Anjali Jhangiani
Friday, 1 February 2019

Built on what was believed to be a stable back in the day, Bengaluru brand TOIT comes to Pune, keeping their tradition of serving lip-smacking grub and refreshingly fresh-brewed beer in quaint interiors intact

Located in a bylane off the stretch of Kalyani Nagar, just before it meets the Nagar Road highway, you will find this recently-opened microbrewery from Bengaluru. What piqued our interest in this bar is its structure. Believed to be built on what used to be a stable during the days when the Aga Khan household was functional, the owners of the bar, who have leased the property, have kept the essence of the place intact. How? When they started digging the place up for renovation, they found old rocks from the yonder days when the stable was up and running. These rocks were restored and used in the interiors of the place, they tell us.

Keeping in with the times, the decor is quirky and contains a lot of ‘local’ representation in posters, coasters and so on. Guests have the option of sitting at the bar inside if they want to cut out the talking and enjoy the music, under the banyan tree if they’re in a philosophical mood, or the spread-out area with picnic tables under the open sky if they want to hang out with friends and catch up. There are tables upstairs too, where the roof of the stable was raised to create space for this.

The owners tell us that opening a microbrewery in three cities — Bengaluru, Mumbai and Pune — was always the plan. And just like this location, their Bengaluru and Mumbai bars are also built on novelty properties. The Bengaluru one is spread over two old bungalows and the Mumbai one is actually built in an old factory. This is why this brand stands out from all the regular bars in closed spaces.

The range of craft beers includes six signature brews such as The Basmati Blonde, The TinTin Toit, The Toit Weiss, Colonial Toit, Kilnaleck Red, The Dark Knight, and the newest addition dedicated to Pune — The Pune Lager that should be available from this month. 

The menu reflects the culture of Bengaluru. Put down your cutlery and use your hands to bite into the chef’s interesting take on the famous Iyengar Egg Puffs which come with a topping of Hollandaise sauce on half a boiled egg with a crispy puff pastry base. You also have other southern favourites such as Andhra Chilli Chicken, Cheese Chilli Bhajji, Okra Podi Chips and more from a special section in the menu called ‘Sending it from Bangalore’ (a colloquial term from the capital of Karnataka that loosely means ‘chilling’). You can also dig into regular bar-food such as Cajun Potato Wedges, Baked Nachos, Onion Rings, Chicken Wings and such. 

Weight watchers have a range of salads to choose from. And if wooden fire pizzas, sandwiches and burgers don’t fill you up, head to the main course section which features pub classics like Fish and Chips, Filo Strudel, Lamb Shank and so on, or indulge in southern flavours with Potato and Green Mango Curry, Mushroom Chettinad, Nilgiri Korma, Pandi Curry and more. 

The desserts are not as sinful as you’d think, with no compromise on taste. Relish the iconic Mysore Pak wrapped in pastry and baked till it becomes crisp on the outside, which is served with a salad of fresh seasonal fruits to balance out the sweetness. The chef advises not to leave the place without trying the Filter Kaapi Pot du Creme, which is a smooth mousse made with home-made filter coffee baked in a coconut shell and served with banana fritters. 

While you might think TOIT is the short form for something, or it might even be a word from a foreign language, the owners explain to us that it is a mere play on the word ‘tight’ which informally means being quite drunk (notice the sign on the bar that reads ‘FULL TOIT’).

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