Bakrava fries. Pic/Tanvi Phondekar
The rapidly growing food district in BKC will soon have another corner to flaunt, and one that is unique to this area at least. Gateway Brewing Co. is a week away from opening Gateway Taproom, the microbrewery's first restaurant. This also happens to be BKC's first exclusive craft beer venue, this time with some bespoke craft-beer food as well. While the taproom will continue serving its range of brews, both popular and experimental, the concept behind having its own restaurant stemmed from the need to provide more outlets for home brewers. So, the connoisseurs of Gateway beers can be sure to get their hands on flagship brews like the Doppelganger, Side Car, Flip Flop, besides some experiments from the past that couldn't find a mainstream outlet.
Malt glaze salmon with Kaapi Stout
What's refreshing, however, is the amount of care and attention that has been given towards the food. The craft in making the beer has found expression in the food as well, wherein beer and its various elements have been sneakily weaved in, into the bites. Executive chef Viraf Patel gets us started with the "beer batter menu", which is a range of tempuras. "For this, the dough we used beer instead of soda or water, that lends a distinct consistency," Patel says. We bite into the zucchini chips (Rs 350) and the beer battered kale fries (Rs 350). Light and crispy, we wash it down with apple cider and White Zen, a German white beer, one of Gateway's flagships. What has us intrigued is the buckwheat fries (Rs 350) that come next. Made of, well, buckwheat, seasoned with salt, these fries are on the softer side, and are dark brown in colour, served with a green chilli, mustard and salsa dip. Incidentally, buckwheat is one of the elements that go into the beer brews as well.
The beer elements come shining through in the mains, such as the malt-glazed salmon (Rs 850). Co-founder Neeraj Patodia explains how. "Before beer is made, the grains are seeped in hot water, from which sweet vert is extracted. We have used that to glaze the salmon. The process has been rather geeky and academic," he smiles. The chunky salmon is lined with the Doppelganger jous. "Doppelganger, a dark roasted malt, is one of our most popular beers and instead of a red wine, that is typically used for a jous, we have used this beer," Patel says. The jous also comes with the pressed lamb shoulder with lentils and sour cream mash and the cheesy meal-time omelet too. The lamb could well be the winning dish among the mains, while the omelet is a meal in itself.
The grains of the beer are used in the in-house baked breads as well which includes dark breads and burger buns as well. German inspirations are telling in the salty pretzel bread, the maltiness of which marries well with the beers. Among the brews, Monk's Potion, a Belgian-style dark ale is a new addition. "It's inspired by monks in Belgium who brew beer for their sustenance," Patodia says. They have also brought back the Kaapi Stout, a potent coffee-flavoured frothy brew. We signed off with the Beer Misu, that's Patel's spin on the tiramisu. "In this, the beer is folded into the mascarpone," he says.
The sprawling 100-seater, sitting in the heart of a business district, has got the makings of becoming a lunching favourite. The ample day-light caressed interiors with its hard wood furniture and brick walls works for its simplicity. If you love your beer, here's a place where you can eat it too.