A full month later than expected, DJ/RJ Rohit Barker and his merry men open their old-school dinner-and-dancing establishment, going all out to remind you of adolescence: say hello to three floors of nightclub, with families in the dining room and singleton wolves howling at the moon on the terrace.
Your reviewer chooses the purgatory of the second floor, where an impression of wide spaces and green cover gently sloping down to the balcony makes us feel pretty good about being stuck in the middle (with you).
We waste no time in calling for drinks - or, to be accurate, we waste as little time as allowed by a long, laborious menu. There are many kinds of food and booze here, and each section lists sub-sections of smoked, tandoor, grilled and stone-cooked varieties. The indecision makes for awkward silences around the table. (In the distance: howls.)
Bangers & Nash(ville)
A server sweetly cuts in to recommend duelling pizzas, one half featuring hoisin sauce - of which we’ll say no more - and the other a peppery, flaky pulled pork that comes up to scratch. By now, we’ve gathered our wits enough to point to drinks we want. Encased within a goblet spewing dry ice, chique with gin, triple sec, lime and cranberry is entertaining, but hardly unusual; it relies more on the theatrics of dry ice rather than sharp mixology. Vodka shikanji laced with lime juice, mint and shikanji salt does better; this is delightfully tangy, with just enough sugar syrup to restrain it.
At 612 East say hello to three floors of nightclub, with families in the dining room and singleton wolves howling at the moon on the terrace.
The server, now our favourite thing about 612 East, takes over the ordering and sends up a plates of the ‘colonial special’ (when will Bangalore restaurants stop treating “colonial” as a good word?!). This Anglo-Indian inspired, twice-cooked mutton is made in an excellent tomato marinade, and disappears off the plate on the double. Our next surprise, sesame Tennessee chicken strips, add an audible crunch to the hits filtering in through the ceiling. Would Dev Shah of Master Of None miss a flight for these, though? We’ve tweeted a picture to Aziz Ansari.
Chucks On With St Laurent
After several days and nights of consulting the menu again, we put in a request for a ‘612 special’ of sizzling chicken & cheese and bounce upstairs to scope out the dance floor. The setting is beautiful, with a bar and a wall projecting Bruno Mars videos, but the music is weirdly dampened as it travels across the vast reaches of the open terrace. Worse, none of the wolf-pack is dancing, and we have to show everyone how to groove to Uptown Funk. We have never felt less cool in our lives.
Downstairs, the chicken resting on a sheet of cheese is utterly inoffensive and utterly unremarkable. Saving dinner is a dish of spice-rubbed pork ribs, evidently slow-cooked and beautifully tenderized with a very piquant after-taste.
For desserts we gamble on a pink praline and banana mousse and lose - it has to be abandoned halfway. Our friend the server rescues us again by pointing out cinammon churros, “the most popular dessert on the menu,” and probably rightly so, given the alternative.
We love that 612 East so earnestly wants to take us back to all things Bangalore, with a layout and vibe that tries hard to evoke ye olde ‘where everyone knows your name’ feeling. Perhaps fewer pages on the menu and a few more dance moves would make this the bar that we ‘90s kids really deserve.
Getting there: 612, 12th main, above Entertainment store, 2nd stage HAL, Indiranagar, call 08049653446. A meal for two costs approximately Rs 4200.
Accessibility: A few steps up to enter the elevator, and one step up at every floor to enter the seating area and restrooms.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.
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