I have always had a leaning for middle east dishes since my childhood whether it is Shawarma, hummus or khubboos (the pita bread). There are quite a few places in Bangalore who serve this cuisine. When I was invited by the latest entry in town, Fattoush, I just could not refuse. Located on Bannerghatta main road adjacent to Fortis hospital, it was a night of crazy traffic and rain.. I along with another foodie blogger carpooled and reached the venue around 7:30 and boy were we lucky. We got the parking and were well in before it started pouring bow bows and meaow meaows with a vengeance. The traffic which we could see from the tables were slowly starting to go towards absolute chaos.
Fattoush is a Middle Eastern salad dish consisting of tomatoes, cucumber, and other vegetables together with croutons made from toasted pitta bread and aptly named for the cuisine which is their strong point.
We were greeted personally by Mr. Abdullah, the proprietor. The restaurant is bright and spacious and I especially liked the design of the ceiling with these ribbed design. It also has a play area for kids, which has become an absolute necessity. I have a toddler of ,my own so this and the number of high chairs was of interest to me.
Once our group was assembled the mocktails were served. It was an interesting mix of colors and flavors. What we got were
- Green Fair – Refreshing but very sweet. Recommended for the sweet toothies
- Blue Orange – An interesting name and taste good for a one time drink
- Mint Mojito – Cant go really wrong with this one. The usual mojito
- Passion Mojito – This was my personal favourite with birds eye chilli and passion fruit mixed to create a mind blowing combination. It had the sweetness of drink being cut brutally by the heat of the birds eye chilli (called Kandhari in Kerala). This was a mocktail I will always come back to. Not recommended for kids and for the faint hearted. Either it takes you into an foodgasmic shock or an appoplectic shock.
- Raw Mango shake – Tasted like aampanna I liked the flavor and it was a thicker version
- A really thick mango shake – Cold and nice. Tasted like aamras and you cant go wrong there either
- Lady Mist – Vanilla flavored with a take on pina colada this was sweetness at its core which can stir and shake you. Recommended for kids.
Next came the starters and the presentation itself was a sight worth seeing. Lamb and chicken kababs hanging from skewers. It looked different and appealing. Apart from these there was a meat platter with khuboos, paneer platter as well grills of mutton and chicken. The mutton yoghurt was my favourite of all. In fact the chef showed more skill towards lamb than chicken and every piece that I had was melt in the mouth succulent with lots of hummus and mayo as dips. They also have chefs specialized in Chinese and North Indian as well. The crispy baby corn fry and dragon chicken was pretty good with the dragon packing the required heat.
The laal maas is a very difficult dish to get right but the chef here sure knows what he is doing. The laal maas was again prepared with absolute skill and exquisite with every bite. The pahadi chicken had no flaw but unfortunately it was served along with the laal maas and was overshadowed by its lamby counterpart.
The kabsa mutton (arabian mutton biryani) and kabsa dejaj (chicken biryani )came next. I use the term biryani as a loose translation but it is anything but. The arabian rice is a very different version from the spicy biryani we are used to. The rice is packed with flavor but not necessarily spicy. It makes a refreshing change from all the spices. The mutton kabsa as usual was head and shoulders above the chicken one. Fried rice was good but nothing different from the usual fare you get elsewhere. Roti and daal were also the usual fare with nothing to complain about.
There were two kinds of falooda, the second one of course the royal falooda with dried fruit. Nothing really to complain about.
Overall I would stick to their strength which is middle eastern food and especially their lamb preparation with laal maas as an exception which is a North Indian cuisine (Rajasthani in fact)
Food (Lebanese with laal maas) – 4/5
Ambiance – 4/5
Service – 4/5… I rate this not on the basis of my experience since I was there on invite (and obviously got the royal treatment) but on the basis of what I observed on the other tables. The staff was proactive and all customers looked happy with their level of service.
Leaving you with me and my group of food bloggers. For more snaps watch the slide show in the start…..