The cool thing about The Fatty Bao, is that they keep it interesting. A year into opening on 12th Main and they already have a fan cult following. I unashamedly am one of the suckers who’s drawn there time and again for their unbelievably scrumptious Char Siu Bao. The Ramen lover in me also subconsciously nudges me to their Asian candy land, every time I’m in Indiranagar. (Which is no mean feat considering the plethora of dining options on that charmed road!) A new menu obviously grabs my attention and the girls and I land up on a sunny Saturday afternoon to get a little fatter.
It was hard to resist flipping open the menu and just ordering what I always order. Luckily the new additions sounded very promising and the girls obviously kept me in check! I’ve always complained about the lack of choice when it comes to their cocktail menu – so it pleased me to see a whole new section dedicated to Absolut cocktails. Made in China has Absolut Mandarin, Earl Grey Tea and Orange Marmalade. I’ve been a recent convert to cocktails with tea and this one hit the spot. Nats claimed she’d have liked a lot more tea, but she drinks a gallon of it every day and we can’t use her as the benchmark.
The Green Kimono with Absolut Pepper, fresh pineapple blended with Curry Leaves and Lemon Grass was a runaway hit and definitely my favourite of the afternoon. Hello Moto! (Remember the Motorola campaign?) had a blend of Absolut Vanilla, Absolut Pepper, Fresh Melon and Cardamom. Tricky, tricky tricky. For anyone who’s had “Panaka” during the Ram Navami celebrations, it will be hard to shake off the similarities. Life’s Peachy pretty much lived up to its name and was an easy drinking cocktail of Absolut Mandarin, Gin, Peach, Lime and Martini Rosso.
A bunch of Vegetarians must have bought out a strong petition, because the new Fatty menu has a lot going for them. The Crispy Lotus Root with Sweet Chilli Sauce is a delightful bar snack. When cut on the horizontal, the Lotus Root makes a pretty trellis and clearly such things win me over in a second 😛 . Think of it being, as addictive as a plate of fries and you’ll know why this is a must-order.
Another crowd pleaser (though I am wont to think Fatty really shouldn’t try to please everyone) – is the Manchurian Candidate. Without going into details, only the street vendors get the Gobi Manchurian right and all other variations are mere poseurs. This one had rice puffs and other frills, which just made it sadder because it was trying so hard.
Dumplings have a special place in my heart and you can bet your bottom dollar, I’m going to order it if it’s on the menu. Another point for the veggies – the Spicy Pumpkin and Radish Har Gow and the Vegetables and Water Chestnut Har Gow. These two were perfectly acceptable but I wish they’d do a Roasted Pumpkin with five spice and maple syrup version – but that’s just me being me. The Lamb with Oyster Sauce Sheng Jian Bao was all kinds of perfect and just looking at the golden-seared-dumpling-bottom made me shed happy tears.
The Grilled Miso Eggplant Bao sounded perfect – miso marinated grilled nasu, tanuki and sriracha sauce. But the Chicken Katsu Bao won in the end due to the pedestrian reason that we’d already eaten enough veggies for the day! Think refined KFC chicken between a pillowy soft Bao with lettuce, mustard mayo, tomatoes and scallions. At an elemental level, it’s what we all want. Be true to yourself.
What happened next was a blur. The Yum Yai salad arrived at the table. I stuck my fork into a plump fried octopus and absentmindedly dipped it into the dressing and ever so casually popped in into my mouth. Holy Mother of God!…I think time stood still. This Thai Salad with fresh greens, pickled vegetables, steamed seafood and fried octopus with anchovies in a crunchy nam prik pao dressing laced with fish sauce and lime was my salvation. The girls noticed the manic look that crossed my eyes and instantly there was a flurry of clashing forks and knives and the salad disappeared into thin air. I think about that salad at night… and the sheer agony of not being able to eat it every day.
I was almost hesitant to eat the Pork Neck with Chilli Bean sauce after that sublime salad moment. But bliss is transient in this world and I was back to reality. This dish was as robust as the earlier one was delicate. Thick juicy stir fried chunks of Pork Neck on a bed of Asian greens, ginger and holy basil. Order a beer with this one, anything else might just ruin the experience.
Right at the bottom of the Small Plates page I saw, lit up with a golden halo (atleast in my head) Steamed Baby Scallops with Fujiko Butter. When I googled Fujiko Butter it took me to a questionable site with animations of Japanese women in even more questionable positions, but try to extricate that image from your brains for a minute. Instead focus on the almost breathtaking picture of the Baby Scallops below.
Little bites of heaven in a simple chilli, ginger, garlic and soy sauce. Decorated with a beautiful piped basket, this one deserves to be in the Fatty Hall of Fame. Heck, it deserves to be in the Bangalore Hall of Fame.
I always tend to OD on the Small Plates in Fatty. But there’s space for Ramen. There’s always space for Ramen. The latest addition – the Lamb Tsukune Ramen does not disappoint. Minced Lamb meat balls in Miso, Korean chilli paste, broth, sautéed spinach, sweet corn, sprouts and pickled egg. If you’re not a Pork eater, this is your big bet. We also shared a Nasi Lemak with Ayam Barker, because how could we pass up the opportunity of eating this Indonesian specialty so close to home? The spice (super hot) marinated grilled chicken is served with Coconut and Pandan flavored rice with eggs, sambal (more heat), cucumber and roasted peanuts.
Honestly, if I was given a choice, I would always pick appetizers over desserts. But considering I was with two ladies who wanted needed to end on a sweet note, we tried a couple. The Pistachio and Green Tea Chiffon Cake caught my eye. It was beautifully plated and the subtle flavour of the Yuzu cream was complimented by the punchy orange jelly. The Japanese Cheese Cake with the Sour Cherry compote and vanilla gelato was equally refined. This light and airy cheesecake is very different from the sugar-soaked dense varieties you get in Bangalore – so if you’re looking for a sweet hit – skip this one. The last dessert we tried was the Strawberry and Tofu Pannacotta. Vegan and Sugar free, this one will appeal to a segment that is hardly catered to in the market. I’ll give them points for trying, but a Pannacotta needs to wobble not collapse like fat free flavored yoghurt. Luckily, I am neither diabetic nor vegan and I can happily skip this on my next visit here.
Fatty has a beautiful selection of Teas that you can end your meal with. Order a pot, sip at leisure and discuss how Bangalore has changed. But Thank God for new menus, right?
The Fatty Bao
610, 3rd Floor, 12th Main, Off 80ft Road,
Ph: +91 80 4965 2983
Parking: Valet Available || Cost: Rs. 2600/++ for a meal for two with drinks.