Walking away from Sunday Brunch feeling like I’ve eaten healthy isn’t something I really remember boasting about until now but that is exactly how I felt at The Tower Kitchen. The modern and oh-so-cool ‘sister’ restaurant attached to Skyye Lounge opened last year on the 16th floor of the UB City tower to a bang. Their Sunday Brunch is really something special and anyone who is either vegetarian or on a bit of a health kick will love the extra effort they’ve put into their brunch – and the menu with the mix of à la carte and buffet items.
As always, first things first – the bubbles! Tower Kitchen doesn’t serve Champagne but what they do serve is Jacobs Creek Chardonay Pinot Noir sparkling wine that is such a step beyond the typical Sula Brut it’s a delight to drink. And I am happy to say that they are only the second brunch in town to have it properly chilled at the start of brunch so that was a real plus (most times I have to ask for it to be placed in a bucket to chill because 99% of the time it isn’t served at the proper sparkling temperature – so kudos to their team!).
One of the first things you’ll notice during brunch is the cool, smooth, groovy retro music played at the perfect volume. It is neither too loud so you’re forced to yell like at some brunches, nor is too low and this ensures that you still have that slight party vibe to the atmosphere. They seem to do something akin to Buddha Bar in Paris by starting off with a lighter mix of songs, progressively ramp up and then slow it down again around “closing but stay and enjoy yourself” time. What made me laugh was that several of the songs that I absolutely ADORED, my brunch companion didn’t know because she’s about 18 years younger than I am and she simply had never heard them! The Tower Kitchen offers up something for everyone, which is nice if you are getting a bit older like me because the older retro hits tugged at my heart strings.
Back in the spring and summer of 2011, I almost lived at Skyye and dined there once or twice a week so I know a thing or two about the quality standards of the ingredients personally selected by Corporate Chef Vivek Salunkhe because I’ve been eating his food since I first arrived to Bangalore. Vivek is meticulous when it comes to selecting the freshest and highest quality foods and spices to prepare each dish to a standard that rivals the top restaurants around the world – and it shows down to the tiniest detail of Sunday brunch. Tower Kitchen is also the only restaurant in South India to have a ‘Chef’s Table’ which is something only seen at the highest calibre restaurants – a table for 12 with a minimum spend of Rs. 100,000 with Vivek personally preparing a tasting menu like El Bulli.
The food at The Tower Kitchen brunch is a fabulous mix of treats for vegetarians, the health conscience and carnivores alike. Since I had just joined the gym at Oakwood in UB City two weeks before, having the ability to mix fresh veg dishes and meats while staying away from the saucy foods and the carbs was just perfect. I’ve been losing weight and the last thing I want to do is destroy all my hard work at the gym in just one naughty Sunday! My brunch companion, on the other hand, was making me jealous by constantly digging into the freshly baked breads (yummy warm, fresh out of the oven – okay I did try a bite!) and the live pasta station, etc.
Cheese is something I figured I’d love at The Tower Kitchen because Skyye has the best cheese platter in all of Bangalore – and they didn’t disappoint. The quality of the cheese is wonderful and the selection included delights like succulent buffalo mozzarella from Italy and imported Manchego from Spain. Do try the garlic stuffed imported olives! They also have freshly sliced embutidos of the highest quality, which are a mix of local and Italian meats like chorizo and parma ham.
The hummus is fantastic, not overly garlic’y and just delicious and their soups include a cold soup counter and hot counter with zucchini and yoghurt gazpacho, traditional Spanish gazpacho, chicken and mushroom, and tomato basil that is kicked up in spiciness to give it a unique flavour.
My favourite fresh ‘skewers’ were the sweet watermelon with soft Manchego and the traditional tomato and buffalo mozzarella which were both amazing in quality and taste.
Fresh salads abound at brunch as well, with a live salad counter with various fresh dressings and lots of toppings. They have a delightful Hawaiian salad with tender chicken and freshly cut pineapple. And the soft feta and vegetable salad is drizzled with herbs and it as tasty as it is pretty with a myriad of colours from the diverse ingredients.
I have to say that the grills and à la carte meats and kebabs were probably my favourites. Well, that and the halibut quenelle starter because of its incredible, unique consistency and taste … it’s like eating soft crab cakes but with halibut … loved it! The Moorish beef skewers are tender and flavourful, the chicken kebabs are super (do try the glazed chicken too!), the pork is tender and with a nice pepper kick to give it some zip. Now, all that said and done, the 14 hour slow cooked pulled pork is my favourite item from the kitchen, don’t miss it if you eat pork.
Vegetarians will be happy from the moment they sit down at The Tower Kitchen because it is one of the few spots that really pampers vegetarians. They offer veg-only live stations like the pasta counter, savoury and (later sweet for dessert) crepe station and a lovely sandwich bar. They also have a nice selection of skewers and grills like the thick and fresh paneer skewers and the yummy mushroom skewers.
Of course, with Skyye as a sister one would expect the cocktails to be rockin’ and they certainly are! We tried the beetroot martini and the fresh watermelon mint martini and they were perfection in a glass.
For dessert I highly recommend the chocolate torte, it is gooey chocolate goodness. The blueberry cheesecake is authentic cheesecake (not this crazy mouse on a cookie crust that most restaurants try to pass off as cheesecake). The must-try is the passion fruit cheesecake that is so good it is “like an orgasm”! I swear I heard someone say that.
- LIKE them on Facebook – The Tower Kitchen in UB City
- Opening times: 12 – 4pm
- Coo Coo for Cheese 5-star rating: 2.5* (quality was great, variety okay but pre-cut)
- What I liked best: Not kid friendly. Ample à la carte menu. The slow cooked pork and the kebabs. The halibut from the menu is a must try!
- What I liked least: No Champagne. The squid tapas dish. The fact that the cheese is pre-cut.
- Cost: Rs. 2,400
- (reviewer Angela Carson)
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