Some Bangalore brunches are perfect for quiet and lovely conversation with the love of your life, friends and family. Others are busting at the seams with party spirit and feel more like a Saturday night instead of mid-day on Sunday. And then there’s Shiro! I swear to COW that this is the only posh venue in town I know of that has super-charged their brunch to perfection. In fact, it’s almost as though there are two venues in one.
First we have the indoor formal dining setting that is home to one of the most visually stunning interiors that offer up a lovely feeling of walking into a Buddhist monastery with a double high ceiling, outlandishly tall statues with water treatments, beads hanging from the ceiling and the largest Buddha statue in Bangalore. There is a private dining area, a diversity of lovely tables split between two levels and it is perfect for enjoying delightful conversation, a little romance or time with the entire family.
Next we have the outdoor setting which has a partially open roof, trees and plants and natural wood all around with comfy lounge seating. It is also home to the Shiro bar and loud speakers that bust out a mix from the DJ who spins during brunch that ranges from groovy house to classic 70s and 80s hits. This is no place for kids and perfect for experiencing the classiest slice of debauchery that Bangalore has to offer at brunch time. The women are dressed in beautiful dresses or sexy jeans and sporting gorgeous heels like any Saturday night…it’s really fun… and the men look smart in their linen trousers or jeans with Italian leather shoes. And almost everyone is wearing sunglasses.
Obviously there is a time and place for each and in the spirit of research I’ve diligently tried them both (hehe)!! Over a business meeting, the elegance of the inside brunch was just the ticket. The music is playing so there’s still a zesty energy mixed in with the lovely scene inside the restaurant. Then, on other occasions, I’ve been with my friends and I’ve spent some very happy Sundays ‘starting up again’ after Saturday night sat outside. We begin with mimosas or Bellini’s upon arrival, switch up to wine as we enjoy our meal and then by 3pm we have our Grey Goose martinis or cocktails in hand and are happy as clams. Do yourself a favour and try their mojito which they’ve innovated as it comes with a sugar cane stick instead of a glob of brown sugar at the bottom of the glass that you can nibble on just before a sip. They really do make a superb mojito!
Dhiren Pawar, the GM who ensures that every guest is wonderfully taken care of, is also the source of some of the debauchery as he starts making the rounds post-3pm pouring a fruity Grey Goose mix straight from the bottle into the tilted heads and open mouths of party goers. They are damn yummy and crank up the vibe of the afternoon instantly.
However, with all that said, let’s not forget the food! Shiro serves mostly Japanese cuisine however they also serve a lovely mix of pan-Asian dishes from Korea and Thailand. The brunch menu is unique to their normal lunch and dinner menu as it has been Master Chef inspired for the past 2 years. Half of the items on the brunch menu are from Shiro’s wonderful chefs and half of the offering has been created by Master Chef – bringing something unique to Sunday brunch in Bangalore.
Executive Sous Chef Priyank Chouhan walked me through the menu and shared some of the secrets to their sauces and Shiro’s culinary success recently. Their brunch is comprised of a combination of buffet stations and table served menu items prepared to order which is always fantastic. The stations include the sushi bar and a soup, salad and cold starter station. The wait staff will also bring platters of sushi to the table if you ask.
I always have the bad habit of whipping out the chopsticks right when I sit down and over indulging on sushi makis and nigiris because sushi is one of my favourite foods but I have eaten some wonderful dishes there in between sushi bites! The sushi at Shiro is always fresh and tasty but the best part is that the chef prepares wasabi as it SHOULD be … unlike many spots in town that serve an odd creamy wasabi which is just all shades of wrong! I’ve tried the tuna, red snapper, spicy tuna rolls, and even a few of the veg options just for fun. They offer maki, sushi and nigiris.
When I asked Chef Priyank what his favourite dishes are at brunch and what he recommended, Priyank insisted on the Hanoi crisy parcels and the buldak, which is a spicy Korean chicken dish with the term “bul” translating into “fire” in Korean and “dak” meaning chicken. They prepare it perfectly. Take a note of both of those dishes because they were wonderful…do try them.
On top of that, my favourite dishes are the delicious demi glazed assorted sautéed mushrooms, the pak choi and water chestnut dumplings which are always steamed to perfection and the chicken massaman curry. OHHHHH, and if you are non-veg be sure to ask for their non-veg “XO sauce” which is made of a combination of shrimp paste and black bean sauce along with other secret ingredients. It is heaven, I absolutely love it!
Shiro is one of the only two Sunday brunch locations that I know about in Bangalore that book up every Sunday, sometimes 3 days in advance. If you want to enjoy Sunday brunch at Shiro do yourself a favour and call for a reservation on Thursday at the latest. I’ve tried on Friday once for a table for two and I was out of luck. Dress up, don’t forget your sunglasses … and enjoy!
Shiro website: http://shiro.co.in
Opening times: 12:30 – 4:30pm
What I liked best: It’s the most ‘party’ fun fine dining brunch in town … plus they serve sushi. The waiters are quick with drink orders, even cocktails. And there is no kids club (hope this doesn’t offend anyone, I’m simply not a fan of young children at fine dining restaurants).
What I liked least: No Champagne served, only Sula brut. The tamarind tofu in crispy cups because they were spicy as hell, which I wasn’t expecting and it sort of set my tongue on fire.
Cost: Rs. 1850, which includes the typical mocktails and soft drinks but then there is also a choice of Kingfisher Premium, Sula merlot or chenin blanc, Sula brut sparkling wine, sangria, rum or vodka cocktails or Grey Goose martinis.
(reviewer Angela Carson)