A good tip for fellow Bangalore citizens – if you find the afternoon and evening traffic on Saturdays to be unbearable and spoiling your plans of eating out, try leaving your home after 0930 pm in the night. Traffic is lesser en route to most places you are headed, and with Bangalore open for a fairly decent while on Saturday nights, you will have an easier time outside. Make sure you have your own safe ride though. Last Saturday we tried this trick, and found ourselves waltzing down 100 feet road, Koramangala and reached Barleyz without so much as a traffic hiccup.
I have been to Barleyz quite a few times in the past two years, and is a good choice in Koramangala to have drinks with friends or as a couple, though slightly on the expensive side.
Now the best thing about Barleyz is its ambience – the open terrace with the natural Bangalore breeze is any day better than an air-conditioned hall. Also the hustle and bustle of the city from below is a nice buzz in the background, adding to the busy waiters and the artificial fountains they have set up. While there are bright lights from the hoardings nearby, the floor on Barleyz in itself is quite dark at night, with the illumination good enough to see your food and your friends across the table. This is good – no distractions from the company and importantly, your food.
We got a table without any delay, a two seater with rather high chairs, almost like a bar stool. It is not entirely comfortable, Barleyz could look into this. I have been to the buffet section in the past as well, it has much better seating. The other seatings in the ala carte section are all sofas for groups of six people leaving the couples and 4 group people a little short-changed.
I opted for the ‘Barleyz special’ beer and wife decided to try out the ‘Peach Rum Smoothie’ – we wanted to try something new. But for the appetizer, we opted for the classic paneer tikka. The drinks were a let down – the beer was not at all like what I had tried before, it tasted like it had gone wrong. It is possible that I was not used to the taste or that the beer was genuinely bad, I will reserve the judgment on this one to an extent. The peach rum smoothie, even though a different combo i.e. a smoothie with rum in it, failed to impress. Wife, who likes peaches more than me,felt the flavouring was not fruity enough.
The paneer tikka however redeemed some faith in the kitchen. The paneer was of good quality – fresh and creamy, and the masala was also just about right. Well cooked, it was nice to tuck into the tikkas. The waiter however either forgot to give us the chutneys or they don’t serve it. Either way, that’s wrong.
For the main course, I picked the ‘Fried rice with stir fried chicken’ and wife opted for the ‘Pasta in Arrabbiata’. By this time, since the crowd was thinning a little bit, we requested for one of the corner sofas and got one. If one ignored the smoking neighbors, it was a fine table.
The fried rice was almost exactly how I wanted it to be – well cooked, not too oily, with a good amount of carrots and celery, only slightly on the saltier side, but it was a good dish. It was covered with a bowl and nicely served with the stir fried chicken in another bowl. Coming to the chicken, i don’t think it was stir fried. What I actually got was more of a chicken broth, with lettuce and carrots. But it tasted good, and I wasn’t complaining – should I have? The pasta looked appeasing, and as I have said in all my earlier posts, took wife’s word for it. She said it wasn’t too oily and the sauce was perfect.
The bill came to INR 2295. This is simply too high for couple of drinks, an appetizer and two main course. The drinks weren’t too great either. Barleyz also added the service charge themselves without checking with us – as per the new Supreme Court ruling. I should have confronted them about this, but did not.
Barleyz fits the bill of a decent hangout spot in Koramangala, their open air ambience being the biggest plus – be you’re ready to shell out a little more than usual. Their drinks have usually been good in the past, the last occasion was a one off and the food is generally up there. Service is pretty decent too, and you generally don’t have anything to complain about. With a relook at the seating arrangements for couples and the pricing, they could certainly be better!
PS: Try the amla toffee they keep at their reception. Pretty good!
Address : 2/3, Above Pantaloons, Sony World Junction, 80 Feet Road, Koramangala 6th Block, Bangalore
Phone : 080 49653421
My Zomato review for Barleyz can be accessed through the widget below.