Does your tongue tingle and your palate pique in anticipation, when you think of Asian food? Then Sriracha Robata & Contemporary Pan Asian Dining is where you will find your nirvana, in an experience that promises to go beyond the realms of ubiquitous Asian cuisine as we know it. And if you think that the name is unduly long, then you should see the menu!!!
Though the restaurant is around 6 months old, I had not been able to make the time to visit and one of my first resolutions of 2020 was to tick that off my list (see, those are the kind of resolutions that actually work). So on one fine, crisp January day, I accepted the invitation of Chef Vikas Seth, of the famed Sriracha and Sanchez restaurants, who is also a good friend and knows exactly what sets off my taste buds into a happy dance.
Sriracha Robata does not merely bring you dishes from the thrilling cuisines of several Asian nations but this restaurant also goes a step deeper and delves into lesser known fare that the ever experimental Bangalore foodie is guaranteed to joyfully embrace.
Set foot into its elegant environs and allow yourself to be blown away into an Asian paradise where you will wish to live happily ever after and never ever leave.
About the restaurant –
Sriracha Robata, belongs to the Embassy group which is a leading real estate development firm. The restaurant is the second of its series in Bangalore, the first being the 5 year old Sriracha at UB City. This new sibling which is barely a few months old has gone on to being as much of a hit as its predecessor and in this short span of time, has gathered quite the fan following, in the very happening vicinity of Indiranagar. The 2 Sanchez restaurants that serve Mexican, are also located adjoining their Asian cousins at both outlets.
Ably managed by celebrity Chef Vikas Seth whose twinkling eyes and engaging smile have endeared him to Bangalore’s foodies, this place presents a menu that is as delightful as its chef.
The appeal of this cuisine is universal and the place targets food lovers across all ages. The menu spans across all the far eastern countries with a leaning towards some of the lesser known ones like Cambodia, which has been given a generous share … a partiality that we are not complaining about!!!
Intensive research conducted personally by the chef and team through the streets and kitchens of Cambodia, have resulted in the appearance of many hitherto unavailable items including the Khmer barbeque which is one of its kind in Bangalore.
Of course all the classics have been given that special Sriracha twist and if you are sufficiently intrigued by now, it is time to step in and satisfy that curiosity.
The decor of this first floor space is a blend of oriental chic. Chairs upholstered in dark shades, contrast against a giant multi hued, bright mural that occupies the entire wall at the far end, featuring a geisha, a dragon and a Samurai cat in armor, the significance of which remains as mysterious to me, as the painting 😀
The space can seat 90 diners and is large and airy, with natural light streaming in from large windows alongside which a few high tables are placed, giving you a view of the street below. Apart from these, there are some regular tables and a few lounge style couches. Also, a cleverly designed, well ventilated alcove, houses a couple of tables where the Khmer barbeque is operated.
The menu is a collection of handpicked items from various Asian lands, tossed, turned and twirled into aesthetically pleasing offerings that you find really difficult to choose from.
The star of the show is the Robatayaki which translates to ‘fire side cooking’. Popularly shortened to Robata, this is a charcoal grill that sizzles out grill’iant offerings of absolutely tender morsels of meat, seafood and vegetarian ingredients, made all the more enticing with the slathering of their secret In-house sauces and concoctions, that reveal themselves on your palate.
Their signature sauce which bears the same name as their brand, is the secret ‘House Screaming Sriracha’ sauce (does the name require any further description?). This will have you screaming either way, whether in pain or pleasure 😀 and is widely used in many of their preparations.
The menu is vast but not incomprehensibly so, and many of the items are variations of the basic classics. Their special touch is seen in the form of unusual ingredients like beet, avocado, grapefruit, Malta oranges, paneer etc that skillfully enhance the aesthetics and flavors of well known old favorites like the Som Tam salad, dimsum, etc.
The unique traditional Khmer barbeque is also a huge draw here and diners are delighted to be seated around the live cooking station where a round metal grill is placed on a mound of live charcoal called Phnom Plung meaning Fire mountain. The meats or vegetables are grilled on the central dome, which is an island surrounded by Asian stock filled with strips of assorted vegetables and noodles. The resultant concoction is eventually filled in bowls and served with chopsticks and makes for a completely hearty and flavorsome meal and the entertainment provided by the process is just an added bonus 😀
The rest of the menu is filled with spring rolls, soups, salads, laksas, khao sueys, noodles, rice and mains that span all meats. There is a sizeable portion that is vegetarian too. They also have sushi festivals from time to time.
A well stocked bar stands at the far end of the lounge area and multi hued cocktails shake their way out of here.
My meal –
As mentioned, Chef Vikas knows what makes my tongue tick 😀 and he also despairs that I eat miniscule amounts like a dieting chicken!!! So this time I attempted to solve the issue by taking along Deepak Murdeshwar, a friend of mine … who turned out to be an equally poor eater 😀 Any how, between the 2 of us we tried our best to do justice to the never ending parade that chef plied us with.
A live rendering of the Som Tam salad was a great way to tease the tongue into anticipating the rest of the meal. This variant with grapefruit and Malta oranges, muddled live in a gorgeous wooden mortar and pestle, is truly irresistible.
The Robata heralds the starter menu here, and as if by an unwritten rule, we began with the prawns 😀
The Fresh turmeric and red chilli king prawns were so luscious, that they slid obligingly off their skewers and into our mouth, along with their accompanying plum and pineapple salsa. These prawns are rendered tender by a special Kroeung marination and a special deveining where they retain their shape after cooking. This process is called Nobashi.
Tamarind and lemon grass chicken followed and even non fans of chicken like me, will appreciate these succulent skewered cubes with their accompanying Spicy lemon dip.
Pork belly with Char siu sauce was next. Pork lovers will have their eyes glistening with tears of joy at the sight of the Pork belly glistening with fat as it glides off the grill and into their plates.
Our vegetarians dish was the luscious grilled cottage cheese in pandan leaf, which they have specially brought in from a secret source!!!
The other vegetarian items also go beyond the usual and they have the imaginative sweet potato, shitake mushroom, charred broccoli etc.
Next on the plate were the fresh Spring rolls bursting with vegetable juliennes held captive by translucent rice sheets, followed by Taiwanese hamburger buns with seriously tender tenderloin accompanied by wafer thin crispy lotus stem chips.
Sriracha serves some stunning dumplings too. I was enraptured by the Charcoal seafood dumplings that were aptly shaped in the form of a fish, with a stuffing of squid, shrimp and fish, topped with egg whites and tobiko.
Unbeatable is the exhilaration of the crunch of tiny tobiko bursting on your palate and perfectly complementing the slinky and silky smooth dimsum skin, rendered pitch black by the infusion of squid ink. For this, I will trade my kingdom! Squid pro quo.
For the vegetarians, the must try is the Roasted pumpkin and water chestnut dumplings formed into mini pumpkins … but of course.
After blazing a trail through their charcoal based dishes, we decided to run Amok through the menu and demand the Amok Trey. This is made of either vegetables or fish that are cooked in a unique egg based custard sauce infused with fresh turmeric. We had the fish, which was a creamy treat indeed.
Of course we were full to bursting but the Khmer Barbeque was giving us Khmer’hither looks and we surrendered and watched Chef Vikas in fascination as he prepared our chicken barbeque bowls for us.
The cocktails kept our throats lubricated through the meal.
The desserts are common to their Mexican restaurant below and initially I was rather disappointed at the absence of the ubiquitous Tub tim grub which is my all time favorite. But after taking a mouthful of their Sumatra dark chocolate mousse, all thoughts of dissent, were overridden by my descent into pleasurable decadence.
The Signature sesame honey mini cones, just pushed me beyond the realms of gluttony.
Intoxicated with food, I thought I was seeing multiple of the same thing … but no. It actually was the Banana cake with numerous elements like coconut ice cream, salted date caramel, almond crisp and shredded tender coconut, which all about shredded any sanity that I had left, as I dug into it in a display of total madness.
Address –608, 1st Floor, 12th Main Rd, 7th Cross, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560038
Phone – 080 4220 0082
Timings – Lunch – 12 pm – 3.30 pm
Dinner – 7.30 pm – 11 pm (12.30 am on weekends)
Open 7 days a week
Alcohol – available
Average Meal for two – Rs 1500/-
Parking – Valet parking available
Disclosure – My visit was on invite. The opinions expressed are my own.
Jan 13th, 2020