Bengaluru has always had the upper hand when it comes to good bars and music festivals. Of late, with the opening of restaurants like Punkah House and Urban Roti, it has extended that reputation to restaurants as well. The latest to place to up Bengaluru’s fine dining ante is Bo Tai. From the Massive Restaurants stable, the creators of Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra, Pa Pa Ya, Kode, Tygr, Younion, Made in Punjab, and Farzi Café, comes this modern Chinese and Thai Bar & Grill. This concept-driven restaurant is located in the plush environs of JW Marriott Hotel Bengaluru, and comes to the city close on the heels of its success in the capital.
As with all things helmed by the Zorawar Kalra, founder and managing director, Bo Tai (a riff on Bow Tie to represent the style and flavour of oriental cuisine) is chic. You step into the al fresco area dominated by a majestic 200-year-old fig tree. The concentric seating arrangements around this tree will be highly sought after at all times – be it during afternoons to soak in Bengaluru’s great weather or the evenings for a romantic space under a canopy of stars and trees.
The menu at Bo Tai is spear-headed by Chef Sahil Singh and true to Massive Restaurants penchant for contemporising popular cuisines, it brings in modern twists to some interesting Thai and Chinese dishes.
You will find delicious use of raw mango in the Preserved Raw Mango and Avocado appetizer, as well as the Raw Mango Soft Shell Crab Salad. Both dishes have a lovely play of textures and flavours. Heads up on the Corn Curd Pepper and Salt. These cubes invite you to pop them whole into the mouth (do slice them up as the center tends to be steaming hot). The dish is, however, the perfect example of how simple ingredients can come together to make a great plate of food. The BBQ Pork Spare Ribs just need a gentle nudge from your knife to get it off the bone. You seldom see jackfruit on a fine-dining menu here in Bengaluru, which changes with the Jackfruit Red Curry Cream Baos. For those worried about the overpowering flavours of the fruit, fret not as it has been masked with fresh herbs in a delicious way. The Massaman Duck Curry, though slightly gamey, pairs well with the Jasmine Steamed Rice. The Pad Thai makes for a satisfying main course. For dessert, it’s the Coconut Crème Brulee that draws flavours from the coconut shell. And yes, the top cracks beautifully with a tap of your spoon.
A team of London-based bartenders have conceptualised the offerings from the bar, inspired ever so slightly by Thai and Chinese flavours. Order the Bangkok Boulevard, a whisky-based drink, especially for the glass sprayed on with edible gold. The Full Moon Festival has gin-infused with edible flowers and Thai herbs, and Hem and Lion brings together the irresistible combination of quality tequila and watermelon.
Bo Tai Bengaluru has a winning formula of well-balanced dishes and Asian food done nicely, and that’s what makes it worth a visit.
Where: J W Marriot Hotel Bengaluru, 24, 1, Vittal Mallya Rd, KG Halli, Shanthala Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru
Contact: +91 78998 00900
Opening hours: Currently open only for dinner
Recommended dishes: Corn Curd Pepper Salt, Stuffed Soft Shell Crabs, Coconut Crème Brulee
Price: Rs 2000+ for 2
Noise levels: Slightly loud indoors in the evenings