Not too much is required to convince me that steaming hot Dim Sums pair wonderfully with the Indian Monsoon. The Asian version of our Chai-Pakoras offers a more eclectic spin to our rainy evenings. Shiro has always bought us some traditional flavors but never ceases to experiment with turning out some crowd pleasers as well. A festival showcasing 40 unique gourmet dim sum paired with tea and some infused cocktails, are just what the doctor ordered for July!
This is the fourth year that the festival is making an appearance and Shiro seems to know what works. The handcrafted menu by expat dim sum chefs – Ryan Cabug Andrea and Rhonel Santoyo, under the master guidance of Chef Rahul Hajarnavis spans across Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai influences. Vegetarian dumplings fight for space alongside seafood, chicken and pork and you will also find different renditions like Sui Mai, Hargao, Chi Chow, Shen Jian and other pretty folded variations. Familiarity might nudge you towards ordering the standard Hargao or Chicken Steamed Dumplings, but I think the newer kids on the block definitely make a bold statement.
I like that the cocktails literally came ‘steaming’ to our table. Beautiful stemless Martini glasses atop a bowl of smoking dry ice make a stunning debut. The Peach Thai Chili Martini encompasses some tropical flavors, but packs a solid punch with the chili. The Rosemary and Pomegranate Martini is a gentler, sweeter concoction and is an easy drink to lose yourself in. You’re also allowed to just indulge in the free-flowing teas that accompany your Dim Sum order.
Someone finally put Cream cheese in a dumpling and it tuned out pretty darned well! The Mushroom and Cream Cheese Dumpling is an attractive sight to behold with its blushing rose-colored wrapper. The cream cheese adds a silky dimension to the moreish mushroom filling and the winner is the rich mixed mushroom and garlic broth that is poured over it. The competition for this exotic creation is the luxurious Lobster and Truffle Oil Dumpling. Even though the sublime smells might entice you – please resist the urge to pop the steaming yellow parcel instantly into your mouth. You not only risk burning your tongue but also risk losing all the beautiful flavors to just a sizzling medley in your mouth.
SPICE IS NICE
If spicy is your mantra, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise with the Vegetable Wantons in Sichuan Chili Oil. This one has my vote for bold flavors and soul satisfying monsoon compatibility (there IS such a ranking! :P) Another cousin of the spice train is the Wasabi Prawn Dumplings. This Japanese inspired innovation, creates a lingering burn in the mouth and we definitely couldn’t stop at one. The spinach flavored/colored wrapper just adds to the whole ‘Wasabi’ experience. If you want to break up the dumpling game, I suggest you opt for the Prawn and Chive Pot Stickers which offer a mix of interesting textures in a single bite.
AND THERE ARE ALWAYS FAVORITES
My favorite dumpling was the Thai inspired Hot Basil Chicken version which literally blew me away with its bold flavors. The hot pink wrapper (stained with beetroot juice) is a pretty disguise for the cheeky Thai rendition of minced chicken with lemongrass, basil and chili. I suspect this would do very well with pork, but definitely no complaints if a chicken version turned out a stellar performance.
If you’re the type that can’t just have dumplings for a meal – you can order some of their open faced Baos. The Pork Belly Bao is a no brainer but the Chicken Katsu Bao with their panko crusted chicken laced with gochujang mayo makes a very fulfilling KFC like sandwich to wrap up the day.
WOULD YOU EAT A BAO FOR DESSERT?
You can choose to go the whole hog and order a Lotus Bean Paste Bao for dessert. Though you will see the Asian populace savoring this, I’d say it’s definitely an acquired taste for us. The safer, non-authentic but probably more fulfilling option would be the Chocolate Bao. Or make like us and order their Mandarin Chocolate Velvet Cake from their regular menu.
SHARING BASKETS AND THOUGHTS
Their Sharing Baskets at INR 1050/ 1650/ 2450 for four, six or nine dumpling baskets make the Steaming Sensations deal quite irresistible. Should you go? Once – Hell ya. Twice – Definitely. Thrice – If you’re a dumpling-loving fiend and can’t rest without sampling all 40 varieties.
222, 3rd Floor, UB City Mall,
Vittal Mallya Road, Bangalore 5600001
+91 80 41738838861/ 64
Cost : INR 2000++ for a meal for two.
Mall Parking available.