First published in Bangalore Mirror

Take a deep breath and imagine this – a Moroccan themed rooftop lounge and restaurant serving Japanese and North Indian, located in the concrete abomination called Outer Ring Road. Whatever floats your boat, you might say, and Float is exactly what you now have in Kadubeesanahalli. (map, same building as Jashn) Truth be told, they have actually done quite a decent job with the ambiance. In addition to the standard tables and bar seating that offer a good view of the cityscape and probably the sunset as well, there are comfortable cabanas that amply justify the lounge tag. And if that weren’t enough, there are hookahs too, which seemed to be quite popular, judging by what we saw. But wait, there’s more. We were all in agreement that the dinner was just about average, but around the time we lef, there was a burst of affection for the place from the ladies in the group. Sounds fishy? It literally was, because the gamechanger was a mini fish spa located right in the middle of the restaurant, which was discovered only after our meal had ended. If you think this is surreal, let me share a quick note on the music. In the space of an hour and a half, I heard Guns N’ Roses, Coldplay and Backstreet Boys! The place might be named Float, but one way or another, it will leave you floored.

The menu makes you think, on multiple levels. Considering the place is fairly new, how could the menu get so dirty so fast? Beyond that distraction, the first drink we tried was the schizophrenic sounding Luv U Like A Women that added to this perception by being just a Cosmopolitan by another name. The group was unanimous that I needed a drink named “For Taller, Stronger, Sharper” – a warm combination of Brandy, Horlicks and honey. That wasn’t as bad as I had feared though it could have been mixed better. The second drink we tried from the Dawa Daaru section was what they called Sarkar’s Prescription. The description sounded like the Hot Toddy/Doctor’s Prescription available elsewhere – apple juice, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, honey and brandy. But trust things to go bad when the Sarkar gets involved! I was also punished later for giving the Scotch Float a chance – after all, what kind of person would ask for a drink that mixed whiskey and wine! One drink that worked relatively was Knock Out – a vodka, green chili, tabasco shot floating in beer. The mocktail we tried – Flying Kiwi – was colourful enough to be a kids drink, but was fine in terms of taste.

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Chicken Bhel had to be tried! Chunky chicken, spicy bhel and tangy tamarind could have worked well, but something was off beyond the missing peri peri sauce. The Wild Street Lamb had well cooked meat, but barring a tinge of dry red chilli, was quite bland. The veg starter we tried was a Chef’s Special – Nutty Tulip, a crispy pastry with a Sichuan Pepper and Cashewnut mix. Flavoursome filling and excellent texture. The mood lifter, unsurprisingly, was aquatic life in the form of a Seafood Chowder. Thick, creamy soup with abundant shrimp, which left everyone smacking their lips! We debated quite a bit on what to order from the Japanese section, only to be told it wasn’t functional yet. Maki in a different tongue!

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Fusion fanfare continued in this section. Our immediate choice was the Chicken Naanza. That, in case you didn’t fathom, is a naan pizza. It wasn’t all Naanzans, but it also didn’t offer a lot beyond the initial interest. The Butter Chicken Biryani would have worked quite well if they had actually mixed the two components. Both the Butter Chicken as well as the Biryani were fine specimens but live mixing meant that the flavours weren’t as seamless as we’d have liked. Canadian Chicken was interesting until we figured that it was just a Stroganoff by another name! The winner was the Spaghetti Mutton Rara, the tomato and masala flavours working very well with a spicy mince.

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A Paan Panna Cotta for dessert. Believe that. It took some time to get to the table but they actually got the betel leaf infusion right. The texture though was a bit off though. We also tried the Tiramisu, but had to drag it out from hiding from inside a Black Forest Cake!

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A three course meal for two would cost about Rs.1800. The ambiance is unique and relaxing enough for a lounge, and there are enough distractions to keep folks interested. The drinks were mostly a disaster, and the food was average with a few high notes. But the thing about restaurants in Bangalore is that if you get the location right, the future isn’t as drastic as sink or swim, the place could just float!

Float, #20/5, Panathur Junction, Outer Ring Road, Kadubeesanahalli, Ph: 080 41491004/5