If glowing sign boards which read ‘this is a bad place for a diet’ and ‘love you to the fridge and back’ are any indication of the things to come, then you know you’ve hit the right food and beverage hot spot which promises sheer indulgence. Welcome to KA.01, the newest rooftop bar in namma Bengaluru which is ready to take you on a whirlwind culinary journey of bustling desi addas and secret nooks of late night India.
Ride the elevators to the top floor of hotel Ibis Bengaluru City Center and be ready to get greeted with glitzy visuals of retro fun elements, quirky curios, exposed brick walls with a food truck and beverage van for company. Dotted with metal and wood furniture coupled with expansive evening views of the city skyline, KA.01 is your go-to place for local food from the streets of India, complemented with offbeat drinks which celebrate our cool garden city.
Cosily seated in this al-fresco eatery, we begin our virtual travel with Coimbatore’s scrumptious Prawn Thokku served on prawn crisps and MM Road Bengaluru inspired Baby Corn Bezule. Both washed down well with KA54 Nelamangla, an unusually named cocktail of Old Monk rum, Thums Up and masala.
Kunal Kumar, head of culinary transformation at ibis hotels, explains the idea behind this new F&B concept. “KA.01 is quirky with a sense of the familiar.” He goes on to add, “Designed by Prasanjit Singh and Abhijit Mukherjee of Studio Gourmet Services, this place creates visual imagery which evokes memories of late-night drives ending in front of familiar roadside eateries always serving delicious food”.
Plans are afoot to take this restaurant format to other Indian cities in the months to come, but this is still work-in-progress.
As we drive further into the streets of India via the Instagram-friendly menu, the vegetarians among us opt for Udaipur’s Paneer Ke Sule served with Dal Makhani and Naan and Gupta ji Style Aloo Burger from Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar. KA.01 head chef, Anthony Tamang is always at hand to explain the origins of each of the dishes which were hand-picked after his personal excursions through the bylanes of India.
Some of the chef’s recces are dished out from the stationary food truck are Ahmedabad’s Bhatiyar Galli Bohri Samosa, Tamil Nadu’s Chicken Chintamani, Goa’s Rava Fried Squid Rings, Chandni Chowk’s Butter Wala Chicken Kebab and Delhi’s Anda Paratha. A limited dessert listing includes Malai Kulfi with Rose Falooda and Pan Dried Mawa Cake.
Then there are the heady cocktails served in large bowls, perfect for sharing at the table. We fell in love with the KA.04 Yeshwantpur with white rum, tamarind, mint leaves and the KA.03 Indiranagar with Spiced Rum and Aam Panna - both drinks serve around four people. Named after a few popular streets in Bengaluru, the signature cocktails are served from a beat-up van parked at the entrance of this 54-seater restaurant.
You will be happy to know that the food here is quite pocket-friendly and served in portions of quarter plate, half plate and full plate options which works well depending on the number of people in your company. The friendly staff in causal outfits blend well with the theme of the restaurant and service is attentive and efficient. KA.01 is perfect for a catch up with long-lost friends with whom you may reminisce your college and early work years over some food nostalgia under a balmy Bengaluru sky.
KA.01, ibis Bengaluru City Center, off Richmond Road
Timing: 17:00 to 23:59 hours
Average price for two Rs 1,400++