Asia’s largest pub Oia brings Santorini to Bengaluru

Located in Hennur and spanning 87,000 sq ft, the pub captivates visitors with its Instagram-worthy aesthetics

June 14, 2023 10:01 am | Updated 01:12 pm IST

Oia, in Bengalur

Oia, in Bengalur | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Bengaluru’s restaurant scene is a hub for breaking records, and Oia (pronounced Eyah) is leading the way in redefining size.  Inspired by Santorini, Greece, Oia proudly claims the title of Asia’s largest bar, spanning an impressive 87,000 square feet. Notably, Byg Brewski, with its adjacent 65,000 square feet, once held the distinction of India’s largest brewpub. However, in a remarkable turn of events in 2021, Ironhill surpassed this record, establishing itself as the world’s largest microbrewery, stretching across a staggering 1.3 lakh square feet.

The emergence of Hennur as a favoured location for record-breaking restaurants with ample real estate reveals an intriguing trend in Bengaluru’s dining scene. The exact motivations behind this preference remain somewhat elusive. However, it highlights the significance for new F&B ventures to distinguish themselves in the city by claiming distinctive accolades. Notably, High in Malleshwaram proudly stands as South India’s highest lounge bar, while Candles Brewhouse, located on the 12th floor of Azure in Hebbal, holds the coveted title of the city’s highest microbrewery.

Picasso inspired art wall at Oia, Bengaluru

Picasso inspired art wall at Oia, Bengaluru | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Located on Hennur Road, Oia captivates with its grand scale and lively ambience. Its stunning all-white interiors, reminiscent of Thalassa in Vagator, create a captivating fusion of Goan and Greek aesthetics. Every corner, staircase, and arch provide an Instagram-worthy backdrop, drawing in enthusiastic millennials and social media influencers who promptly capture and share the picturesque surroundings across various digital platforms.

Oia’s popularity is evident in the significant influx of visitors, leading to some wait times at the valet area. Despite an official seating capacity of 1,800, patrons experienced waits of approximately 15 to 20 minutes to secure a table. However, during my thorough tour of the venue, I could not help but notice the complete vacancy on the topmost floor, raising questions about the decision to keep eager customers waiting on a Monday evening at 7 pm, with many travelling from Goa and other parts of Karnataka for that one Instagram post.

Lokesh Sukhija,known for his successful F&B ventures including Miso Sexy, Daddy, Diablo, and Bougie, has brought Oia to life. Speaking about the venture, Sukhija states, “This marks my 40th venture. Bengaluru provides a conducive environment for such endeavours. The city’s enthusiastic crowd makes it an ideal destination for these establishments.”

Oia, in Bengaluru

Oia, in Bengaluru | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Oia, in Bengaluru

Oia, in Bengaluru | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Oia’s architectural charm lies in its pristine white aesthetics, encompassing a serene emerald pool adorned with a bridge, cabanas, elegant columns and grand arches. Designed by architect Abhigyan Neogi, the venue incorporates magnificent Picasso-style black line drawings as wall and niche accents. The multi-level space features a striking elevation, amphitheatre-style seating, and a signature blue-domed lighthouse, creating the Greek island in silicon city.

The interior décor follows a minimalist approach, with an all-white theme accentuated by exquisite cane lamps. Oia distinguishes itself from Sukhija’s previous ventures by embracing simplicity, rather than bold and vibrant elements. The ground floor hosts the Picasso Bar, while the first floor houses Snowman, a bar paying homage to a renowned prize-winning horse.

Edamame tokri tart

Edamame tokri tart | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The menu at Oia showcases a diverse range of pub foods with a few unique twists. Notable highlights include boozy vodka pani puri, blue pea sushi, Greek cheese samosas, edamame tokri tart, creamy chicken cornetto elegantly presented in a wooden box, and namma Bengaluru tacos filled with flavorsome chicken Karavalli.

Cream chicken cornetto

Cream chicken cornetto | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The culinary offerings at this establishment align with the expectations of urban restaurants in the city, featuring a familiar array of dishes with a few notable variations. However, it is their paneer tikka and butter chicken that truly stand out. The credit for this excellence can be attributed to Lokesh’s upbringing in Delhi, where the expectation to master Punjabi cuisine is practically sacred.

As we explore the beverage selection, we are introduced to the purple-hued people’s obsession, infused with blue pea tea. Other standout creations include Picasso, a Jim Beam-based concoction, geisha, boasting subtle gin notes, and sonorous, skillfully crafted with lemongrass and grapefruit.

However, our experience with the Long Island iced tea fell short of expectations, lacking the desired alcoholic punch. Upon requesting a replacement, the subsequent rendition proved to be an unsatisfactory blend, deviating from the classic profile.

While the food and drinks arrived promptly, nearby tables voiced complaints about extended waiting times — a somewhat understandable occurrence given the bustling ambience on a Monday evening.

Address: Oia, Hennur Main Road, New Airport Rd, opposite Mantri Webcity, Visthar, Bengaluru.
Hits: Butter chicken, paneer tikka, people’s obsession cocktail
Misses: Long island iced tea
Timings: 12 noon to 12:30 am
Call: +919606031145
Ambience: Modern and opulent
Wallet factor: ₹2,500 for two people without alcohol
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