Aroy is one of those places in South Bangalore that would lead some people to believe that it wouldn't 'fit in'. It serves Thai food primarily, and a smattering of dishes from the neighbouring areas.
This post has been so long overdue, I think I've lost a few of the snaps I'd taken! Anyway, so given that my experience with Thai food in Hyderabad was quite delightful, and given that I came to a conclusion that there is a huge market for Thai food in Bangalore (if done right), Aroy would end up a shade paler compared to my experiences in Hyderabad, but it's nevertheless quite good (at least better than that place Benjarong).
To start off, one slight disappointment with Aroy is that they do not serve pork and beef, but I'm guessing that's more because of the fact that they're located in south Bangalore than anything else. I wish people weren't so fickle, and wouldn't stop going to a place just coz something THEY don't eat is served there. I keep hearing that we are a tolerant society and all that, what bull! This kind of behaviour says otherwise.
Aroy is located on top of the Crossword building. They have an open air seating as well as air conditioned indoors. When there isn't any hint of the acclaimed Bangalore rain, then the outdoor would be the better option. Each table has an 'umbrella' made of cane and iron and does a good job of shielding the table from the prospect of water draining from the clouds, but it isn't wide enough to cover your backside.
That said, let's move on to the food. I'm really a sucker for the Tom Kha soup, and Aroy makes a delightful Tom Kha. Creamy, with just enough heat that comes from the chillies in them but not so much that you can't taste the rest of the flavours from the galangal, lemongrass, and coconut milk. Available in veg, chicken and prawns, this is must have, especially if you're in a group as you could split one portion with someone else, unless you're the kind who's usually described by your friends as a bottomless pit (or other such phrases).
Before I continue any further, there aren't any vegetarian dishes that I can talk about exclusively here, but since most of the veg dishes are more or less the same minus the meat component, you can draw a fairly accurate conclusion about the dish.
Among the starters, the Pandan chicken is a must have. Medium sized chunks of boneless chicken marinated in soy sauce, sugar, and a hint of ginger juice, wrapped in the Pandan leaves and deep fried, these little parcels are guaranteed to keep you licking your fingers clean.
If you're a fan of crispy lamb, then there is a version of that available, although I would suggest you skip that and head for the seafood, even if you don't eat/like seafood - it's better than the lamb. One of the things that ticked me off now is that during all the visits I made (3 in total), they did not have the crab stir fry that is on the menu. So we settled for the crab meat balls. Crab meat with corn flour and some seasoning and spices, stir fried, wok-tossed and served. Tasted nice, but I'd have liked to have had the whole crab stir fry instead (especially since it's on the menu!).
Having eaten the crab, we moved on to the prawns - wrapped in banana leaves and cooked. The spices were a combo of red chilli, ginger, garlic and something I couldn't quite place my finger on. This is was quite liked by everyone at the table, with the prawns cooked well.
For the main course, we stepped slightly away from Thai for a bit and settled for the Burmese dish of khow suey, or khao soi. The dish is essentially a noodle dish that is served with a coconut milk based curry. Apart from this, there are several condiments that are served alongside this, which once mixed, provided some much needed zing and add a different texture (adding peanuts). The one served here is quite good. The chicken gravy served with the noodles wasn't spicy, and overall, the dish is quite a nice one, especially if you' prefer subtle flavours as opposed to the more robust ones typically seen in Thai food.
The pahd kee mao, or drunken noodles, unlike other noodles, consists of flat noodles and has bean sprouts and seasoning. If you like the flat variety, then you'll probably enjoy this one. And once again, the peanuts and the bean sprouts in this give it a nice texture, and if you haven't figured it out already, I like peanuts in the noodles. Just to have a side dish, we tried the chicken with cashew nuts and bell peppers. The dish went well along with the noodles, the gravy being mildly sweet and the chicken being not to spicy.
They also have the standard dishes like the Thai read and green curry, and there are a couple of stir fries involving duck meat. I've never had dessert here, primarily because I've been quite content at the end of my meal. Overall, Aroy gives a decent account of Thai food in south Bangalore in more than a decent setting.
$$$: About Rs 500 or so per head, depend in how people are present.
Verdict: Must visit if in south Bangalore
Aroy, #74, 15th Cross, 3rd Phase, JP Nagar, Bangalore. Phone: 40939311, 41290535