Echoes, Koramangala: Dining With A Difference 

Just last week, the happening locality of Koramangala in Bangalore saw the launch of a brand new restaurant. This restaurant, however, is very unique. It is different from the rest. In what way?, I hear you ask. Well, this place, Echoes, is different because it promises you a different sort of dining experience.

Echoes, Koramangala, is fully managed by hearing- and speech-impaired staff. This includes the overall running of the outlet, except for the kitchen, as far as I understand. The same hearing- and speech-impaired staff serve customers as well. Noble thought behind the outlet, right? I was humbled to be a part of a bloggers’ table at Echoes, recently.

This is Echoes’ second outlet. The first one, in Delhi, has had a really good innings.

The concept and ambience

Echoes has a wonderful warm and friendly vibe to it. The decor is absolutely beautiful, there is no doubt about that. Brick walls, tastefully chosen knick-knacks, cosy nooks, a spacious sit-out, the smiling crew, the thoughtful quotes on the walls, the lovely motto on the T-shirts of the service staff – everything adds to the effect. It is clear that a whole lot of thought has gone into creating just the right sort of place and atmosphere at Echoes.

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From left to right: 1. A cosy corner that I fell in love with, at Echoes, 2. Sign language basics!, 3. A signboard at Echoes

I especially loved the way they have done up one of the walls entirely using kitchen utensils. Classy!

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From left to right: 1. My personal favourite wall at Echoes – the one decked up with kitchen utensils, 2. The uniform for the staff – THAT motto!, 3. A quote up on one of the walls that I absolutely loved (The picture in the centre is courtesy of @200 deg)

Echoes has taken several steps to ensure a hassle-free ordering and dining experience for its patrons. Each dish on the menu, for instance, has a number alongside it, which is to be written down on a notepad when the service staff visits a table to take an order. (Each tubelight, fan and bulb here also has a number, to facilitate things for the staff – I loved the way they have paid attention to these little details!).

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From left to right: 1. The set of placards that is a part of each table at Echoes, 2. The calling bell that every table at Echoes is equipped with

Furthermore, each table is equipped with a calling bell, which will summon the service staff when pressed. The tables at Echoes also have a set of placards, each one containing a word that is commonly used in communication between the patrons of a restaurant and the wait staff – ‘Menu’ and ‘Plates’, for instance, or ‘Please get the manager’. Hold up the right card, get your word across to the service crew!

Very well thought-out, right?

The food and drinks story

Now, let’s move on to the grub we had at Echoes, shall we?

Echoes has a mixed sort of menu – there’s a little bit of everything on it. There’s Italian, Mexican, Indian and Chinese, among other cuisines. The eatery serves both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food.

Here’s a round-up of the food and drinks I sampled at Echoes.

Raju Veg Tiffin Service: This was a beautifully presented dish, with papad, butter roti, and rice on a plate and two different kinds of gravies (butter paneer and rajma) served in an old-world tiffin carrier. I loved the taste of everything that was a part of this combo.

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The Raju Veg Tiffin Service at Echoes!

Baked Cheesy Nachos: These were simply lovely! The sauce the nachos were served with were just the right amount of tangy, and the cheese was simply perfect.

Rajma Galouti: I thought this was very ordinary. It seemed to lack flavour.

Vegetarian Steamed and Tandoori Momos: Both the versions of momos lacked flavour, in my humble opinion. There’s definitely scope for improvement here.

Stuffed Shrooms Tikka: This dish, again, was quite unexceptional. It felt quite bland.

Paneer Makhani Pizza: This pizza had paneer as well as two other types of cheese, with a makhani-style gravy. It was quite average, nothing out of the ordinary in terms of taste.

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Top left: A platter of steamed and tandoori vegetarian momos, Top right: Baked Cheesy Nachos, Bottom left: Paneer Makhani Pizza, Bottom right: Stufffed Shrooms Tikka

Makhani Pasta: This was something very new to me – penne pasta served with a paneer-butter-masala kind of sauce. Odd combination, probably, and maybe not meant for everyone, but I loved it to bits. I thought it was really well done.

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The lovely Makhani Pasta at Echoes!

Milkshakes: Echoes has a whole lot of milkshakes for the chocolate-lover, with every conceivable flavour on offer – Oreo cookies, Snickers, Kit Kat, Black Forest, Ferrero Rocher.. you name it, they have it! We tried most of these chocolate-based milkshakes, and they were really very well done. Good job on this! My personal favourite milkshake, though, was the Red Rave, a red velvet cake-based shake that was mildly sweet, with bits of cake in it. Try out the milkshakes here, but don’t miss the amazing Red Rave, I say!

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On the left: The Snickers and Oreo milkshakes, On the right: The Red Rave milkshake, all at Echoes

Strawberry Lemonade: This was a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful drink, both in terms of taste and looks! The blend of sugar, strawberry and lemon was just perfect, making this a very refreshing thing to have. It sure didn’t have that ‘cough syrup’ taste that I have come across at a lot of other eateries, in case of strawberry-flavoured drinks. This is a must-have here, for sure.

Virgin Mo: The Virgin Mo or mojito at Echoes was just perfect. It was very well executed, with the mint, sugar and lemon all perfectly balanced. Quite the salve for parched throats. This, again, is a must-have, as per me.

Pricing

The prices here seem to be slightly on the higher side, but not too exorbitant. A meal for two would set you back by about INR 1,000.

Overall experience

  1. I absolutely loved the time I spent at Echoes, Koramangala. The service staff seemed to be so put-together and well-organised, and all of them had a warm and welcoming smile on their faces. That said, I was here as part of a very formal set-up, so I am yet to experience the entire ‘service experience’ as such. I would definitely love to go back to this place, any time!
  2. The place seems to have quite a strong hold over Indian cuisine. We loved the Indian dishes here a whole lot more than the other fare. Likewise, the eatery is very, very strong with respect to its mocktails, juices and milkshakes. Every single one of the drinks we tasted here was beautifully done.
  3. I loved some of the food I sampled here, but was not overly impressed by some stuff. The place is very new, though, so it would only be fair to give them some time to gain a foothold. I would wait and watch as to how the food story here unfolds in the times to come.
  4. The ambience and decor here is absolutely amazing. Full marks to that. I would go back to this place just for the ambience, the service experience and the drinks!

Disclaimer:

I was served this meal free of cost, along with a group of other food bloggers, in exchange for an honest review. The views expressed herein are entirely my own, not influenced by anything or anyone.

Have you been to this place yet? I would definitely urge you to visit!

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