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Take a bow to bao

A fare on offer at the Fatty Bao

A fare on offer at the Fatty Bao   | Photo Credit: 03dmc bao1

Interesting tweak that Chef Manu Chandra gives to the food at The Fatty Bao makes it click

A close look at restaurants over the years has taught me a few things about what makes a restaurant click. If you forget about Lady Luck, which can make or break a place, there are a few must-haves that a successful eatery should have. It has to offer good food, of course. The location is important. Service matters. But, in my humble opinion, a catchy name does its bit, too.

I must say The Fatty Bao, a new restaurant in south Delhi, has all of the above. The name makes you want to go there and sink your teeth into a soft bun bursting at the seams with some saucy stuffing. The location is great, and there’s ample parking space. The servers are pleasant – and the food is excellent.

I am very fond of Chef Manu Chandra and his food, and was very happy when I was told some weeks ago that he – with his business partner, A.D. Singh of Olive – had opened a new restaurant in the city. I went for the preview and had a great time. My friends were all there, the place was humming, and the food – from the sushi to the baos (which are soft buns with various kinds of filings) – was delicious. So when a friend invited us there earlier this week to mark his birthday, I was elated.

As careful readers would know, I am not very fond of malls – the noise tends to put me off. This restaurant is not exactly in a mall, but in a new food hub that’s come up in an old cinema hall called Sangam Theatre in RK Puram. The Fatty Bao is on the second floor. There is a vast covered sitting area, and a very nice open-air extension. There was music playing inside, and, on a Monday night, it was full of young people having a good time.

There were six of us and our friend, as always, ordered all kinds of dishes. We started with three starters – wasabi prawns, pork belly and bao stuffed with roast duck. And then we had some more appetisers – shaking tenderloin and dancing prawns. And we rounded off the meal with tenderloin rendang curry and jasmine rice.

As you would expect, I enjoyed the pork belly the most. The pork served with miso mustard jam was crisp on the outside and so soft and buttery inside that it just melted when I bit into it. The wasabi prawns were excellent, too – the prawns were crisp and smeared with a heady dollop of wasabi. I loved the rendang curry – the flavours of lemon grass in it, and the nice aftertaste of coconut milk. The tenderloin, cooked with peppers, onion and black bean sauce was juicy and spicy. Though these days I find that I don’t like duck meat much, the pao — with five spices, hoisin cucumber and green onions – was rather nice.

The prices are decent, roughly between Rs. 250 to Rs. 450 per plate (I tried hard, but couldn’t get to see the bill that the friend picked up). And that reminds me, TFB has a bar licence, and offers some nice single malts and beer.

I like the interesting tweaks that Chef Manu has been giving to his food. And I think in the final analysis, it is this, really, that makes the place click.

Rahul Verma is a seasoned street food connoisseur

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 2:44:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/take-a-bow-to-bao/article7715952.ece

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