I was made to understand that pubs were treated as tourist attractions in Bangalore when they first started to emerge in the mid 1980’s. People who came from out of the city were completely mesmerized with the whole concept. After all, it was known as the pub capital of India so that was no surprise at all.
These trendy watering holes were a hit over the weekends as there were no deadlines those years. There was no one to tell you when you could have your last drink. Those were the good years, I tell you!!
Sadly today, there are not many pubs in Bangalore that give you those same old school vibes. The whole idea of “pubbing” has completely changed over the years. If my friends and I decide to go out, it’s all that techno music where you can’t even have a decent conversation with the person sitting next to you. You find groups of people only wanting to get “high” and when they can’t handle the “highness”, then it’s another story altogether.
Yes, in my last few posts I’ve been saying that I’m giving up on reviewing restaurants. This ain’t my cup of tea anymore. But I just couldn’t resist this place when the invite came along because I’ve heard so many stories. I’ve just turned 22 and I realize Windsor Pub is even older than I am so this wasn’t the place I grew up at but my parents keep talking of how they’ve spent most of their college days here. So, it was a good enough reason to go check out the place.
I’m sure this post will bring back good memories for most of you’ll reading it. When you’ve had a really bad day at work, all you need to do is make a few calls, get your clan to Windsor, order a couple of beers and starters and you’re sorted. It claims to be the first gastrobar in Bangalore even though you’ll come across many articles saying Monkey Bar was the one. But that’s a debate we’ll keep for another time!
The legendary Windsor which used to be located on Vasanthnagar, has now moved to Indiranagar for about a year and is doing just as well as before. They’ve recently introduced a ‘Thali Festival’ that is only available for lunch though but is a winner among the office goers and those waiting to catch a quick meal.
The whole idea behind the thali concept here is to bring back the nostalgia feels hence it is priced the same as it was in the good old days starting at Rs 249 + taxes for vegetarian and going up to Rs 399 + taxes for Fish Thali.
Special beverages are served at special rates during the Thali festival – assorted Indian beers at Rs. 100++, Special Coastal cocktails at Rs. 250 ++ and non alcoholic beverage at Rs. 100++
Started the afternoon with my gin and tonic because I’m not a beer lover at all. Along with the drinks, we ordered two of Windsor’s most loved dishes- Andhra’s Crackling Curry Leaf Chicken and Coorg’s Pandi Dry Fry.
The Crackling Curry Leaf Chicken was an absolute delight. Chunks of chicken marinated with spices, roasted cashew paste and deep fried curry leaves. What a combination of flavours! It left me savouring those spices till the very end.
The Pandi Dry Fry was another hero. Succulent, slow cooked pork cubes with the signature kachampuli(a molten souring agent from Coorg), used as a flavouring, gives this dish its rich, dark, tart flavour. One of the best Pandi dishes I’ve eaten in the city. Those homemade roasted spices are just simple out of this world.
Coming to the main course, every thali has equal proportions of dishes from their menu. You get rice, kerala parathas, dal, 2 gravies, dry dish, vegetable and papad(best part of the meal).
I settled for the Mutton Thali which I enjoyed till the last bite and couldn’t finish. It’s very wholesome and filling indeed! The mutton dry was definitely my favourite because again, the spices were simply beautiful. The secret of most of these Indian dishes are to fry and cook the masala for hours. That’s how you end up with such rich, flavour profiles.
The chicken and fish thalis also looked like killer preparations and will definitely try them the next time I go there.
Places like these today are hard to find. Tasty, comfort food at reasonable prices that come with an inviting ambience. The last few months that I’m here, I’m making it a point to visit all these legendary places because who knows what will come up when I’m back. It’s an experience in itself especially if you’re someone from my generation who has a totally different idea of what a pub is all about.
You will definitely have a great time here. Go try out their thalis before the festival ends!
(The author was invited to review the festival. However, the views of the author remain unbiased and are solely her own.)
Address: Windsor Pub, # 968, 12th Main, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar,
Bangalore – 560038
Contact no – 080 40923656
Timings: Thali festival is only for lunch
Dates: 8 May – 31 Jul 2017
Time: 12 Noon to 3 PM