Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bow Barracks

Bow barracks is a region in Calcutta (now Kolkata) that has a predominant Anglo Indian community. Anglo-Indian cuisine has an almost mystical air about it. Traditional British dishes with Indian spices, as well as dishes with Indian sounding names would certainly get people new to encounter this cuisine put their thinking hat on - I certainly did!

And so when a place opens up in Bangalore claiming to serve Anglo-Indian cuisine, a cuisine that is on what seems like its last legs, then you want to make sure you get there. Bow Barracks in Indiranagar is run by Sujoy and his wife. Some may describe the setup inside as a little claustrophobic - the presence of a couple of pillars with a slightly low ceiling and the furniture 'just' fitting inside gives this impression. I, on the other hand, appreciated the ambiance and setup and would call it 'cozy' and more like a well kept home.

Melon amuse bouche

Gol guppa amuse bouche

Cold marsh melon soup

We started off with the cold marsh melon soup (which seems to have gone off the menu now - pity, because it was simply superb!) served in a cup and it was divine - cold, with a fruity sweetness to it and a hint of spice, and it was quite refreshing.

Noorani seekh kebab

Aubergine stuffed with chicken

Beef Pantheras

The Noorani sheek kebabs were very good - delicate, and most importantly, they weren't dry. The flavouring was again subtle, and it had a surprising coating of minced chicken around it - chicken and lamb combined well. The aubergine stuffed with chicken too was a nice dish - not overdone, with the smokiness from the aubergines nicely combining with the chicken. The beef pantheras was something I personally didn't like too much - it was a deep-fried dish and I didn't like the taste of oil that lingered on the coating.

Prawn cocktail

Another angle of the prawn cocktail

The prawn cocktail was decent, but nothing spectacular, served with a Marie Rose sauce, or maychup (combination of mayo and ketchup). Now that there's a Continental section, it's good to see that this dish has been pushed into that section. The atoorsi aaloo - baby potatoes with mango chutney and mustard was quite superb, so vegetarians, don't worry, they've got some nice things in store for you as well. The mushroom and paneer dishes from the tandoori section are decent, but nothing to rave about.
Fish bon femme

Pork vindaloo

Veg curry

For the mains, the pork vindaloo and the Hussain lamb curry along with the coconut rice is quite superb. The vindaloo, done the Anglo Indian way, isn't as spicy as the original Goan dish, and so is more palatable for those who don't like spicy dishes, and the lamb was beautifully flavoured with yogurt and was extremely tender - perfect! The fish bon femme - a grilled beckti on a bed of peas with bacon around it - was pretty nicely done. Pan-fried, with the skin made a little crisp, the beckti, a fresh water fish from the East, blended well with the peas and shallots, but was certainly not Anglo Indian (now this has been moved into the Continental section of the menu).

Chicken Kiev

Pork Chops

Duck confit

The pork chops on the menu are a must-try if you are a lover of pork, and the confit of duck was also done to near perfection. Unfortunately, we didn't get to try the beef jalfrezi, which is an Anglo specialty, but that's probably for the next visit. The veg curry along with rice is also quite a delightful curry, although I don't really know too many vegetarians who would walk into a fancy restaurant and appreciate a curry with rice! Well, I didn't ask them to act all pricey :)

For desserts, the honey lime pannacotta had an usual flavour combination that actually worked and worked well, and the amount gelatin used was about right (could have been a little less, but good all the same). Overall, good dish, and so was the chocolate mousse and the tiramisu, although I did not get the distinct taste of Marsala from the tiramisu.