I love south east Asian food. Though I have never been that side of the world, the stories and tales from the South Seas do have an imaginative clout. Swayed by the aromas through visits to the Aroy in J.P. Nagar and the Thai restaurant on Brigade Road (that apparently is modelled on Thai street food that Thai visitors say is authentic) I did not hesitate when good friend and foodie of the century Sandesh Shenoy suggested we try the Phobidden Fruit.
The ASEAN nations serve their own unique blend of spices that really stimulate your gastric juices. Phobidden Fruit, located in Indiranagar’s famous 12th main food street is a quaint Vietnamese restaurant with a relaxed outlook. The muggy, tropical-like weather added to the ambience as we climbed the short spiral staircase to the terrace. The service takes its time, but the starters and the main course were worth the wait.
From chicken spring rolls sauteed in delicious spicy sauce to a beef fry dish (I don’t recall the names but the pics should give you an idea of how delicious the food was), the starters were the right ingredients to set the table on fire for the afternoon. A bit on the spicier side but with a tinge of sweetness either brought on by burnt jaggery or lemon grass, the Vietnamese dishes tweak your taste buds to ask for more. And with the main course of Vietnamese chicken curry (chicken dipped in a spicy and sweet curry with coconut milk and a bit of grated coconut, and with a slice of yam and steamed rice and vegetables to accompany the curry) I dug into the food with the relish it deserved. It never disappointed. Sandesh, on the other hand, had the signature Vietnamese dish of Pho (a soup based dish with noodles and chicken and vegetables). However this dish was slightly bland compared to the rest of the course we had that afternoon.
Getting lucky with the Vietnamese Chicken curry gave me the palate to try the dessert on hand. We had Che, a coconut milk based beverage/ice cream that was so so. I didn’t think much of the desserts. Overall, it was a cherished lunch – extremely satisfying, laid back atmosphere and the company to go with it. And I would go and order the Vietnamese chicken curry all over again. It was the highlight of my meal.