Plan a rooftop rendezvous at Niro in North Bengaluru
Winter is here and the garden city has a terrific new terrace bar to check out! Priya Pathiyan scopes it out for you.
There are three levels of lovely, but, like everyone else in this season, we head to the al fresco area at the top of the Country Inn and Suites Hotel, overlooking Nagavara Lake on Bengaluru’s Outer Ring Road. Niro, primed to please, not only has a view to vie for, but elegant dining and some well-crafted cocktails too. Apart from the open-to-sky deck, the interiors feature high-walled ceilings, strategically placed skylights, and interesting lighting.
The combined vision of Lalith Kumar and Shilton Hospitality (known for other successful ventures across India), has allowed the place to position itself perfectly to appeal to the hip denizens of the IT industry looking for post-work pleasure. The menu offers a long list of elevated comfort foods on a menu that is cuisine agnostic. Think Mushroom on Kori Roti, Kerala Pepper Beef, Braised Lamb Shanks, Pork Gyoza, Lemony Prawn Peas Risotto, White Truffle Pizza… and more.
Not surprisingly, Niro has a wide range of beers on tap in a dedicated taproom setting. From the usual variants of Kingfisher, Budweiser, and Hoegaarden, to a tie up with the House of Toit that brings faves such as Tint-in-Wit, Hefeweizen, Basmati Blonde, and Nitro Stout.
Mad about mixology?
Take your pick from 18 classics or 14 fabulous signature cocktails. El Niro cleverly uses the local Nannari (Sarasaparilla) syrup in tandem with Jose Cuervo Silver tequila, Sambuca, and lemon juice. Tender coconut water and honey balance it with a bit of sweetness. The delicious Nilgiri blends cardamom-infused Greater Than gin, frozen berries, lemon juice, and raspberry syrup, into the perfect daytime drink. It contains a decoction made from the excellent South African Roobios tea (though maybe we would have preferred something from a tea estate closer by!).
Three other superb sips for languid lakeside afternoons are Any Day, with Hercules White Rum, pineapple juice, coconut syrup, kaffir lime leaves, lemon juice, and dehydrated pineapple; Magic in the Summer, with Gordons gin, orange juice, cucumber juice, ginger, peach syrup, soda, and coriander; and the punchier Berry Sorbet, made with blueberry vodka, Fireball cinnamon whiskey, a splash of blueberry syrup, a dash of vanilla essence, lemon juice, and sour foam.
If we had to choose the best ones for sundowners, they’d be the Golden Hour, with Smirnoff vodka and lavender syrup, with the goodness of fresh cucumber, mint, apple, and lemon, rizzed up with edible gold dust; the Grease Tease, a blend of Gordons gin, Aperol, Bergamot tea syrup, and a whiff of Vermouth air; and the heady Tropical Island, combining caramelised pineapple, Smirnoff vodka, Aperol, Martini Rosso, and pineapple juice.
As the moon rises over the lake, reach for the Whats Up Matcha, aptly named for the city but bringing a stylish Japanese hit to its Tanqueray gin with matcha tea and wasabi paste! There’s Khodak Black, with the unlikely flavour profiles of cold brew coffee and citric solution with rum; Magnifera, the fruity and sweet mango-passion fruit drink with Bacardi Superior Carta Blanca; and then the No 9, that pits Jose Cuervo Reposado against Laphroaig 10 Years, and adds ginger, honey, and lemon to the mix!
For some late evening luxe, go for Brew Crew with butter-infused Bourbon, Kahlua, Cold Brew Coffee, vanilla essence, coffee syrup, and orange; or the rich and sweet Dark Velvet, made with Old Monk Dark, Baileys, salted caramel syrup, and Amul cream.
Niro days or Niro nights, there seems to be something for everyone here.
Timings: Noon to 11 pm | Address: Plot No 514, Outer Ring Road, Kanaka Nagar, Veerannapalya, Nagavara, Bengaluru | Prices: Starting from Rs 299 plus taxes per cocktail.