On the plate: Menus, matches, mania

Big screens, exciting matches and delicious drinks and food.
Conrad’s cake mixing festivities resembled a stadium
Conrad’s cake mixing festivities resembled a stadium

BENGALURU : Big screens, exciting matches and delicious drinks and food. In pre-Covid times, cricket lovers didn’t give a second thought about heading out to catch the match with friends. But as restaurants and restobars reopen with caution, they are getting creative in their attempt to bring back the cricket fever. At Hard Rock Cafe on St Marks Road and Whitefield, you can munch on some Royal Springrollers, Dyna Bite Riders, Tupelo Tossers, Basa Bowlers and Chicken Khurchan Tuskers. As Akanksha Chaudhary, assistant director, marketing and sales, points out, this year, the cricket season marks the beginning of festivities. “We hope it would help build the dining out trend,” says Chaudhary, adding that they have worked out ways to ensure a stress-free experience.  

The lobby at Conrad Bengaluru was recently in high spirits as the chef brigade combined several occasions. Gearing up with cake mixing festivities for Christmas, the staff organised varieties of traditional ingredients in the set up of a cricket ground. This included raisins, cashews, walnuts, almonds, candied fruits, cherries, black currants and generous amounts of rum. Big screens will also telecast the screening and create a sports bar theme at ‘The Lobby Brew’ or under the open skies at ‘Tiamo’, by the poolside. The prices range between Rs 1,250 and Rs 2,000 plus taxes, per person, per innings.  

Drinks at Koramangala Social are named and coloured after IPL teams
Drinks at Koramangala Social are named and coloured after IPL teams

For the 53-day tournament, Koramangala Social is offering a drinks menu comprising variants named after the eight IPL teams – Berry Bangalore, Mumbai Mania, Chennai Lions, Kolkata Cavaliers, Hyderabad Heros, Delhi Dhamaka, Crimson Punjab and Rajasthan Regals. They are also offering watch-from-home and DIY kits for those hesitant to step out. “We used to see a growth in sales of special dishes and drinks after the first couple of weeks of the IPL, once the league was set and the dominant teams started coming out. With the league getting set in the coming weeks, we are expecting a good crowd, especially over the weekend,” says a hopeful Mayank Bhatt, brand head of Social. 

With people working from home and the cricket season being one of the highlights of the year in terms of entertainment, Biryani2Home in JP Nagar and HSR Layout is attempting to cash in on that. Their themed menu includes RCB ESCN Pepper Tandoori Chicken Combo, CSK Yellow Lemon Tandoori Chicken Combo, MI Hitman Garlic Fish Tikka Combo, Sunrisers Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani Combo and KKR Rice and Fish Combo, which are priced between Rs 250 and Rs 350. Founder Karthikeyan Selvaraj feels this is an attempt to add to the much-needed excitement. “People have been looking forward to IPL since everyone is working from home. And this time, they don’t have to make excuses for missing out on the matches,” he says. 

With outdoor dining seeming to be next in preference to take-aways, Shiro in UB City is doing game screenings with open air dining to ensure safety. Uru Brewpark in JP Nagar is presenting #youarecricket food specials, including Boundary Shots (4 shots for Rs 499) and Into The Stands (6 shots for Rs 699). To make things simple, Lucky Chan and Misu are doing food hampers for the IPL season, which comprise a meal for two. It is priced at Rs 2,299 for a vegan meal, and between Rs 2,499 and Rs 2,699 for a non-vegetarian meal.

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