It’s not that Bangalore does not know St Patrick. We have a huge church smack in the heart of town, at the bottom of Brigade Rd., devoted to the patron saint of Ireland. And there are thousands of devoted people who worship there and many others who use the grounds as a parking lot and thoroughfare… the point is they have heard of St Patrick. So we assumed they know about green beer for St Patrick’s, among other St P Day delights such as Irish soda bread, cabbage and corned beef.
Celebrating St Patrick’s Day is common to many people in the West and even those who are not Irish partake of the Feast of St Patrick. As expats, they turn to local hotels and restaurants to help them make an occasion of this day.
So, excited by this sudden prospect of having a decidedly cosmopolitan turn of cuisine in our midst, we did our research on St Pat’s and then asked a large number of restaurants around the city what they had planned. We thought we would see menus with typical Irish dishes.
But here’s the kicker: most of the people we spoke to don’t seem to know anything about St Patrick’s Day, nor the relevance of the colour green, which determines why so many people of Irish persuasion drink humongous quantities of green beer.
To many restaurants, cooking broccoli pakoras is enough. It’s green. And what proof do we have that St Patrick did not enjoy pakoras (from the recipe St Thomas emailed him from Madras, no doubt.)
Several hotels and restaurants simply did not have St Pat’s plans. Some did but we could not get ourselves sufficiently excited by their offering. The Sheraton at Brigade next to Orion Mall has a package deal for St Pat’s but no real cuisine specific to the occasion and the bar Three Dots and a Dash has green cocktails on their menu. And some green food too. Including the broccoli pakoras.
Chopping up celery into a bowl pays lip service to St Pats just as placing carrots, rice and peas in neat rows does nothing to live up to Independence Day. Likewise, the spirit of St Patrick’s is nothing without soda bread and green beer.
But in the city are two notable stops we can recommend honestly: Hard Rock Cafe and, mercifully, The Irish House. Hard Rock Cafe has an all-green menu with, you guessed it, green beer. The Irish House has Irish Soda Bread. Also all Irish favourites that make for great bar pickings. Like Colcannon. Stews are a great Irish dish that the world loves. Irish Sundae ends the meal.
For those who did not Google it already, St Patrick was the Patron Saint of Ireland. The day of his death is celebrated as St Patrick’s Day. The Irish Shamrock, a clover, was used as St Patrick to symbolise the Holy Trinity. That’s why, green. (Read, https://bangalore.explocity.com/article/food-fetish-leprechaun/). The Irish love their beer so, naturally, green beer. In Gaelic, “Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!” is the greeting for the day. And the convenient thing about green beer is that it’s the same colour out the other end.