Independence Brewing Company has long held iconic status among craft beer aficionados and the food too has been a smashing hit. We have reviewed it once before – here – and now we were invited for a pre-launch tasting of their brand new menu. Some awesome and exciting new dishes and a slew of new cocktails were on the hit-list and they were taken down with much jubilance. I would like to thank IBC as well as Food Prowl for inviting me for the tasting.
The new menu launches on 6th August 2018.
Resisting the superb craft beers at Independence Brewing Company is one skill I have not mastered yet. Some light refreshing Hefeweizen and the aromatic, fruity and malty Hazy Pale Ale (Oh-So-Trendy) was had with much joy. Then came the crown jewel, the Ixcacao, a beautifully fragrant bitter-sweet chocolate, coffee and vanilla flavoured stout with a smokey tinge. An absolutely pleasurable drink. I tried the Cojones-Del-Toro, a drink not for the faint hearted. 100 IBUs (bitterness units out of 100) though with a hint of fresh and sweet tinges. A bit much for me, though.
A number of wonderful cocktails were served, out of which, the Ouzo Effect and Lono’s Makahiki unanimousy won the hearts of everyone. Wonderfully sweet, aniseedy/cinnamony and refreshing drinks. The Beetroot Project was another stand out with a bright magenta colour and served with smokey and sinful torched bacon on top. Really interesting. The Blushing Lady was amazing but the Black Hole, an activated charcoal drink, left a bit to be desired in terms of flavour.
Gunpowder Button Idli
The unlikeliest of dishes for a brewery, but the Chef smashed it out of the park. Little soft idlis joyfully laden with ghee, fried with the most delicious and rustic gunpowder masala and curry leaves. It was utterly delicious. Vegetarians rejoice! (Even non-vegetarians, actually).
Stir Fried Chicken Liver in Green Masala
Another unlikely dish you say, but not breaking the trend, the liver was delicious too. Soft, perfectly cooked liver in a super flavourful green masala. No grainy texture, no organy taste, just pure magic. If you like liver, it’s a must have, if you don’t, this is what you try to find out what you’re missing out on.
Bohri Style Smoked Mutton Kheema Samosas
Not relenting on the extremely off beat but delicious dishes, these samosas just came like a big warm hug in the cold intermittent rain pitter pattering outside. Thin crispy coating filled with the juiciest and most subtly flavoured mutton kheema. Not overly oily or soggy, just perfect. I have no idea how they do it, those geniuses.
Chicken and Prawns Dumplings in Sichuan Chilly Sauce
This was another winner. Soft and succulent dumplings in a sauce that packed a real punch. Perfectly balanced, not overly spicy and just morish.
Pulled Pork Tacos was another delightful dish. Super juicy and flavour packed pulled pork, within soft tortillas topped with amazing salsa. Drippy and messy, just how it should be.
Masala Fry Calamari was spicy and superb. The Dry Rub Cajun Wings were great too. Deep fried crispy coating, fall off the bone chicken with a really tasty spice rub.
Both the Quinoa and Soba Noodle Salads were refreshing, balanced and really healthy. I like salads and I could eat these all day.
SANDWICHES / BURGERS
Grilled Fish Burger – Amazing spice rubbed and grilled fish (Bhetki) fillets with onions, lettuce and tartar sauce. I really liked it, though it wasn’t like the typical burger that we’re used to. Some of us did want some extra sauce, it was pretty much perfect for me.
Achari Paneer Sandwich – It was a bit of a disaster, as there was too much salt in the achari masala and it was uneatable. But we were assured it was a mistake from their side and the sandwich was actually really good. I would believe them, considering the quality of the rest of the food.
PIZZA AND PASTA
Four Cheese Pizza – Get on the delish train. Incredible pizza, the crowning jewel being the salty and slightly pungent blue cheese. The balance was just perfect and just did it for everybody.
Spaghetti Carbonara Pasta was just perfect. Al dente spaghetti, creamy sauce and tons of bacon. Served super buttery and herby garlic bread.
Soya Pork Chilly Chops was the clear winner for me. Perfectly cooked juicy and smoky meat, with a delicious sauce. You have to eat it to believe it.
The Independence Butter Chicken too hit the spot. Thankfully not sweet at all, with a mild, creamy, buttery and tangy curry. Scooping it up with the butter rotis was an absolute pleasure.
Classic Lamb Stew and Nasi Goreng too were pretty good, the latter though could do with a slight hit of more flavour.
Coffee and Coconut Pudding – Very different and really nice little dessert. Creamy and caramelly with a tinge of coffee and coconut, obviously. Brought back memories of coconut toffees we’ve all had as kids.
Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Tart and Chocolate Souffle are both IBC’s classic desserts. The Tart especially with the bittersweet dark chocolate with rock salt and hints of caramel is just utterly sinful.
Overall the new menu is an absolutely smash hit. Couple of dishes do need a bit of tweaking, but they can iron out the flaws by the time of launch on 6th August 2018. If you haven’t visited Independence Brewing Company yet, now would be the perfect time. These new dishes with their outstanding brews are a reason good as ever.
Have you been to IBC? How was your experience? Were you inspired to try it out after reading this post? Let me know everything in the comments below! Cheers!