Friday, October 11, 2013

Tulleeho Blog - A Visit to Fenny's Lounge and Kitchen, Bangalore

Fenny's Lounge and Kitchen

115, 3rd Floor, 7th Block, Opposite Raheja Arcade, Koramangala, Bangalore

Ph: 080 30412940 ext:590

I've never seen a tree in a bar before, and that too a humongous one, like the one next to our table, and it's not the only one, there's a Topiary Ficus, a little distance away which is 80 years old. And this begs the question. What's a 80 year old tree (and it's companions) doing on the 3rd  floor of Raheja Arcade, and how in heaven's name did it get there?

These are good questions to ponder, as you gaze at the wraparound bottle display around the bar counter, which the owners claim to be in the running for the most number of bottles in a display.

Fenny's as the name would suggest has a Goan feel to it, and is designed on the lines of a large beach shack, albeit a beach shack on the 4th floor of a building. It stays true to it's design by being open from 3 sides, and we were fortunate enough that it wasn't raining that night, but I can imagine that when it does rain, the wind and the water are going to make customers beat a hasty retreat to huddle around the bar.

I'm here for an after work drink with our Bangalore team, and there's an alumni of our bar tending school (Tulleeho Bartending Academy), who's hard at work at Fenny's, but he's not bold enough to tell us what goes in to Fenny's secret mix, which features in several of the cocktails on the menu. The most he can tell us is that it's a non alcoholic mix. Intrigued all the same, we order a Fenny's Mai Tai, a London Sour and a Peter Pan, and a mix of pizzas, from their wood fired oven, the BBQ Chicken, the Beef and the Lamb and sun dried tomato. The Pizzas were very good, but the cocktails when they made their appearance, were a touch over sweet.

Fenny's has a young crowd, with a mix of ages from 20 something to 35. The music was a medley of songs, from the 60's to the 90's. Given it's Club Med meets Baga beach look, we would have expected possibly a more  reggae feel to it. My colleagues, disappointed by the first cocktail, shift to beer and Old Monk and coke. I decide to stay the course, and order a Vicky Donor. Hoping that it doesn't contain Vicky's seeds, I sit and listen to Scatman John, moaning away about his days as a taxi driver in Calcutta. I am thinking, Fenny's is worth a revisit when it's raining.

Vicky Donor

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Indian Bartenders - Raising the Bar with Varun Sudhakar, World Class Finalist 2013

Tulleeho Salutes India’s upcoming bar talent. First up is Varun Sudhakar – World Class Finalist 2013

Food and Beverage Supervisor @ Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai
I am from Kerala, did my Hotel management from IHM Trivandrum. I have been working for the last 5 years as a flair bartender, mixologist and now as a bar supervisor. I originally wanted to be a chef!
World Class Finalist!
World class was a dream come true for me, to experience the ultimate bartending competition and to stand next to the best in the world and also to meet people whom I have only read about in books, moreover to know the world and its bar culture and to make more friends.
What inspired you to make a career in Bartending and Mixology?
Inspiration came through a bet with my best friend, which was to learn flair. I got in to the bar through flair bartending and eventually learned the tricks of the trade through Youtube videos and books and long hours of practice. Nicolas St Jean from France a freestyle flair bartender inspired me.   Mixology was put in to my head by people I met on the way who shared their knowledge and skills. 
 With Shawn D'Souza & Tulleeho's Rohan Jelkie
Guests Rock!
A guest bought me a bottle of Aperol from Italy when I said I have not seen it but know about it through books.

Great Cocktail Service
I listen to guests, ask them what their taste is, try to mix their favorite ingredients with some flair, so they are kept entertained, listen to the ice (!) and serve the drinks with a good garnish and a smile.  I feel completely locked into that drink till the time that it’s served.
I have never felt guests expect any thing else rather than a drink with a smile and happiness surrounding it.
Role Model?
I believe in sharing knowledge and experience. When I went for the competition (World Class) I was helped by a lot of people around me, some whom I knew, and some I didn’t.  Will be giving support to anyone who loves to be a bartender and wants to compete.