Address: 1 Express Building, Queens Road, Infantry Road, Bangalore, India
Time: 12 Noon to 1 AM
Meals for two: Rs. 2,500
Cuisines: Asian, Japanese, Thai, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese
Facilities: Wheelchair Accessible, Full Bar Available, Live Music, Outdoor Seating, Smoking Area, Wifi, Serves Cocktails, Valet Parking Available, Nightlife, Wallet Accepted
1Q1, Infantry Road, Bangalore: DECOR
1Q1 occupies what was once a printing press. It has, therefore, the luxury of high ceilings and that enhances the sense of space. An oval bar is a focal point and there’s also a DJ console overlooking a small dance floor. Having taken it all in, I didn’t quite know what to make of the place. The curving sofas, variegated glass panes and arches somehow don’t seem to come together cohesively. That being so, the place is packed to the edges on weekend nights, when it becomes a party spot, so you are unlikely to notice too many decor details.
1Q1, Infantry Road, Bangalore: FOOD
Chef-restaurateurs Mako Ravindran and Manjit Singh are in charge at 1Q1 and that’s a lot of kitchen experience at work. Expectedly, the dining experience is excellent, with some fabulous dishes on the menu. I began with Chilli and Roasted Garlic Edamame, scattered with coarse salt, with my drink. You pick up the whole pod, suck out the seeds and let the spice and salt of it linger. Delicious!
The best was yet to come; it was what they call the Shanghai Dumpling. A Xiaolongbao, it was perfectly crafted — the dumpling bursting open in the mouth, releasing a flavourful hot soup and minced chicken. It was so good that we ordered a second portion at our table.
The Sashimi — both tuna, and buttery, melting scallop — was flawless, using the best ingredients. My encounters with octopus haven’t always been pleasant; here, I couldn’t have enough of the Robatayaki Baby Octopus, cooked sous-vide first and then grilled with a slightly spicy seasoning. 1Q1 does standout sushi, and I enjoyed the Rainbow Roll and the Prawn Tempura Roll. The Tonkatsu (pankocrusted pork cutlets) was also delightful. The Siam Beef was less so, being too sweet for my taste. The Black Cod Misoyaki suffered similarly from being napped by too sweet a sauce, though I must admit the fish was of the best quality. The Hainanese Chicken Rice was also unexceptional and the accompanying broth was cold. The Matcha and Raspberry Ice Cream Meringue Cake is the dessert to have here. Chocolate lovers should order the Le Cocobar, a chocolate caramel bar served with the most fabulous salted caramel ice cream.
1Q1, Infantry Road, Bangalore: SERVICE
The wait staff does a good job. I was impressed by how smooth service was even on a maddeningly busy evening.
1Q1, Infantry Road, Bangalore: PLUS AND MINUS
I would certainly go here for the food, but I wish the music was not so annoyingly loud. Even the 20-somethings I was with thought it insufferable. We were told it was disco night.