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Route 42, Koramangala's latest Guilty Pleasure...

Koramanagala is home to many a pub and restaurants. In fact so much so that, rumour has it every week there is a new opening somewhere here. So when I was called over by the authorities of Route 42, I was really not sure what to expect.

Route 42 owes its name from the address of the building and is located opposite to the popular gastro-pub-Tilt. The ambience is extremely industrial in nature and immediately imparts the look and feel of a Hard Rock/ Thrash Metal joint. But as you dig deeper, its surreal beauty and ethereal décor comes into notice. As you walk in through the door, the cycle clamped to the wall grabs one’s attention. The prints on the seats and their Denim ensemble deserve special mention. The upper section of the bar incudes an open air and an exclusive private corner on the second mezzanine. There is a separate smoking room and so the outdoor area is not a smoking section.

As we sat down to try out the various drinks and dishes, I realised that the pricing is budget-friendly in nature. I sipped on to my mid-day favourite Pina Colada along with a generous serving of Paneer Garlic Sticks followed by some Prawns Chatpata. The latter was spicy and flavourful. The Prawns were Large through Jumbo and cooked just perfect. Next up were the Jalapeno Poppers followed by Grilled Chicken Skewers and Kung Pao Baby Potatoes. The Cajun Spiced Fried American Corn deserves special mention with its unique taste.

We moved over to the Pizzas with the Farmhouse Special and the Classic Margherita doing the rounds. The Roast Chicken and Red Onion Pizza was definitely one of my favourites from the menu. The Banana Leaf Wrapped Fish in Sambal added a new dimension to Asian flavours and was quite unique in its taste and presentation. However it was the Cheesy Garlic Fries which kept me occupied.

The Mains were served up next and the Country Style Grilled Chicken made its appearance. It was well-done and a safe dish to order. The Keema Pav with Minced Chicken had a unique taste and flavour to it accentuated with the use of Rosemary and Asafoetida. My personal favourite was the Pandi Curry Pizza Wrap which was peppery and balanced in its flavours. The Harissa Grilled Fish and the Coorgi favourite Pandi Curry with Akki Roti were up next. I enjoyed the Pandi to the core and found it extremely flavourful. This is definitely my one stop shop for Pandi Curry in Koramangala. In the Dessert section, the Banana Nutella Wonton was served.

We had a great time with the energetic Ashish and Kumar, the two partners of the venue. Ashish explained to us the concept and the history of the place along with the reason behind its unique name. Being a stalwart in the business, his vision is definitely the driving force behind the essence of Route 42. He also briefed us about the special acoustics of the venue and its contemporary LED lights creating an immersive experience. I cannot wait to come back on a weekend evening to check this place out in its full vivacity. This undoubtedly is one of the best Gastro-Lounges in Koramangala with myriad options for the discerning foodie as well as innovative alcoholic concoctions for the Alcohol enthusiast. Although I stuck to my Pina Colada all evening, I did admire the various Cocktails and Mocktails available in the menu and intend to try their special- the Route 42 Ice Tea very soon.

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