If Koramangala needed one more addition to its eateries to tilt the balance in its favour, it’s done! Tilt is a gastropub on the same road as Truffles Ice & Spice. There is no valet parking so if you have a four wheeler, you’re probably better off parking in that lot next to Empire, and walking it up. Plenty of space for 2 wheelers though. Tilt bills itself as Bangalore’s first destination gastropub. I know a certain Monkey who might pick a joust over that, but since Koramangala IS Bangalore for a lot of people, we’ll let that pass. When we’d dropped in at Tilt a couple of months back, we had the luxury of choosing our seating at 8PM on a Saturday, but the second time – a few months later, people who walked in at that time didn’t even have a choice of where to stand. The place was packed – the ground floor, the mezzanine seating, and the outdoor option! I get the feeling that a certain Dj TT had a hand in it, but even otherwise, judging from our experience – the food and the general vibe – the place deserved it.
Tilt has outdoor seating and in the indoors section, has a ground and mezzanine floors on two sides. There’s also the mandatory giant TV screen. The interiors include hat tips to music in the form of posters all over, but we wondered whether the grunge look had gone a bit overboard. However, the rest of the experience easily takes over before you start paying attention to the details. ‘Familiar’ is the word that Tilt uses to describe the music it plays, and it was exactly that. A sea change from the 2010-hangover music we heard the first time. It was still a bit loud, but everyone seemed to be having a blast, and that brought the painful realisation that age was not really tilting in my favour!
The drinks menu was under construction the first time with print outs being given to us, but things had changed since then. The first time, we asked for a Sangria and a ‘Crazy Mango’. The sangria was reasonably good and had brandy in it, though measly in terms of quantity but the mango drink (aam panna based) was awesome, and highly recommended. The latter wasn’t available the second time though. The Tilt Kiss (mocktail version) was not bad either, but the Cosmopolitan turned out to be too sweet.
The main menu is an eclectic mix of various cuisines, with many fusion twists. In addition to the regular menu, there’s also a bar snacks menu. The first time, we tried Oriental stir fried pork sausages. The sausages had lemon grass and soy glaze, giving it an excellent hot and sweet flavour. The second time, a rainy night menu meant that we had to try a soup. The Broth of leeks and charred Za’atar flavoured chicken got a few points just for the unique presentation, and the mildly spicy soup didn’t disappoint on taste either. We missed the German snail sausages in the dish, but the Pork Cocktail sausages and the superb sauerkraut seasoning quite made up for it. Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles was up next – grilled seafood, mushroom ceviche, crisp Basil chiffonade chicken with chlorophyll mayo and Peruvian bread. We found squid, prawn, and fish; the mayo deserves a special mention for the flavour it lent to the dish. The Old Monk Chicken crispy chilli hot wings has been a favourite and continued to be everything it promised.
Technically, the mini wharf burgers are part of the bar snacks menu, but given we were a few drinks down, we tilted it towards the main course! I was warned that their appearance was deceiving and they’d be quite filling. I think there is some tasty truth in it. The Fusilli in creamy pesto with mushrooms was thick and creamy but might have felt a little ignored in the company of meatier dishes. Capriscisico calebresse was our pizza of choice, mostly thanks to its name dropping among ingredients – ham and bacon, to be specific. But the thin pizza was only average, though quite filling! For those interested, there is also a Man vs Burger championship that’s always on! The Penne Chicken & Mushroom Alfredo was quite creamy and tasty. The quantity was also decent. The ‘Interpretation of Kozhi Porichathu’ took some more time and the presentation was quite fantastic. The dish itself was only average. The chicken could have done with a little more cooking, and the Beurre blanc seemed to be made of coconut milk powder and that took away a little bit.
For dessert, we asked for a Gianduja hot chocolate souffle which had fried chocolate biscuits and a chocolate vanilla creamy ‘soup’. That took an inordinate amount of time. Apparently the chef had forgotten about it! Thankfully it was worth it. The two chocolate components beautifully complemented each other in terms of texture and flavour. During the second visit, we chose the Chilled strawberry bisque and the Crème Brule. (sic) The former also had pistachio quenelles and ricotta cream, which complemented the strawberry flavour but couldn’t really elevate the dish. The Crème Brulee was crunchy and custardy, but the custard was a little too hard.
For about Rs.1500, you could share a drink, a non veg starter, a couple of main course dishes and a dessert. (Inclusive of taxes and service charge) Tilt has a lot of things going for it – good food, energetic vibes and from a few experiences, superb music! What it can work on are the details eg. dog-eared menu cards, and probably some character – something that for instance, Monkey has oodles of. If they do, there’s nothing that stops the establishment from going ahead full tilt, even amidst the gastronomic abundance that’s Koramangala.
Tilt Gastropub, 99, Ground Floor, 4th B Cross, 5th Block, 1st Main Road, Koramangala Ph: 25530520
The second visit has been chronicled on Bangalore Mirror.