Monday, July 21, 2008

Kakori Kababs and Sambal Kampachi

Kakori Kababs at Dum PukhtAs I started off on my trip to California, I noticed there has been some progress in the remodeling of Pune and Mumbai International airports. Everything is either ripped apart or spanking new. But far from complete. Oh well!

I was back at Dum Pukht for dinner before my flight to Singapore. This restaurant at The Grand Maratha boasts of refined Awadhi cuisine of yesteryears. I selected their specialities: kakori kabab and dum gosht biryani. If you have not tasted the kakori kabab, you have to! Read my post on the many legends on how this amazing kabab came to be.

Dum Pukht MumbaiThe saffron flavored kakori kababs melted in my mouth. The biryani was very good too; lightly colored but very fragrant with succulent pieces of mutton and creamy raita on the side. But the best tonight was the multi-textured pista kulfi that was truly awesome! The kulfi was accompanied by the traditional falooda - both the vermicelli and the tapioca seed versions.

Biryani Dum Pukht Mumbai
Kulfi Falooda Dum Pukht MumbaiSingapore Airlines has taken care of my (only) pet peeve! Their newly designed cabins are now available in the Mumbai sector too. My flights were uneventful which is exactly how I like them to be!

Singapore Airlines Business ClassI took some pictures from the sky before we landed in Seoul en route to San Francisco. It seemed to have rained hard here and there were pools of water everywhere. This was a different terminal and I was directed to the Asiana Airlines lounge, which was nice with a old-fashioned library ambiance. After another long flight, I landed in San Francisco on a bright and sunny day. My bag took a long time to make its appearance on the belt and I was off to my hotel in downtown San Francisco.

Seoul from the skySeoul from the skyI saw Wall.E at the nearby multiplex on Saturday. While the movie was pretty good and very different from the usual animation movie, the vision of a garbage-laden Earth made me wince. I also bought tickets for The Dark Knight which is having a record weekend here. Tickets were sold out for the IMAX screen; I could only buy tickets to the regular THX screen for Sunday.

Bong Su San FranciscoBong Su Mekong MartiniI returned to Bong Su for dinner, this time armed with my camera. The only thing new this time was the much discussed backless slinky dresses of the Bong Su hostesses; they now show less skin and won't distract you from the great food on offer here! :)

Bun Rieu Crab and Egg Dumpling Soup Bong SuSambal Kampachi Bong SuThe North Vietnamese Bun Rieu crab and egg dumpling soup was very good with crispy Vietnamese greens, tomatoes and very fresh clams. The Sambal Kampachi from the South was crisp and interesting. The pan-seared fish had been drizzled with sambal sauce and served on a heap of sauteed spinach. The Empress Rice was very good; it was made of sticky rice fried with garlic, leeks, ginger and topped with a poached duck egg.

Empress Rice Bong SuVietnamese Desserts Bong SuThe dessert - again - was the highlight of this meal! I had ordered a Traditional Vietnamese Desset Sampler that had a cassava cake with pandan jelly, a Vietnamese coffee flan, and a tapioca pudding with jackfruit granita. The Mekong Martini I had ordered with my meal had kai lychee vodka, mango nectar, pandan syrup, lime, and black tea tapioca balls. Exotic!

Bong Su San FranciscoAll in all, this is a very classy restaurant. Both restaurant and bar areas have been thoughtfully designed with a contemporary but oriental ambiance. They have very friendly waiters and the service here has always been excellent.

8 comments:

HAREKRISHNAJI said...

This week I will be trying one of the restaurant in Pune as per your recommandation

beaverboosh said...

Bong Su or Slanted Door - for the top Vietnamese restaurant?

Shantanu said...

@harekrishnaji: Let me know how you find it.

@beaverboosh: I think the food in both places is good. I would choose Slanted Door for the casual dining experience on a nice, sunny day. Bong Su seems to be the right spot for an intimate dining experience. Portions at Slanted Door are larger than Bong Su. However, the presentation of food at Bong Su is excellent.

Final Verdict: Difficult, but the crowds certainly vote for Slanted Door, and I would agree they have a slight edge!

indicaspecies said...

Kakori Kebabs simply melt in the mouth..yummy!

Remodelling of the Mumbai International Airport has been going on for quite a while now. Do you think 3 hours before flight departure is sufficient to complete the travel formalities at that airport?

Shaan Khan said...

Shantanu

Is the Kakori Kabab in Bombay (@ Dum Pukht) as good as those in Lucknow ?

Shantanu said...

@indicaspecies: They certainly do. Also it is difficult to find this specific kabab in most places.
Yes, three hours is more than enough, in spite of the long lines at immigration.

@shaan: Actually yes. Dum Pukht has a Lucknawi chef. :)

Priyank said...

Hi Shantanu, the stories of Kebabs in your other post is very interesting. You have packed so much information in this post :) You are being extremely creative with the pictures!

Shantanu said...

@priyank: Thank you! That ones still gets a large number of hits.