We think that there are five things that make a great food space—ambiance, value for money, great waiters, excellent turn-around-time and the last and the most important thing, the food. And Bootlegger does this with a breeze. Further, the food that we were served (and for the people coming in) looked exactly like the ones in the pictures they had sent us a week prior to the review. So, they mean business. If you are wondering… this one is located at Indiranagar and is way different than its elder brother at Lavelle Road.
Dark interiors, dim lighting arrangements, and peppy music set the tone right away. Every seating area emits a different atmosphere—the alfresco area gives out a contemporary feel, while the area near the bar sets more of an old English tavern vibe.
What caught our eye about the menu was the fact that it was not overkill. Everything belonged there. Right from the cocktails, their meal in a bowl, burgers, pasta, and everything you might find at a pub. But, here’s the catch—even the simplest of items in the menu is prepared with true grit. With all of that taken care of, all we were looking forward to was the food!
Food and drinks
We started with the Jalapeño Cheese Bites—this one was a flavour riot right from the get-go. Well, why wouldn’t it? When you craft something that is fried to a crispy golden crust—with the right amount of melted cheese and jalapeño on the inside—it’s a bomb baby! Excuse our language, but that’s how it was. The cheese did not choke the throat, nor was the crust overdone. But, we may have burnt our tongue(s) because we forget that there was melted cheese in there. So, don’t do as we did at Bootlegger (just this bit).
Next was the Stuffed Mushrooms—a mushroom cap stuffed with a glorious cheese and herbs mixture, deep fried until golden brown and sizzling. We waited for this dish to cool down a bit, and then it was gone in less than sixty seconds! There is something about cheese and mushrooms, no? Again, the ratio at which it was fried was on point. Compliments to the chef on this one, because it was crisp on the outside, but the stuffed mushrooms had the right texture (on the inside) and so did the cheese.
This next appetiser on the menu caught our palate and out attention too. ‘Twas the Asian Zing Wings. Want something to go with that beer of your then this is it (and their Chilli Chicken, which we will get to in a bit). The chicken wings were generously coated in a sweet and sour, deep red, Asian chilli garlic sauce which gave it heat and flavor. It went really well with the Sazerac (a Bourbon-based cocktail that has ingredients like castor sugar, Peyshaud’s bitters, and absinthe) and the Dark and Stormy (another drink that mixed dark rum and ginger ale).
Then came the Bacon wrapped sausages—crispy breakfast bacon wrapped around a juicy piece of perfectly cooked sausage. The bacon and its crispness is what made this dish tasty. The sausage and bacon combined beautifully and made for a great appetiser. We could have had another plate easily, but we had more dishes to sample.
The Chilli Chicken was the best entry yet. We love things that are straight forward, and this item was just what the doctor ordered. No fluff! Boneless chicken pieces marinated in a mix of house sauces, deep fried and seasoned again with sauces and bell peppers and crunchy vegetables. Stuff like these Bangaloreans would kill for. We can’t tell you how good it was, you have to try it for yourself!
That was followed by the Sesame Chicken, Chilli Pork, and the Chilli Cheese Toast. Out of these, the Chilli Pork stood up like a cat on a rainy day. It lived up to its name as well—it was definitely spicy. Also, it did not come doused in gravy like you find in other places. It was dry, easy to chew and delicious. Further, the dish had a hint of Indianness to it that we liked (maybe because it was cooked in all the Indian spices).
We tried the thin crust pizzas like their Pepperoni and Vegetarian, and their burger (Crispy Chicken Burger) too. The pizza was filled with flavour, had the correct texture, and came with a lot of toppings. Coming to the burger. Take this from us—please try the burger. How do we know? First, they got the buns right. Second, the patty was not overdone (was crunchy), or overly soggy. And third, all the ingredients were in the right proportion.
There were other drinks we tried as well during our time at the dive bar. They were The Monk—a straight up drink that was a concoction prepared from a mixture of Baileys, hazelnut and a dash of vanilla ice-cream. This sweet and heady drink would be perfect for those cold nights. Who doesn’t like chocolate? Just mix it with the perfect amount of rum. And there you have it—the most delicious cocktail of the night. If you’re ordering this, you won’t have to order dessert. And the last item on the F&B menu was the Dry Martini—straight up and strong! This one’s for them folks who like their Martini with an old school touch. Just to make ourselves feel better, we ended the affair with a scrumptious Bacardi sprinkled truffle cake.
This place is a bang for your buck. And the folks here don’t compromise on the quality to cut corners. Visit them once and we are sure, you would go back for more. Relax, everything is good at the Bootlegger.
₹1,200 for two people with alcohol
Location: 37, 80 Feet Road, HAL 3rd Stage, Indiranagar