|Pork Char Siu Bao|
So when Madam S told me to get my royal tush to her city and stay with her for a while, I extended my otherwise business trip to Hyderabad to go to Bangalore, and one of the first places that was on my wishlist was The Fatty Bao. I have heard so much about the Pork Char Siu Bao from my friends that I decided that it was the place for me to go to.
So one fine Saturday, S drove me to Fatty Bao. Located in Indiranagar, the place is in the same building where The Monkey Bar is. As I was already quite happy with Red Fork, I decided that nothing on this particular road could be terrible, could it. So, armed with the thought, we sat on the open terrace, with the foldable colorful chairs and tables. The server poured us some water from a pretty bottle, and gave us a pair of menus.
I was here for the Bao, and I was not going to spare one bit on anything else. S, however, ordered herself a drink which had cranberry and ginger and a hint of lime. The cran cooler was pretty refreshing and delicate, although I thought it had a bit too much ice in it for my liking, which eventually watered down the drink quite noticeably.
After ordering our food and drink, we lay back, taking in the balmy breeze that seemed to be the perfect accompaniment for this rather laid back meal. Bangalore weather, although slightly finicky, was mostly dry when I visited, and only a couple of bouts of light rain was all I experienced through the course of my trip.
We had both ordered Bao. For the sake of variety, S got the Teriyaki Glazed Chicken Bao, which was quite brilliant with a little bit of crisp chicken skin, a squiggle of citrus-y mayo, cucumber and onions, and perfectly cooked chicken, flavored with teriyaki sauce and soy. The balance between sweet, sour and tart was perfect, and the bun’s texture and softness was the perfect foil for the crunch of the skin within. I would have been more in love with this particular angel, if not for what I had ordered.
The Pork Char Siu Bao was what I was looking forward to, and dear lord, it was everything I had wanted and more. The pork itself was fall-apart soft, with perfect meat-to-fat ratio. There was a lovely char on the outside of the meat, and a little bit of crunch – not overwhelming, though, no, this was another great example of restraint, where overwhelming the meat was not a desirable outcome. That is why, the Hoisin sauce merely enhanced the sweetness of the meat without making it too sweet for me. The white Bao itself was super soft and milky, and the cucumber added to the freshness quotient. Although I could not taste the Green Apple Kimchi, I did not really miss it I guess.
As we ordered our second round of dumplings, a trio of bowls were set before us. I tasted each, hoping to get one with a bit of heat – but alas! All three of these were pretty mild. My favorite was the green – a combination of oil and wilted herbs – parsley, probably, with some garlic added to it.
The Duck with Hoisin and Spring Onion Sheng Jian Bao was next on my list. Although I adore duck meat, I believe it can be easily overwhelmed, and that exactly what happened in this case. Although the duck meat filling was generous, and the cast-iron pan gave the buns a lovely crunchy crust, the Hoisin sauce totally overwhelmed the finely chopped duck, and to add to it, there wasn’t enough duck fat to make the filling moist.
The dumpling skin was lovely and airy, though, but S was looking forward to the Gyoza, so we decided to finish this round and order another. At this point, we both realized we were getting late, so we ended up ordering our last dish here.
We had contemplated between ordering some Ramen and another round of dumplings. In the end, the urge to eat more dumplings won out, and we chose the chicken and celery Gyoza. The skin of the Gyoza was thin, but not overwhelmingly so, with a satisfying crispness. The celery thankfully did not overwhelm the chicken, adding a little bit of crunch and flavor to the filling, and not much else. The filling was perhaps the blandest one, but it never claimed to be something more. I wished for a seriously spicy sauce to be paired with this dumpling, but alas! It was not to be. Needless to say, it did not stop me from wolfing down the last piece.
I have heard that the Ramen and the Brie Tempura here are also pretty good. They have a strict policy of not letting kids under the age of 10 in for dinner, and reservation is recommended.
The Fatty Bao – Asian Gastro Pub
610, 3rd Floor, 12th Main,
Off 80 Feet Road,
Phone: 080-49652983 (Reservation Recommended)