In this digital era of selfies and its sticks, it is pleasantly amusing to walk into a gastro pub that has vintage cameras greeting you at the entrance. That Sotally Tober aims to stand out is evident with the choice of name to begin with, out-of-the-box architecture and décor — they have chairs carefully perched on to the exterior wall of the building, which originally was an old bungalow — but the real deal are the innovative glowing teapots, pickled jars, egg beaters, cupcake moulds and several other knick-knacks that have been fashioned into light fixtures.
With white interior walls splattered with shades of blue paint, they have cosy corners with macaron-coloured couches for comfort-seekers, high chairs, and stools for the rest. The ground floor is dedicated for those who prefer less noise and loud music with the seating planned for family diners. It’s the ground above where all the action happens — good music, the bar, a lot of chatter and breezy Bengaluru weather uninterrupted with life-size windows giving it the open feel.
The menu comes with a ‘hashtag soto’ written ahead of dishes that are glazed with alcohol, such as the corn on the cob which is spiked with vodka, and peanut masala tossed with tequila, the Old Monk barbecue chicken curry with herbed rice, Malabar beef chilli drizzled with whiskey honey, Thai-styled chicken wings tossed in white wine and so on. Much of their finger food is presented in flattened glass bottles. Cheesy samosa and bread Logs are a must-have among finger foods. With an in-house bakery, much of their breads are fresh, soft and often melts in your mouth.
Besides that, a selection of Pan-Asian and Indian dishes, such as the grilled basa marinated in rum, lemon and parsley, for main course make for a good choice. Creamy and fresh with grilled veggies and mashed potatoes along with tender basa is not too heavy after a few rounds of drinks.
Since the idea is to get their customers Sotally Tober, the owners (a young brigade of three partners who have quit their full-time jobs for passion in food industry) have kept the bar menu limited, and yet potent with innovative signature cocktails. Take the Sotally Spiced for instance. Vodka based, this drink is made with peri peri, mint and a dash of sweet and sour. On the spicier side, those with a strong Indian palate will love this one. For chocolate lovers, they have Tobo chocolate fudge which has tequila, chocolate, triple sec and ice cream and is rather too sweet and creamy for a drink. Monk Pop on the lines of soda pop, rum based with cola ice and Tiffanies — whiskey, orange marmalade, honey and cardamom is a fine choice too.
A little over 10 days old, the crew here is yet to master the menu, and lack the ability to recommend dishes. But the chatty manager is quick to rescue his team from embarrassment and takes you through the specialties with enthusiasm.
Rs.1,200 ++ (for two). At Koramangala. Details:49652488
— Nandini Kumar