Many of the chef's experiments have found their place on the constantly changing menu at the Fat Chef

It's only when you see a fat chef that you can trust the food to be good, declares Vandana Narula, chef and part owner of the Fat Chef.

Located on the premises of Jagriti theatre on Varthur Main Road, this café and restaurant serves both theatre enthusiasts and others looking for a diverse spread. Customers feel welcome and relaxed at this homely joint, especially if they are seated in the backyard overlooking a little garden — a favourite with children.

Vandana believes in “cooking simple food with no drama”. “Whatever you find on my menu is mostly stuff I cooked up in my head first and which I enjoy eating myself,” she says.

Constant experimentation

Experimenting with various ingredients is her mantra to discovering new flavours. Since the restaurant began in March 2011, she has already tried out over 400 different recipes, some of which have found themselves on the menu. What you won't find here, however, is a wide choice in Indian dishes.

“I get bored very soon of eating the same food myself. So, I constantly revise menus and add new items. What you find this month may be chucked out the next time you visit, unless you pre-order it,” she says.

Flavoured by travel

How does she manage to be true to the authentic taste in the mish-mash of cuisines she serves? “I travel around the world quite frequently and I make it a point to do a few short courses when I am there, learning about their flavours and ingredients,” Vandana explains.

Secret sauce

Among her unique innovations in the appetizers are the barbecue wings — recipe strictly confidential. It's impossible to describe the flavour of the accompanying sauce, sweet at times and a hint of salt in other bites. Perhaps because it has about 22 different ingredients, which even Vandana says she finds hard to remember.

The Mexican chicken balls and the light and tasty bruschetta are worth a try; the baked, stuffed mushroom is another chef's special.

The pizza bread is freshly made, with the thin-crusted whole wheat bread a speciality of the place.

Highly recommended for the main course is the eggplant parmesan. The presentation itself — parmesan served with boiled vegetables and salad — is a riot of colour, tempting you to throw etiquette and cutlery off the table. That would, however, be ill-advised as the dish, with layers of cheese alternating with the eggplant, is rather fragile.

Finally, the New York cheesecake, accompanied by blueberry cream, is a tasty way to end the meal.


Paper PlateJanuary 13, 2011

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