In our quest to do the most in the two weeks that we were without the little one, the one thing on the agenda was to head to a brewery. After a lot of this-one-no-that-no-how-about-that-one we settled on Arbor Brewing Company - decent distance for all, valet parking (which like clods we did not avail) and a lot of good things that we had heard about the place. As we stepped in, huge vats within a glass encased structure greet you and this overall feeling that you are going to be very happy in a while washes over you (at least it did for me). We settled down on the tables to begin with, but then decided to move to the benches set out in the middle - better lighting.
The beer range can have your scrambling for a while and we took the advice of a friend with us and asked for a sampler - 8 shots of the popular brews being served and then you can decide on what you would like to have. Very thoughtful, considering not everyone walks in with a brilliant sense of which beer to have. After a few oohs, aahs and eeyucks, we each knew what we wanted. So onto the table came the Big Ben, the Blonde and a brand new Belgian brew, Endless Summer. One of us decided to go with the Long Island Ice tea.
We ordered something to nibble on as well and decide to start with the Turkish Lamb Kebab and the Beer battered Fish (but of course!).
A partial view of the table and the bench seating. There is also an
outdoors section for those who smoke.
outdoors section for those who smoke.
Loved these lights but they killed my photos
The beer sampler
As I sit down to write this, I now realize that I never took a shot of the full size beer glasses when they came along. The beers come in 330ml and 500ml glass choices. Such must have been our enthusiasm to get started. So the Big Ben is a pale ale. Its good if you are planning a long session of drinking, because the relatively lower level of alcohol makes it easier to keep going. It does have a tinge of bitterness to it, but it balances itself out as you continue. This beer went perfectly with the Turkish Kebab and the Battered Fish.
The Blonde is a spiced ale made in the French Belgian style. If you don't like bitter beers, then this is the one for you. It has a citrusy touch to it and went ideally with the Turkish Kebab and later with the spicy fried calamari that we ordered. This would have been my second choice post the Endless Summer that I asked for. The Endless Summer is a new entry to the menu and is a light and really fruity beer. I really liked it from the get go. It combines orange peel and coriander, two tastes you get alternatively as you sip along. Great with salads and citrus based dishes and with the chilli spiked ones as well. We did two rounds each of Endless Summer and The Blonde.
And now onto the food - The Turkish Kebab was the first order and what you see in the bowl there is a chilli spiked tomato sauce and not ketchup. The kebabs however did not need them. They were tender, juicy, stuck strong enough to the skewers to make them easy to eat while not being so strong that it tasted chewy. The hint of coriander was really strong. Overall a nice kebab to begin with. Would have appreciated though if they had split it into 4 skewers, since having three at table of four meant at least one person would be short-changed. It can't be all that hard to do in the kitchen.
The Turkish Lamb Kebab
Beer Battered Fish and chips
We also ordered the beer battered fish and chips. The batter was thin enough to be crispy, allowing the flavor of the fish to come through. French fries are french fries - these did not seem to be the hand cut ones though. I liked the fish but would have liked it to be a little less greasy.
On the table next was the thin crust Turkish Delight pizza - spicy lamb, mozzarella cheese, red peppers, sun dried tomatoes and a first time for me on a pizza - two eggs as well. This was well received all round the table and was done in a matter of minutes.
The spicy calamari was up next - done with a bayou breading and served with a tartare sauce and marinara. I found the coating a little too much and after the initial crunchiness, the coating just turned a wee bit pasty with the calamari that was in itself a little chewy. The marinara and the tartare sauce helped it go down, as did the beers and cocktails on the table.
And our final order for the evening was the onion rings - now these I really liked. They were large, with the coating just the right consistency. The sweetness of the onions with the crispiness of the coating made it a perfect finger food with the beers.
Turkish Delight pizza
I was totally in love with these lights, couldn't help but take this one
Desserts served at the table were on the house that evening. It was a tribute to the king of all fruits who happens to be in season right now. We had the Mango Pavlova which had an absolutely brilliant crunch to the meringue. Crack right through it with your spoon, with a scoop of the fresh mango on top and this is one perfect way to end your meal. I can't remember the name of the second dessert but it was generally agreed that it was a bit too sweet - the pavlova scored over the second one.
Mango Pavlova (Lights and beers to blame for the kind of photo this is)
The other dessert
Overall I liked ABC. Maybe the new beers will take some getting used to especially for someone like me who is stepping into a brewery for the first time, but I liked what I ordered. Best would be to order the sampler and make a choice. The menu does mention what kind of food goes with which beer and coincidentally we seemed to have ordered the right things as well. This made the experience great. But if possible, it would help if the staff pitched in with food suggestions as well. Though I can understand the constraints on full house evenings. We were four that evening and the bill, all taxes plus two cocktails (yes! I forgot to take these photos and they were brilliant - will find out the names soon) included and excluding the desserts came to Rs 1100 per head which I think is a great deal. The loos, at the least the lady's one could do with some more lighting to get rid of the dinginess.
Cards Accepted: Yes
Wallet Factor: Rs 2000 for two with alcohol