Sunday 5 June 2016

An Evening With Diageo Black & White And British Brewing Company, Lower Parel, Mumbai

Diageo Reserve World Class Masterclass Mumbai Edition was a unique occasion, something I was honored to be a part of and so soon thereafter came yet another master occasion, #BlackAndWhite #LoveScotch Scotch-Food pairing at British Brewing Company with Chef Larry and United Spirits Brand Ambassador Afzal Kaba, specifically for Black & White Blended Scotch Whisky in the presence of some awesome bloggers :) 

British Brewing Company is spectacular to say the least. The ambiance is rustic, elegant, comfortable and enchanting (cue all the synonyms one can think of for these words :D) Walking in, the first impression is invariably that of entering The Great Hall from Harry Potter movies. It is huge and gorgeous. Then comes an ethereal feeling of having been transported to another era, one where Jane Austen or perhaps George Bernard Shaw will walk in any moment! The craftsmanship of furniture, the eclectic art pieces on the wall, the lighting,the fireplace, the couches from 19th century royalty, everything comes together to create a stunning ambiance to say the least. If there is an award for the most unique ambiance created to stun as well as welcome in the same breath, I am voting for them hands down :)

Having spent a good part of the evening exploring the decidedly British aura of the place, it was time to meet Chef Larry and Brand Ambassador Afzal Kaba who created a most interactive session for the 3 course scotch-food pairing extravaganza. It was not only creating the cocktails but also the kind of food that goes well with each of them that cemented our learning journey that evening. 

First up was Black & Ginger with sweet Apple juice collaborating with strong Ginger Ale & Lime Slices to give a golden hue + flavor to Black & White Blended Scotch Whisky. This went astonishingly well with Cheesy Logs, the golden bread rolls replete with Cheese, Paneer and mild herbs, served with mildly spicy Schezwan Sauce. I found the notes of drink being enhanced and not overpowered by the cheesy logs, making this a quite robust choice. In fact, the acidity of apple and ginger was cutting the cheese quotient,making the dish seem lighter.

Next came Black & White Sour with Lime, Sugar Syrup and Orange Peel bringing a citrusy refreshness to Black & White, clearly my sister's favorite of the evening. Anything citrusy is automatically my favorite too and this one was perfect accompaniment to the soft,luscious and flavorful Paneer Tikka (which again are among my all-time favorite dishes!) A sip of this, a bite of that, this is what heaven is made up of :) This drink can be made frothier by adding a layer of egg whites on top or fresh pineapple juice for vegetarians.

Finally, we had White Julep with diluted Honey, Mint Leaves and Soda sharing the spotlight with Black & White Blended Scotch Whisky in the most refreshing way possible. Fed up of the torturous hot & humid weather? Head over to BBC and nosh on this with Mumbai Chilly, an amalgamation of crispy Paneer, Mushrooms, Onions, Capsicum in spicy and very dense sauce. I thought the contrast was brilliant, a refreshing minty drink with just a hint of dense-ness with such a flavorful dish. I would have thought that the drink would be overpowered but once again it was not!

The best thing about the Masterclass was how Afzal Kaba helped us shake and mix drinks along with regaling us with little funny snippets and stories :) We shook, we danced, we laughed, we created something beautiful all in a seamless stroke. And we learned so many new things! For ex-did you know that the mint leaves must always be patted slightly and never beaten hard to get just the right flavor out of them,otherwise they turn dark and make the drink bitter? I didn't!  

While the evening was still young, we had the opportunity of tasting some more dishes from British Brewing Company's menu. Service is swift, polite and the staff knows the menu inside-out which incidentally is brought on a tablet and automatically syncs with the kitchen. Cool :) We zeroed down on a lot of dishes out of which I remember Paneer+Capsicum+Olives+Tomato pizza, Olives Cheese pizza, Spaghetti, Veg Burger and Veg Shepherd's Pie. Quantity of dishes here is very good and prices are quite justified compared to that. In fact, 10 of us could have ordered for just 3 main course dishes and still be full (especially after the round of drinks and accompanying starters). So I am going to keep that in mind the next time I am here. And I will definitely be back :)

The Paneer Pizza was fantastic, with the softest chunks of Paneer being my favorites from beginning to end. Loved how generous the toppings were on each pizza. The Olives & Cheese was not really my thing, too sour for my liking but for an olives fanatic, it would be perfect. The base of pizzas was crunchy just the way I and my sister love, with the smokey wood-fired oven feel and flavor. Spaghetti felt off, maybe because they had used sour cream instead of cheese that we are used to and there were no veggies in that either. It was a rustic dish no doubt but again, not something I am used to having. Loved the accompanying Garlic Bread though. Crunch on the outside, Soft in the core, it was delicious! Shepherd's Pie was something unique that caught our eye and I just wanted to taste it because I had heard it mention on an episode of FRIENDS once :D But again, too much cheese for my liking. Loved that it was huge and 1 casserole is enough for 2 hungry hippos and it has A LOT of veggies too, but just a little bit less cheese and I would be happy. I think the Shepherd's Pie with chicken instead of the veg version, is better as I have heard really good things about that

All Photo Credits : Prachi Shailendra

Absolute favorite however was the Veg Burger which was again huge! The bread was so soft and the one thing a lot of people hate when having a sandwich or burger -the phenomenon of breadcrumbs falling all over- yeah,that was absent here :D This burger was so well crafted and put together that each bite oozed out the cheesy sauce inside but the melt-in-mouth bread refused to create a mess, what a relief! A lot of people want the burger patty to be really crunchy on the outside, this one wasn't but I still loved it because it was so wholesome, filling and soft. Every element in this dish came together to create a party in the mouth and this is one dish I am definitely coming back for. And the Paneer pizza. And the Paneer Tikka. And the Cheesy Logs. You get the idea :D There is a lot on that menu I would love to try out because British Brewing Company has got a lot of great things going for it. 

Thank you Diageo and British Brewing Company for such a memorable evening :)

All Photo Credits : Prachi Shailendra


  1. Damn this place, love these kind of places. Reminds me of a brew in my city. Nice post :)

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