Bow to the BaoWow Fest!

My message is a simple one: get thee to Fatty Bao for lunch or dinner today. Their Bao Wow festival ends along with this calendar year, and if you are wondering where to take yourself for a nice celebratory end the year meal, look no further. Fourteen baos to choose from, with the vegetarian selection as delectable as the non vegetarian choices – what’s to consider – just go!

Drop that!
Drop that!

Start your meal off with one of the new cocktails – The Wasabi Drop, a just right combo of gin, ginger juice, egg white and lemon and of course, wasabi. Five of fourteen of the baos on offer are vegetarian, and even though our group is made up of inveterate meat eaters, the names and descriptions of the veg offerings were tempting.

The unanimous favorite at the table was the Cheesy Kimchi Potato Bao which had Korean chilli powder and a nice pungent flavor. I also enjoyed the Fried Eggplant Bao – not  a big fan of this veggie, but in that packaging (miso and sriracha sauces) , I found it most enjoyable. The Spicy Mushroom and Chick Pea Bao, on the other hand, missed out the mushroom flavor and was more akin to a falafel.

We managed to try almost all of the non veg offerings, advantage of being a party of five. I chose the Roast Duck Bao right off the bat – hoisin sauced fatty duck goodness. The Five Spice Fried Chicken Bao was exactly that – fried chicken in a pillowy bao. Good for the less adventurous or the chicken-is-the-only-meat-I-eat crowd.

Fatty Bao, Bangalore, beef cheek, fish, pork ribs, the fatty bao, wasabiThe Wasabi Fish Bao was another pleasant surprise for non fish fan me – fried seabass with wasabi sauce, pickled ginger, fried garlic. A nice crunchy mouthful! Pulled Pork Bao and Char Siu Bao were the porcine offerings we indulged in – both yummy. The Braised Beef Cheek Bao was also a hit.

Now, we really should have stopped there, seeing as we were there for the Bao festival. But since when do such minor details stop the likes of us? A few new dishes were served to the table, and really you would have to be out of your head to say no to the Pork Adobo – fall off the bone pork ribs in a nice spicy Filipino styling. Nigiri, tuna and salmon, were also eaten with gusto. We also loved the Steamed Edamame, which ideally, is where you should begin your meal – a perfect tangy accompaniment to your cocktails, tossed in garlic, soy sauce, lemon and sea salt.

Fatty Bao, Bangalore, beef cheek, fish, pork ribs, the fatty bao, wasabiAt between INR 240 and 320 per serving (of two pieces each), you can indulge in half a dozen with ease, as long as you have company. Round out your meal with a new dessert –  Halo Halo,  an Asian dessert after my own heart. Most people don’t have much love for Asian desserts of jellos and shaved ice, and fresh fruits, but I always have. This platter, of jello, caramelized banana, purple yam (yes you read that right!) ice-cream, raspberry sorbet, vanilla flan and shaved ice is worth saying hello twice to indeed!

Natasha Ali

Natasha's first foray into food writing has been with Chef at Large. Who knew all those years spent eating food, reading about it and looking for the next restaurant to try or watching cooking shows would have left such an indelible impression?! She's back in India after having spent over a decade in the US where she studied as well as taught in academia and now works as a content writer seeing as she can write about pretty much anything. Movie mad, obsessed with the English language, and never one to turn down a glass of good wine, cup of tea, or a good book, she's open to trying any dish once, she enjoys a variety of cuisines with favorites being Ethiopian, Thai, and Lebanese. Natasha covers Bangalore for Chef at Large and can be reached at natasha.ali@www.chefatlarge.in