Tuesday, 10 June 2014

High on 'HIGH Ultra Lounge', Bangalore

Lets say, "you are high on an altitude of 421FT.."
Lets say, "It is the tallest commercial building of South India.."
Lets say, "sippin' on some fantastic cocktails straight from GuruPrashanth's bar.."
Lets say, "Enjoyin' a fabulous Pan-Asian meal under the starry sky.."

Nice thought!!! Isn't it? Okay.. This is exactly what I want you to experience...

Never mind if you have missed the Signature lounge in Chicago or the famous rooftop lounge in Mumbai; there is something better that Brigade Group has to offer - HIGH Ultra Lounge. Yes, located on the 39th storey of the Brigade World Trade Center, this place  is the highest point in south India and boasts of breathtaking views of the city, the sunset and more. An open roof top, glass walls all around make HIGH a perfect place to celebrate the weather of Bangalore.

A new menu has been introduced and is very impressive in terms of its offerings. It boasts of grills, hot and cold appetizers, salads, soups, sushi and maki, mains, desserts and more. Of course there is a special menu for beverages both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. This menu comes in after much thought and research transitioning from a smaller select menu. This new menu spans from from various countries across the length and breadth of Asia making the menu itself a delicious read. A preview of this menu resulted in a joyous evening with spouse, blogger friends and the team and people responsible for High Ultra Lounge.

What We Ate:
As we entered we were welcomed by a drink called 'Why GOA' by mixologist Guru. This drink gets its name from Guava being the key ingredient and for some Pun intended. It was a refreshing one topped with some pickles and pepper for the taste.

As we sipped our drink, we walked around and took a tour of the venue. While doing so, I learnt - High is segmented into 4 sections; each suiting ones own needs. Here, I write about 'High Mix' - As the name suggests; it is a section of HIGH from where the DJ swings some music, Guru and team mix some of the best cocktail concoctions and also where one get to mix with the crowd.

We spent our early evening here with Guru taking charge of his bar from the other side of the counter. He and his team in no time presented to us the first cocktail of the evening - 'Walk the talk'. A whisky based cocktail which also involved the use of house made bitters. A sip and we were all in love with this cocktail. Unlike many other whiskey based cocktails, this one did a fantastic job of retaining the flavors of the whiskey and also brought in an added smokiness to the drink. The secret behind this was the bitters used were smoked over a period of time.

Right on, I was not leaving the bar counter. I only looked forward to more from the other side. Next was Guru's Love Portion - A brilliant twist to the classic 'Cosmo' with Carbon-dioxide infused into the drink through special shakers called all the way from New York City. This drink is so very fresh and out of the world. What's equally interesting, if not more is the making of the cocktail. Easily the best cocktail of the evening.

And in no time we get our third cocktail which was more like a cocktail dessert. It came topped with foam and silver crystal balls. A delight to drink and definitely worth having a round off.

Before we moved to the next section, we got a sneak-peak into the kitchen at HIGH where the chef was kind enough to allow us to take a shot at making our own Vietnamese Rice Paper wraps.

Soon, we were settled in the comforts of our table in HIGH Dine - a section dedicated for diners who love Pan-Asian cuisine and would love to eat in a beautiful outdoor setting; 421 feet above ground level. Once we settled down, it was a long session of conversations, loads of food and some more drinks.

There was a lot of sushi on the table. It was a medley of vegetarian and non-vegetarian sushi and maki with at least 4 in each category. I love sushi and it is a delight to begin a meal where the taste buds liven up from this wonderful preparation. Each was different in its own way and taste. What better accompaniment than Kikkoman soy, wasabi and pickled ginger?

Sesame cheese rolls were like spring rolls stuffed with philly cheese served with a dipping sauce of strawberries, jalepeno and peanut. The cheese was gooey and the outer crust of the roll gave a nice crunch to the preparation.

Moving on to dumplings, Puja enjoyed the 'Chinese Cabbage and Tofu Dumpling' and also the 'Pok Choy and Shittake Mushroom dumpling'. The mushroom dumpling specifically needs a mention as Puja; not a mushroom fan really enjoyed this dish. My love sea food always takes precedence over chicken. Yes, for me on the non-vegetarian front, Har Gau (prawn and bamboo shoots dim sum) takes the first spot for its sheer freshness and a light, jelly like; yet firm outer casing. Eat it hot to enjoy the true flavors of this dish. Chicken gyonza (chicken and shittake mushrooms) which was both steamed and pan fried followed close.

Diakon Soup was really light and nice on the palate. It was a Korean chili broth of fresh pineapples and vegetables like white radish and mushrooms. AS we sipped on more starters were in store.

This time around it was'Rock Shrimp Tempura', 'Stir Fried Chicken in Black Bean sauce' and Grilled Scallops with Pickled Plum'. The crunchy shrimp tempura was tossed in a house special Japanese spicy mayo and sichimi. The tempura remained crunchy and the sauce fabulously married with the tempura and shrimp. Best eaten hot, this dish I must say rocked my world.

Chicken stir fried in black bean sauce was succulent and delicious. I first decided to to savor this with the jasmine rice in the mains but one bite of it and I could resist finishing it up. Thank fully I did for there was a lots that came in the mains as well.

Grilled Scallops was a simple preparation and came topped with Japanese pickled plum and scallion. It not only tasted very good but was really well presented coming placed on a shell.

On to the mains, it was another fabulous food ride. We tried the 'Thai Green Curry',  'Long Beans in a Black Bean sauce', 'Assorted veggies in Sambal Oelek in vegetarian and 'San Bei Chicken', 'Steamed Fish with Ginger Scallions', 'Prawns with Asparagus' in non-vegetarian. All of this deliciousness was devoured with Japanese Steamed Rice. Eating all this in one evening at 421 feet above ground level of the Brigade WTC was like being in food heaven (Haven). While each of the dish was delicious but I have to make a hard choice to pick my favorite, it will have to be - the steamed fish dish, the prawns with asparagus and the Thai green curry.

It was not all, for dessert we had Tiramisu and Lemongrass ice cream. Of the two, I'd easily go with the lemongrass ice cream.

I'm in absolute love with the place, the food, the ambiance and of course the cocktails. the mix of indoor and outdoor spaces with different mood settings makes it a perfect destination for lounging, dining, partying and celebrating special occasions. I was here on a cloudy day and missed the views of the sunset. Hopefully, the weather plays sport and allows me to enjoy a drink in the company of good food the next time around.

A meal for two with a drink each will cost an average of Rs. 2500 + taxes and charges. To me its  neat pricing and a real value for the overall experience HIGH offers.

Quick Tips:
Make sure you focus on both food and drinks.. None of them can be ignored. The ambiance is fabulous and the Bangalore weather can surely be your best friend.

Address: 39th Floor, World Trade Center @ Brigade Gateway, Malleshwaram - Rajajinagar, Bangalore 560011
Phone Number: +91 80 4567 4567 

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