Restaurant Review: Bastian Brings Its Big Energy To Bengaluru

Sent from Mumbai with much love and anticipation, Bastian's entry into Bengaluru proves one thing, there's always room for large-format restaurants and lounge bars in this city, even if you can never find a parking spot anywhere.

Published On Jun 04, 2024 | Updated On Jun 06, 2024

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Give me more of that big Bastian love. This is not a joke; you really need to be in the mood to vibe with the environment to feel up to Bastian. It’s not a place I would go for a quiet drink. It’s massive, ornate, spread across various sections and buzzing, on a week day. Well, everything is now buzzing on a weekday in Bengaluru. 

I haven’t been to the one in Mumbai but my IG feed throws up these hilarious reels on how SoBo keeps wanting to go to Bastian, so who am I to say no to it when it popped up at a cul de sac on St Mark’s Road. 

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Slightly ostentatious perhaps, but then again Bengaluru has breweries that might take you three business days to cover, but Bastian is not without taste. The space is divided into several sections, making it easy for you to find a cosy nook for date night or a large table for your entire tribe. The space might look posh, and it is posh, and expensive, but what it's not is snooty. 

Inspired by holiday destinations across the world, Bastian’s boho-chic setting is hard to miss, not to mention the massive outdoor space that brings the romance back into dining under the sky concept we love so much. You could be in Turkey, somewhere in Bali, who knows. The outdoor section also has its own bar if you want to just chat up with the bartender while you enjoy your drink. I wonder how they managed to hide this huge space at the end of a lane! 

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Bastian’s menu covers a lot but isn’t overwhelming. I mean we’ve already seen burrata salads, baked bries (okay, Bengaluru must be obsessed with this one), tacos and croquettes, baos and carpaccios. What is good here is the fact that the food is actually good. Who’d have thought! I mean don’t we ideally expect a place that can seat more than 400 people to serve generic flavours, colours and ingredients? Bastian is not that place, and the staff is quite approachable and happy to recommend when you’re feeling lazy to read. “I am in the mood for some fish” isn’t a dead line at this restaurant and lounge bar. 

The menu is divided into lunch and dinner, which means you’ll have to go there twice to try everything. At least. 

Without complicating lives, here are some recommendations. We began with a serving of steamed edamame that was flavoured with sea salt, sesame oil and togarashi. Edamame helps me to think when I’m reading a menu. 

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Yes to the Baked Brie even though every fourth restaurant in Bengaluru might have it. This one comes with a cranberry thyme compote that was so beautiful that if we weren’t going to eat more, am sure we’d have eaten more of just this. The roasted nuts, the fig jam, a bit of fruit, dried apricots and prunes might have made this massive portion of brie look busy, but did we complain? Not even for a second. We ate it clean. 

No to the Watermelon Feta Salad because you’ll end up being a lawn mower in an overgrown garden. Too many greens, not even melons, feta or walnut. We did tell them to go easy on the ‘green factor’ though. 

Yes to the Chili Dumplings – you can choose between chicken and prawn or a vegetarian option – because if it’s raining, you’ll need dumplings. This particular one is delicious and tender and juicy. 

Maybe to the Crab Roll. There’s nothing wrong with it, in fact it’s quite good. The whole ponzu, truffle oil, chipotle etc come together well, but I quickly forgot about it as soon as we ate the dumplings. 

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Absolutely yes to the Hot Rock Carpaccio. You can choose between tenderloin, tuna or king mushroom and have it served with Korean chilli soy sauce, truffle oil and a radish salad. Not everyone wants a carpaccio in their life but this was delicately flavoured and you’ll want to close your eyes as you savour it, you know for the effect. 

Two ayes for the pork belly because the gochujang glaze is just so spot on. It also has hints of pickled onion and sesame and for those who like their meats will appreciate the full-bodied flavour in this dish. And finally, before we set our forks down, The lamb chops. It comes with this charsui glaze that works so well with the meat. Plus, the togarashi and scallion and sesame. If this was at home, I’d use my hands. Yes to this one as well. 

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Bastian’s cocktail menu is impressive. It’s expensive but it’s impressive. The Negroni (Tanqueray gin, Campari and sweet Vermouth) is almost like Robert Downey Jr – super smooth and yet gives you a delightful kick, subtle but unmissable. 

You could also try the Negroni Bianco with Bombay Sapphire Sunset, Campari and dry Vermouth. OR you could try both. 

For a cute moment, the Kernel Kiss can come handy. It’s got Jim Beam, lemon, homemade popcorn syrup, ginger ale and bitters – a lovely mix of sweet, sour and the after taste of bitters. 

Now, from the Bastian special section, there are two cocktails that I would try a few times, just to be sure I really liked them. The Bastian Espresso Martini. Again, not anything new if you go by the name, bars love this martini but this one has that hint of hazelnut liqueur which adds a tiny bit of a nutty flavour and wins hands down. The second one is the Bastian Sour, an interesting derivation of the old school Whiskey Sour. Made with Jameson Irish whiskey, lemon juice and egg white, a touch of sweetness is added with the help of in-house date syrup. The martini however would be my favourite between the two. 

I cannot guarantee you’d be walking straight after this meal, so make sure you’re not the one driving. Call a taxi. 

Where: No. 4, St. Marks Road, Bengaluru 

Timing: For lunch and dinner 

Meal for two: INR 4,000 with a couple of cocktails (approx.) plus taxes 


Photo: Featured Restaurant