The year was 1899. Bangalore was a ‘boring’ cantonment according to Lt WLS Churchill, and legend has it that he was overjoyed to leave his magnificently pink bungalow to head to war on the Northern Frontier. He called Bangalore a ‘third rate watering hole’ but nevertheless drank at Bangalore Club, where he has an outstanding debt of Rs 13 (this story was up on their notice board). Well, the club’s committee members will be happy to know that Sir Churchill is back, thanks to a new Britain-themed pub in JP Nagar. Let’s give credit where credit is due.
Churchill’s Pub was started by three friends in an attempt to pay tribute to UK’s pub culture, with Sir Winston as their brand ambassador. As you walk up the flight of stairs, you’re greeted at the landing by one of his many quotable quotes, and because it’s Winston Churchill, there are enough lines to go around the pub. Coke and rum?
In the absence of Pol Roger (Churchill’s favourite champagne), we sip on Churchill’s Special, a vodka, lime and blue curacao cocktail, navy-coloured and rough enough to wreck ships. The Mai Tai is tasty at once sharp and sweet, and goes down so smoothly, you might need some sort of app to prevent you from ordering another.
Churchill called Bangalore a ‘third rate watering hole’ but nevertheless drank at Bangalore Club, where he has an outstanding debt of Rs 13.
Drunks will find the menu comforting, spotting Bangalore bar food favourites including peanut masala, but also the unusual choice of nippat, a savoury fried lentil disc, which would prefer to live in a bakery. The generous use of cumin in Coorg pork unsettles us, but Churchill’s Special Chicken marinated in desi masala and cooked on a tandoor, goes swimmingly well with whisky.
The only English meal for mains is fish and chips, which we skip for chicken biryani (hey, you would too!), a layered rice and chicken bowl perfumed with cloves. This is an instant hit at the table, unlike the dry and chalky baked chicken herbed rice. Pale and Dickensian is a dish of garlic sauce and boiled veggies, tasteless and rather gruel like.
The end of our night is saved by a beautifully light and fleecy orange soufflé, which arrives just as the music shifts from 80’s pop rock to Adam Lavine’s Sugar. Mr Churchill, if this orange doesn’t make you return to your pink house, we’re not sure what will.
Accessibility: Two flights of stairs leads to the 2nd floor entrance.
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