelling the day we visited, but his presence was felt everywhere. From the thoughtfully put together bar and food menu, to the olive-apple green decor, Jonah’s Terrace Lounge reflects the master chef’s expertise. The five standalone Jonah’s in Chennai stand as a testimony. But since this is the debut outing in Bengaluru for the established chain, we headed to the lounge for a first-hand experience.

An early breakfast and a hot afternoon meant we were craving something cool. Martin, the manager, led us up to the terrace lounge on the fourth floor. “The USP of Jonah’s Bengaluru are the shrubs,” he reveals, instructing the bartender to pull out all the shrub concoctions for us to see. A shrub is a sweetened vinegar-based syrup (popularised during the American Colonial era) from which different cocktails are made. We were served Plum, Coffee, Blackberry and Lime, Blueberry and Raspberry, and Black Currant Shrubs to taste. “These fruits are soaked separately with vinegar and sugar for about four days. Then we extract the shrub from it,” he explains. We tasted all the five variants — each one of them too concentrated and piquant for the palate.We opted for a mix of Plum Shrub with Vodka. While the fruity flavour came through nicely, it was not too overpowering either.

Tucking in
Another highlight at Jonah’s is the wide selection of starters. Chef Willi’s assorted list spoils you with
a choice of over 40 starters for
vegetarians and non-vegetarians. It’s a difficult choice to make, but being conformists, we chose Stuffed Mushrooms, Pastry Spinach Rolls, Fish Croquettes, Fiery Chicken Nuggets and Ol’ Fashioned Beef Balls. Every starter was a star with its own flavours.
But the best among the lot
were the spinach rolls and beef balls. The spinach rolls are a
miniature version of a samosa.
The triangular patties are stuffed with blanched spinach and cheese, baked to wafery perfection. On
the other side, the beef balls,
succulently cooked, stay true to the meaty flavour with a hint of oyster sauce and red wine.

Pièce de résistance
We then sampled the Summer Salad, the Healthy and Beauty Pizza, the American Chicken Pizza, and Pesto Penne pasta. The salad, a mix of figs, raisins, walnuts, tomato, cucumber, cranberries, pomegranate pods, almonds, pumpkin seeds and
lettuce, is a must-try for health freaks. The oven-baked pizzas were perfect. The most interesting dish was the pasta, as Chef Willi adds a twist to the creamy sauce with a generous dose of pistachio paste.
Finally, what seemed like a nine-course meal culminated with caffeine-soaked, cream-layered Tiramisu and a rich Cashew Brownie with ice cream. Satiated with such delectable flavours there was nothing more we could have asked for. Jonah’s truly lives up to the precedent set in Chennai.
`1,300++ for two. At Indira Nagar. Details: 49653132

— Ayesha Tabassum