With the proliferation of “Chinese” cuisine in India — the quotes signify the Indianisation of what we now consider food from China — has resulted in Indo-Chinese restaurants mushrooming across India. However, a more recent trend among such eateries is to add the “pan-Asian” buzzword in their vocabulary. In truth, they serve only a handful of dishes like Nasi Goreng.
Taiki in Indiranagar is looking to break that mould. It serves up a variety of cuisine from Eastern and South-Eastern Asia in an effort to justify its claim to being a pan-Asian eatery, and does a good job with it!
Taiki does not offer alcoholic beverages. Instead, try sipping at one of the several kinds of tea they have on the menu.
I had the Mango and Orange Flavoured Tea. Imagine good-quality green tea with lingering flavours, and this is it!
We then moved on to the soups, starting with the Chicken Dumpling Soup. Delicately flavoured, with no spice or seasoning overpowering the other, this one was a welcome break on a coldish Sunday afternoon.
Next, some Prawn Tom Yum Soup. Slightly tangy and missing some much-needed fish sauce, this one was redeemed by the quality and quantity of the other ingredients in it.
We would also go on to taste the Seafood Laksa Soup, a yellow broth that really activated the taste buds! If ever there was a hangover cure, this would be right up with the best of them!
Next, we were served some Yum Woon Sen Salad. This one oozed freshness in the crunchiness of the raw vegetables and fruits as well as the glass noodles.
We also tasted some Somtam Salad. The fruity additions to this really healthy dish made it all the more palatable. Give me one of this every morning, and watch me get back in shape!
Taiki offers a wide variety of starters, including salads. Small eats like sushi are also on the menu.
We started off with Spicy Tuna Futomaki — fresh tuna encased in sticky rice to make a thick sushi roll. It usually goes down in one bite, and leaves you wanting more, thanks to its flavours.
Up next, some Lamb Bulgogi. The meat here was marinated to the point where it could be used as an example for the word “succulent” in the dictionary!
Then, some Spicy Prawn Gyoza. Call them dumplings, pot stickers or whatever else you want, but there’s no denying the delicious taste of the prawns, complemented well by the floury shell.
A nice vegetarian dish on the menu us the Crispy Tofu Cup. Now, tofu in itself is difficult to marinade, but that did not seem to be the case here. The crispy outer shells complemented the creamy, soft tofu inside quite well!
We were also offered a Nigiri Set — vinegar-mixed rice topped with a selection of fish or seafood meat. I tasted the salmon one, and once again the freshness made its presence felt.
Next, some Crabsticks Sushi. These too made a mark with their freshness, and along with it the authentic taste of the ingredients.
Finally, in this section, some Prawns Bao. Served in bread casings, these were as tasty as they were filling. Missing was the terribly fishy aroma of the prawns. Instead, the original taste of the prawns was complemented by the sauces they were served with.
You can’t go to a pan-Asian restaurant and not taste ramen in its original form. We took this maxim to heart. The result was, clockwise from left, Chicken Ramen, Chicken Yaki Sowa, Seafood Ramen, and Prawn Yaki Sowa.
Both ramens were hearty and filling, warming the body as they were consumed. The yaki sowa complemented the noodles well.
Then, the Chicken Rice Bowl. Topped off with a sunny-side-up poached egg, this one was definitely a treat to dig into. The spicing and seasoning of the chicken that formed the base for the egg above the rice was delectable, to say the least.
A flavourful, savoury lunch came to an end with two very contrasting desserts. The first was Date and Chocolate Cigar Rolls with Ice Cream. The robust-tasting dates stuffed into the cigar rolls complemented the smooth ice cream well.
Finally, the Mango Bingsu. If the wasabi served with some of the sushi set your synapses on fire, this Korean dessert will aim to counteract that by giving you a brain freeze with all the shaved ice!
Final thoughts about Taiki
Taiki is definitely a pan-Asian oasis when it comes to Bengaluru. Each ingredient, seasoning and spice seems chosen carefully, and applied meticulously.
Nevertheless, Taiki appears to be on the cusp of greatness, with a small number of culinary missteps pulling it down.
However, it would definitely be petty on my part if I did not acknowledge that Taiki is possibly one of the better pan-Asian restaurants in Bengaluru.
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