Benjarong: A Synonym for Great Food


Well, if I had a control over synonyms, one for ‘great food’ would definitely be Benjarong. This place has mastered the art of delighting its diners over the period of time. Every single time I visit here, it sets a new benchmark for itself. If you ask me about that one restaurant in Bengaluru who has not compromised on its taste in past couple of years, there has to be just one name and that is – Benjarong.

This time the occasion was special. Benjarong, is celebrating Songkran Festival with an exciting street food festival to mark Thai New Year at its outlet in Ulsoor Road till the 24th day of April. I was invited to be part of the celebration which mark the onset of the beginning of spring and harvest season with an array of delicacies from the streets of Thailand at Benjarong.




Interestingly the name ‘Songkran’ is derived from Sanskrit and the festival signifies the entry of the sun into the Zodiac Aries, which marks the beginning of spring and harvest festival. Traditionally, Thai celebrate the festival aiming water guns and by throwing water balloons at each other. They also visit their elders to pay respect and meet their family and friends. They cleanse the images and idols of Lord Buddha which is believed to bring prosperity and good luck.

Benjarong brings the taste of authentic Thai street food to the city by hosting this festival. I started the dinner proceedings with two signature mocktails, namely – Chaa Yen (Thai iced tea), one of my personal favourites and Bangkok Breeze (a refreshing blend of carrot and orange with crushed lemon grass). Two perfect drinks to set the tone just right for a great dinner.









For the appetisers, we were served a platter of Goong Tod Chatuchak, Gai Ping and Lookchin Pla Yang.




Goong tod chatuchak is Panco crumbled prawns coated with minced chicken and deep fried, served with sweet chilli sauce, a delicacy from chatuchak weekend market. This is so bloody good; you gotta respect the chef for this. My goodness, how crisp was that! Absolutely perfect! And not to forget those hidden gems, the prawns which were cooked to perfection.



I am familiar with Gai Ping and the taste was as good as I had it last time. It is the marinated chicken skewers grilled and served with a tangy spicy dip. Another appealing dish was in the form of Lookchin Pla Yang, grilled fish dumplings on skewers with chef’s special dip. Ahh! those dumplings.. It just melts in mouth.

Next up was Thung Nung, steam Thai dimsum with prawns & tohu and water chest nuts. Well, long story short.. Hands down, this was one of the best dimsum in a long time.



It was time for some soup and salads.

First up was Tom Yum Mama Goong, a hot favourite ready to cook tom yum soup with prawns. I can drink this soup all day long, and those prawns topped with sliced red chilli and coriander leaves just adds to the bowl of wonderful flavours.







Talking about the salads, Yum Thunghua Tohu is what the doctor ordered. This is a simple tangy and spicy cucumber and tofu salad. Well, don’t just go by the word simple, it is a jungle of flavours in there and all that perfectly balanced. The beauty of this salad is that every single element plays its part like a team, no one dominates the lot.



Half way through, let’s start with the main course.

Introducing Khao Hom Mali/Pahd Graprou. This is stir fried chicken with chilli and hot basil leaves served with jasmine rice, fried egg and cucumber relish. This my friend is a class apart. I was already full by now but it didn’t stop me from grabbing my spoon and scooping it in my mouth.






And to conclude the proceedings, we were served a dessert which turned my senses off for some time. It was Aitim Khanun Kati, stick Jackfruit ice cream served with stewed jackfruits in coconut milk. At first, I was disappointed because I just hate that smell of jackfruit. It was such an eye-pleasing dessert pleading to be taken care off and I being a true foodie, couldn’t resist but taste just once. And the rest we say is history.



OMG! I would have kicked myself if I hadn’t tried it. This was the best thing of the evening, one of the best desserts, certainly in my list of top 5. You ask why? For its creativity, that jackfruit dipped in coconut milk is an absolute bliss. What more? I couldn’t resist but request for another one. This has to be the highlight of the evening.




Well, what do I say more? Benjarong has once again proved why I love this place so much. It has once again set a new benchmark for itself and I can’t wait to come back next time experience something so great.

Verdict: 5/5 (The only restaurant to get a maximum rating thrice in a row).

Must Try:  Everything mentioned above. But if I have to really pick the best of the best, it has to be Goong Tod Chatuchak, Thung Nung, Tom Yum Mama Goong and Aitim Khanun Kati.

Where: Benjarong, Ulsoor Road

When: Till 24th April 2016

Average Meal for two: INR 1800 + taxes







Suman

Dreamer, Blogger, Writer, Foodie, Movie buff, Public Relations. Contributor for The New Indian Express and recently started a news publishing website 'Unkrate'.

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