A few weeks back, I was invited for a tour and tasting at Above Ground Levell Lounge, an airport lounge at the Bangalore Airport. The invite was intriguing of course, because BIAL typically doesn’t allow visitors inside, unlike in other cities, and this lounge is available inside the domestic section as well as international waiting areas. So a couple of bloggers and I met up with the PR liaison, and headed to the visitor’s pass office, eagerly awaiting to enter the airport. It turned out to be several hours of tedious wait while our passes were sanctioned, and then we finally made it to the lounge!
The domestic lounge was bright, using a lot of the natural day light available with reflective glass ceilings. It blended in a classical interior design of a contemporary interpretation of the Ramachandra Temple and the Mahanavami Platform in Hampi. There is also a fine balance of greenery around the venue, giving it a very lush yet peaceful ambiance. They havevarious kinds of seating areas spread out across the lounge, to ensure comfortable seating and elevated experience, depending on the duration of a passenger’s transit.
As we sat down for a late lunch, the executive chef joined us for a short tête-à-tête. He shared some curious and challenging aspects of being in the security cleared zone of this airport, the enforced restrictions like using an actual knife, for example! They have to make do with plastic equipment, and any prep work needs to be done outside the secure premises. So the meat, for example, needs to be skinned and chopped in another section and then brought up. Even opening cans without a can opener was something the chef and his team adapted to.
During the Navratri festival, the buffet spread was focused on mainly vegetarian offerings. The cuisine was primarily Indian, but there were western desserts and several live counters. There were quick bites like sandwiches and wraps, which were quite good, and doused the hunger pangs, while we continued the rest of our meal. The live counters were quite interesting, serving Dosa, Uttapam, Waffels and Pastas, while there was also an extensive chat counter. The spread of course was primarily conceptualized for the Indian audience, but in taste and palate ensured that the dishes weren’t too hot or tangy for the foreign travelers as well.
The lounge is great for travelers who reach the airport early, or have long layovers, or worse, have to deal with canceled and delayed flights. Their specialty is simple food and a variety in the buffet, that would give travelers options to have a healthy, yet sumptuous bite before their journey. The lounge has a fully stocked bar with an array of foreign liquor brands, good for a nice long drink or a quick pint of beer. Next time you travel, check out the Above Ground Levell Lounge, and do leave your comments as feedback. The menu here changes for every meal every day, so there’s always new things to try!
For more information, please visit their website: http://www.abovegroundlevellounge.com/
|International Departure Lounge:||Domestic Departure Lounge:|
|Above Ground Levell Lounge (International Departures)||Above Ground Levell Lounge (Domestic Departures)|
|Terminal 1 (Level 1, near Gate 17)||Terminal 1 (Mezzanine level)|
|Opening hours: 24 hrs||Opening hours: 24 hrs|