Heard about this place from one of my DRs @ work. We sync well when it comes to 'things to do' on Fri/sat/sun' and not so well @ work Mon-Thursday. The difference is if I do decide to take his learnings : I implement them Monday-Thursday.
A word of advice :(and this goes for any joint): if the place is good : you want to resist going there on a Fri/ Sat/ Sun unless you absolutely positively must .The crowd gets to you, the theme or the USP of the resto/bar takes a beating , the orders take way too long and muddled up and attention to detail , inevitably declines. You end up paying (and sometimes more) and not getting to see the place in its true environs.
Single? twosome? like peace and quiet and attn. to detail?= afternoons 12 pm-6:30 pm mon-fri
Family? impressing girl? one in the hand and scanning for the next ?friends pub/club hopping?= fri/sat/sun :7:30 PM-lights out.
OK. to the specifics now.
1) All leather seating : it has a nice Lounge section and a Great Dining section, flanked out to the right and the left of it. Very Sombre tones and muted colors with Jazz Montage throughout the place. A La Leather Bar in Chennai : Minus its moronic waiters. Nice Candles @ each table which add to the perfect mood lighting to the place. The only bright spot is the bar and the lights are facing towards the bottles, not at you. Nice floral lamps concealing whatever direct lighting @ the bar is required.
2) Located on the second floor :Sandwitched b/w a place serving Chettinad and a place above,serving Dhaba cuisine, You know you are there when you see a Jazz Mural when the elevator door pops. They do display a 'today's special and Concert dates for Jazz (If any) along with the usual combo that have become so popular now in almost all places in Bangalore.
3) Waiters all dressed in Black including the Bartenders. Not tees but Shirts. Goes with the theme. Their Plates and Bowls are always spic and span. Tables always set perfect. The Bar has Decent Bar stools comfy enough for an Average sized person to relax letting his guard down. The Loo has some interesting 'relief' to determine where you have to go. The Mens Room has a Big Thumb'screw' on it. The Womens' has a Bolt.
Have seen Many a people stumble to comprehend post a few :which is why 'Literacy' and 'Education' are obviously different words. Also : and thanks to the Management : they have cordoned off a section towards the fag end for the smokers section. Thankfully the poor souls need not go outside and shiver like whipped dogs. Good to enjoy an occasional Philly's Blunt.(the fag end for those who fag: not necessarily 'the fags' :) ). The whole place has been covered with faux-wooden flooring. Sounds great when you walk. Womens with heels/ clogs , take note.If you do happen to sit on one of the arm chairs : The floor to ceiling glass wall gives you a decent view of the street (not that there is anything interesting perhaps, but a view nevertheless. They move the seating around if there is a Jazz Concert scheduled.
4) The Bar : is all orange (ghastly color : Id say but I guess they were looking for maximum contrast) and had a curios "Dollar sign" $ to it until I realized its actually a T5 (for take 5) that looks like a dollar. Helps keeping bottles @ the bar for sure. The bar tender is very friendly.I did notice he made a mean Mai Tai, a neat Cosmo and a 'dark' mojito. He uses brown sugar (Demarara : for the alarmed) instead of the usual white for it. Will have to try that sometime. The Manager as well, Sunny, very "hands on" and accommodative. In the hour and a half we were there I observed him deal with All types of people accordingly: the raucous boozer, the quiet types, the groupies : All in aplomb. He certainly has experience on his side to say the least. If you do get a chance: ask for a steward called 'Rajan' to serve you. He is an older gen person. Has perfect Manners and will suggest if you are in the need to be pointed the right way. The Kitchen is right next door : but they dont keep howling around: Very well managed. It is well organized: the martini shakers towards the front, they have their wine rack towards the right (when you face the bar), the top row has a whole yard worth of Belgian Beers , the Other Bottles being displayed around. From their Hard liquor section : I guess the most discerning one would have to be their Remy Martin XO. But for me this place is about either the cocktails, or the Beer or the wine. And Im not even counting the food in!
5)I desperately wanted a whiskey or scotch but being the place it is and Since they have a Humongous beer section and an Indian Wine section to match , Bharat had a Mandala Valley Zilfandel while I picked a Glass of Seagram's Nine Hills Chenin Blanc. He enjoyed his. I regretted mine. You can hardly blame take 5 for it. Nine hills has a long way to go before they hit the right spot on wine making. And this is where Sunny (the manager) came in. He explained that different people prefer different types and that nine hills was a hit with the hard liquor crowd looking @ attempting wines. He also suggested that I should try a Sula Chenin or ,purse strings notwithstanding, they could even get up to a Jacobs Creek Chardonnay. I chose to go with the Sula : and the Chenin again : and you can discern the difference almost immediately. Whats the difference? well: the gentle throbbing @ my temples vs the sledge hammer to my nuts! . All this while we had ordered stuffed mushrooms and a plate of chilly beef. The mushroom heads with stuffed capsicum and cheese with dip was great , as was the chilly beef. The only problem with chilly beef is that you need to get it done ASAP as it gets very chewy when it gets cold. You dont want to appear to be fighting with the fork :). Didnt do too much of it as it kills the taste of the wine. but glad to say that while it was spicy it did not have too much masala, and they were crisp.
Backed that up with a Chardonnay this time and I was not disappointed at all. My main course was the classic 'spaghetti and meatballs '. The Neapolitan and the basil complimented it very well. the meatballs were neat: not soggy not too crunchy and the spaghetti snapped well. Good food and very very filling. We didnt try any deserts here. For one , I had my fair share of a good time and two, prefer Gelatos. (There is an ice cream parlor on the ground floor attached to the Pizza Hut franchise there. Makes for some great Mint scoops and they have hundreds of combos: albiet not attached to Take 5 in anyway). I strongly suggest you try some there.
6) This place is worth mentioning for their wine and beer sections alone: Their beer sections includes the usual line ups of KF,Corona, Heineken,Carlsberg,Asahi and the 'not so usual' Belgian Beers. While I did not notice a Stella Artois there: they have a ton of beers : not brands but different kinds: ranging from the usual pale ales and lagers to stouts and trappists. I am not a beer person and dont know anyone who profess knowledge about this lineup apart from the ordinary, but this place is a 'must try' for anyone who wants to go beyond the usual.
Their Wine menu is equally complimented by their use of good Indian wine . They have the entire series on Big Banyan, Sula, Mandala valley , Naka/Maya (a very bangalorean one) and 9 hills (avoided like plague). Although they did not have York or Vallonne ,its reassuring that people are getting into the habit and they never advertised that this is 'wine county' anyways :)
7) All the while the music (when played) was not Jazz only. it was Jazz with a collection of 80s era rock . OK I guess, you have to crowd please, and honestly, apart from the few Jazz numbers, not a lot of people would appreciate it . Though towards the weekends : I heard it is less of Jazz and more of popular nos.
8)Damage? : around 4 grand. and worth every goddamn penny.
The Correctable :
1) The floor near the men's loo has wood that is warping .Makes for a bad creak. Fix it before it affects the rest of the floor.
2) I know this is kinda tough : but the USP of sticking to the beers (even Belgian) worked for you. The wine does too. I think you should also stick to the Jazz Roots. I also am aware that these 'concerts' are expensive and good acts are tough to find. But ,Nevetheless, please try . Popularity and profitability does dictate that you play games on the projector during the football and cricket season : and thats good. If you can backup the lean season with just as many Jazz weekends: You would do more to keep the 'soul' here. Otherwise :Jimbo goes to the next best place they are playing the game at and the 'Extreme Sports Bar' is not too far away either :)
Now that you got the same joint opened up in Goa @ Baga, why dont you folks get those musicians to doubletake on bangalore too?
They get publicity and you retain your (loyal)customers too.
4 : for having a tight -run ship.
1 more if you can "SAX" the place :)