Bangalore - Good "South-East Asian" Options at the Republic of Noodles
It's hard - very hard, in fact - to get authentic-tasting South-East Asian cooking in India, with the exception, perhaps, of Thai food.
Surprisingly, the Republic of Noodles - the Lemontree hotel chain's brand for their hip eateries serving pseudo-Thai/Vietnamese/Burmese/Singaporean/Malaysian food - served up some really fine-tasting, if not exactly authentic SE-Asian fare.
Some options I tried earlier this month when I paid a visit to its Bangalore outlet:
- Steamed meat dumplings. Similar to Chinese wantons or "sui-kow", I think the ones here were a derivation of Bhutanese/Nepali steamed "momo" dumplings, which were very tasty nonetheless. The mince meat flling seemed to be a mix of pork, chicken & lamb.
- Northern Thai "mee krob' - again, a better-than-expected version here: tasty, spicy and with the requisite lemongrass-galangal-lime flavors in the spicy sauce. The noodles used were Indian "Hakka" noodles, which had a lovely texture.
- Thai fried rice with pork - tasty, though it didn't have that "wok-hei" aroma - but, hey, this is Bangalore, not Guangzhou;
- Thai-style stir-fried prawns with chillies and basil. I didn't quite like this dish as it was quite Indian-ized, where local Ludhianvi-Chinese stir-fries were all given that cornflour-starch sticky gravy, packed with crushed pepper. But the prawns were large & fresh - a definite plus;
- The Burmese noodles, ordered by one of my colleagues, were tasty - but seemed almost a spin-off of the more successful "mee krob", and didn't look or taste like any Burmese noodle dish I'd tried before. It's very tasty nonetheless.
Overall, definitely worth a visit if you're in Electronics City and yearned for something "exotic".
Republic of Noodles
Lemon Tree Hotel
55A, Hosur Main Road
Electronics City, Phase I
It's really difficult - as in "impossible"! Reason's pretty simple - India has a siginificant upper-middle-class who often eat out or entertain quite a bit, and they tend to have pretty "local" tastes, i.e. they expect their "French", "Italian" or "Chinese" food to taste a certain way. Case in point: just look at the restaurants in ex-French colony, Pondicherry (these days called Puducherry), where their brand of "French" cuisine has Indian influences.
Wasabi by Miromoto - oh Gawd. I know Hindustani Times' editor and food writer, Vir Sangvhi, had said that it's the best Japanese restaurant on the Indian sub-continent in his opinion, but it's not even as good as Japanese restaurant chains in Singapore like Tonkichi or even Sushi-Tei. The "dashimaki tamago" wasn't even fried and layered, but seemed baked in an oven into a block of egg.