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Perch restaurant in Bengaluru lets you indulge without guilt

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Phoenix Mall Of Asia has put North Bengaluru on the map for some good and bad reasons. While localities point fingers at the mall for causing traffic jams and unnecessary vehicular honking, they are also pleased to have a mall within their residential vicinity as we north Bangaloreans need not travel all the way to south or central Bengaluru for entertainment or shopping.

The mall has dedicated the third floor exclusively for the food court and restaurants. Yet, Perch, the newly-opened all-day wine and coffee bar chooses to place itself on the ground floor, spilling out a section of seating onto the atrium, surrounded by lush greenery and trees with bar stools and wooden tables and chairs. A blessing in disguise for lazy walkers like yours faithfully and those who only plan an errand that takes you to the ground floor and refuse to explore the rest of the mall.

Right in front of the atrium is a glass wall, with a pretty carved wooden board that announces the name — Perch. Inside, the seating arrangements are a wee bit different. The wooden walls are lined on three sides of the dining area with a running blue fabric sofa and tables, while wooden tables and chairs take centrestage.

The live coffee and wine bar counter occupies the fourth wall, with a beautiful display of in-house desserts and breads below the working counter table, while the shelves proudly display a large selection of wine and coffee brews and stylish wine and cocktail and wine glasses. Hanging pots add a comforting dash of green to the ambience and the mood.

Coffee finds its way into the desserts and cocktails

Coffee finds its way into the desserts and cocktails
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Perch serves 25 varieties of wine, both Indian and international (French, Italian and Spanish). There are reds such as Ti Amo Prosecco, Shiraz Fratelli, and Gracha Vina Temprana. Whites include Sauvignon Blanc Fratelli, Macabeo, Vina Temprana and Chardonnay. The coffee includes espresso, Americano, matcha latte, cold brew, cafe mocha, cold coffee and charcoal latte. We did not want plain coffee or just wine, so we opted for their range of cocktails.

Deepender Thapa, General Manager, Operations- Perch, says: “We started in 2015 in Khan Market (Delhi) and later in Vasanth Vihar. After that we opened in Mumbai. Perch in Bengaluru is our fifth outlet. And our range of sangria are popular. Since we are close to Manyata tech park and the Bharatiya City, we get a huge crowd of IT professionals, who use our dining area for meetings and as their working space. Hence, the sangrias as they are light and also come with a fruity flavour with a blend of our coffees and wine.”

Thapa recommends starting with a range of sangria. The first to land on our table is the coffee sangria, a blend of coffee syrup, red wine and a pulpy orange juice, which gets one slightly heady and in the right frame of mind for the bite-sized dishes from their vast menu.

The menu, explains Thapa, “includes food, which is basically European, but we have infused flavours from Mexican and Asian cuisine too.” Apart from the vegetarian, non-vegetarian and seafood platter, Perch also serves vegan options. “Most of our beverages are made from cold pressed juices,” states Thapa.

The coffee sangria is accompanied with egg Benedict served on English muffin and burrata toasties that come with a spiced orange marmalade. The coffee sangria and the burratas toasties with orange as a common ingredient did compliment each other perfectly.

Next came the avocado tartare on melba with smoked edamame and ⁠knotted burrata on strawberry, beet and fennel salad. Between the two, it was the former that clearly sweeps your Indian palate off its feet with the strong smoky flavour of the edamame that brings a signature taste to the otherwise bland dish.

By now we are on to our second drink, papaya bellini, which is made with home-made papaya puree and dry sparkling wine. Not a fan of dry wine, must say the papaya does tone down the spirit, making it a subtle drink packed with the right punch.

Next in line was the pan-tossed shrimp and calamari with a lime chilli dressing and cassava chips with lemon chives. Not a fan of seafood, one dives right into the cassava chips. They are crisp on the outside and piping hot and soft on the inside. Low on seasoning, but, with the lemon chives, the chips become so addictive that despite burning the tongue as it is still steaming hot, they get wiped off the plate in a jiffy.

For the main course it was the asparagus risotto, miso grilled chicken, ham and cheese sandwich and phew, grilled Norwegian salmon that were downed with rose sangria (which was relished due to the fruity flavours and bite size pieces of apple).

A dash of green in every plate

A dash of green in every plate
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

The asparagus risotto was not heavy on cheese but on the ingredient that it is named after. The chewy dish did come with bits of asparagus too and subtle flavours of cheese, milk and pepper. Again the Norwegian salmon was given a pass, but our fellow diners did take to this dish and gave it a 9 on 10 for the perfectly grilled salmon, that was also plated as a work of art.

The best part of eating at Perch is that neither the food nor the cocktails leave you with a heartburn. Every drink and dish comes with just the right amount of flavour and make their presence felt without overpowering the other before settling well in the stomach. The other win-win point is that most dishes came with ample greens and sprouts on the side, in a lame way consoling you that despite indulging in a lot of food you did push some greens down your gullet.

No meal is complete without a dessert. We opted for the banana sponge cake, baked cheesecake and coffer tres leches. Though the three of them were equally competent in capturing our hearts, I must say the humble banana sponge cake emerged as the clear winner. The soft cake, with a generous load of dry fruits and nuts was not too sweet and had the right amount of crunch with every bite and was not too dry either and perhaps the coffee tres leches took the second place simply as we had downed ample coffee in the avatar of sangria. 



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