Aroi is not kidding when they call themselves a lakeview restaurant. The cheery terrace space adorned with large birdcages and rattan chairs with colourful cushions, overlooks the surprisingly well mainted Kaikondrahalli Lake. A venture by a foodie engineer called Jacksy Chan (it’s the truth) who gave up his IT career to bring the taste of South-East Asia to Bangalore – the cuisine on offer is true to its roots. Delicacies from Malaysia, China, Vietnam and Thailand vie for your attention here and with good effect!
The restaurant has a choice of two areas for dining and a larger group would do well to sit inside. The area overlooking the lake offers stunning views and a romantic setting but be prepared to brave some feisty winds. The menu can get overwhelming, with so many choices from so many different countries so I suggest heading straight to the ‘Jacksy Chan recommends’ page to start the day. There are well laid out combinations from each country and you can go through an entire meal without veering from here. If you are brave enough and can resist ordering everything off the menu, then proceed further. P.S. The Chef’s special page lists delicacies such as Singapore Chilli Crab and a lovely Pan Fried Pomfret in Chilli Basil. You can also get a Vietnamese Pho or a Malaysian Lamb Rendang. Didn’t I tell you choices were hard to make?!
We’ve ordered off the Aroi take-away menu many times and never been disappointed. Eating in obviously has it’s charms, though this time it was only three of us and we obviously had to scale down our orders. Aroi does not have a bar license, so the drinks section try to woo you with some interesting Mocktails. Or you can be like us and head straight into the soup section. The Clear Soup with Funsee is a Chinese glass noodle soup with mushrooms and bok choy livened up with sesame oil. I particularly think it goes splendidly with Tofu, but you will find a Chicken variation as well.
I’m a complete sucker for Pandanus Wrapped Chicken and this Thai delicacy always has me begging for more. Aroi does a fabulous job of this popular street food with a moist spicy chicken wrapped in pandanus leaves that add a unique flavor to the meat. Served with a sticky sweet soy dip, it’s extremely addictive.
The Saiwoo Chicken with crackling Spinach is also a favorite. The menu states that it is an Aroi original and I believe them! Chicken cubes are coated in a thick batter, deep fried and tossed in a spicy sauce. The crackling spinach is then mixed through this and eat bite results in a crunchy, soft and crackling experience. If you sit out in the terrace area where strong winds blow, be sure to protect this dish lest all the crackling spinach flies away! (True Story).
They have a nice selection of Dim Sum and the Spicy Chicken Dumplings with chopped green chillies, soy and sesame oil win for originality. If you want a more traditional dim sum, they also do a good job with the Prawn Shu Mai.
The Khao Suey here is a treat to the eyes. The large portion is sufficient for two people unless you have a ginormous appetite. A Burmese meal-in-one, Aroi serves the Coconut Milk Curry separately from the crsipy fried noodles. The dish comes with a variety of condiments that let you customize your meal – fried shallots, fried garlic, lemon wedges, roasted peanuts, sliced chilies, chopped coriander, hard boiled eggs and fish sauce! The Khao Suey finds a lot of appeal with us Indians because of the underlying curry flavor that we so hold dear. Story has it that the dish originated in Burma and came to East India with Indians who migrated from Burma during WWII. I offer my greatest thanks to these people – I adore Khao Suey!
I know that Rendang is generally made with Beef or Lamb in Indonesia. However, I am partial to the Chicken version in Aroi as it is much lighter on the stomach without compromising on any of the bold flavours. The braised chicken is flavoured with dry red chilies, lemon grass, cumin and coriander paste and then cooked in a thick coconut milk curry with potatoes. The Curry is served over steamed rice with an accompaniment of Chicken Satay and Salad. A superb meal to carry you though the day.
The dessert section has more variety than your standard Asian restaurant with Sago, Fried Noodles, Tub Tim Grob and homemade Ice Creams. Look out for the specials, because that is probably where you will be pleasantly surprised. We were treated to Apples poached in red wine served with coconut ice cream. A stunning end to a fabulous meal.
51, (Terrace area) BRS Plaza,
Kaikondrahalli Village, Sarjapur Main Road,
+91 80 45128790
Cost : INR 1200/++ for a meal for two.
Parking available in the plot next to the building.