Asian, Bars & Gastropubs, Food Festival, Restaurant Reviews
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Bao Chica Wow Wow @ The Fatty Bao (Indiranagar)

Tis the season to be jolly, but for a whole different reason! A Bao festival at The Fatty Bao can only multiply your Christmas cheer. Fourteen different Bao’s compete for your attention till the end of this month. A mix of old favourites and new dazzlers, the #baowowfestival showcases why Fatty won Best Pan Asian Restaurant at the Times Food Awards two years in a row!

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So it’s simple really – you have 12 days to eat fourteen Baos. If you’re a Bao fan like me, it shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish: P. If you’re a skeptic, then read on and I’ll help you maneuver the Bao landscape to narrow down your hit list.

Like all visits to The Fatty Bao – starting with a cocktail or two never hurt anyone. In this case, the new Wasabi Drop might challenge the notion, but let’s not be #sissy. Gin shaken with a drop(s) of Wasabi, ginger juice, egg white and lemon makes for a refreshing start to your Bao sojurn. If you are abstaining from alcohol during the party season for various unjustifiable reasons like tests of sheer will power – the Peach Fizzler can keep you moderately happy. Peach, Apricot, Orange Juice and lime. Just like that, you are now the designated driver.

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The vegetarians are still fighting for equality but I’d say adding five Bao’s to your kitty is a definite win. The Spicy Wild Mushroom and Chick Pea Bao, was a mushroom and chickpea patty (very falafel) pan seared and served with chilli and garlic mayo. The Fried Eggplant Bao had me quite excited, but I wish the chef had used thicker slices of the Eggplant in the miso marinade. The thin slices almost tasted like eggplant chips and missed out the meaty robustness that this dish could have achieved. The kimchi cabbage and siracha sauce further drowned out the taste of the eggplant. The Cheesy Kimchi Potato Bao sounded the least interesting but packed a definite punch. Served with scallions and Korean Chilli Powder this was my favourite in the vegetarian section.

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The Non-vegetarian section had appropriate representation from all the farm animals and some sea creatures to boot. The Five Spice Fried Chicken Bao is a pimped up version of KFC’s fried Chicken and will find many happy fans. The fattier cousin – The Roast Duck Bao is a neat rendition of the Peking Duck rolls but replace the pancakes with the fluffy baos. Hoisin sauce, cucumber and scallions complete the picture.

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There’s very little that can go wrong with a Pulled Pork Bao, except all round messiness when eating it. This one came with curry sauce, crispy shallots, cucumber, a fried egg and kaffir lime. Loved it. My other favourite, the Char Siu Bao is also on the menu, so feel free to play switcheroo. The Braised Beef Cheek Bao and the Lamb Bao round out the red meat section. Considering the #bans in India, I say you lap this up when you can.

The Wasabi Fish Bao was another repeat order for me. Crispy Fried Sea Bass with Wasabi Sauce, pickled ginger, fried garlic and shichimi. The Chilli Crab and Prawn Bao is a spicy Crab cake with Asian slaw, pickled watermelon rind (coolness) and fried garlic. The most expensive Bao at INR 320 – but no one said finding Nemo was cheap. Did I just #RuinIt for you?

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We should have stopped at the Baos. But when faced with a helping of Pork Adobo, the resistance melts away like the fat of the lamb pig. A spicy Filipino rendition of Roast Pork ribs that will leave you supremely pleased with the universe. A glistening Red Nigiri left me wondering whether it was a slice of Tuna or Watermelon! A beautiful dish elevated by a Yuzu and Soy glaze. Would have definitely rocked my world if the Tuna was firmer.

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This one goes in my list of simple pleasures. Steamed Edamame dressed with garlic, soy, lemon and sea salt. A beautiful bowl of refined drool-worthiness.

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And finally we ended with dessert – Halo Halo. The great Redeemer of lackluster, insipid, uninspiring Asian desserts across the world. A deconstructed mix of jello, caramelised banana, purple yam ice-cream, raspberry sorbet, vanilla flan and shaved ice – this is my new manna! It’s aptly called Halo Halo – clearly one Halo is one too less!

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The #BaoWowFestival is on till 31st of Dec. The Bao’s arrive two to a portion. So unless you intend to devour it all, going with a group of friends (preferably even numbered) helps the logistics a great deal. 4 divided by 2 is a lot easier than 6 divided by 7. #fractionsarenotsexy – unless you are Sheldon.

Fatty Bao - Bao Festival

The Fatty Bao

610, 3rd Floor, 12th Main (Above Monkey Bar)

Off 80 Feet Road, Indiranagar, Bangalore.

Phone : +91 80 49652109

Cost : Baos start at INR 240

Valet Parking available.

 

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