The Lalit Ashok Bangalore’s Pan Asian Restaurant OKO

The Lalit Ashok Bangalore’s Pan Asian Restaurant OKO

Review

OKO, Lalit Ashok’s award-winning rooftop Pan Asian restaurant, is nestled on the 6th floor of the hotel with a gorgeous view of the sprawling golf course to one side and a tree-top view of Bangalore city on the other. Showcasing authentic Japanese, Thai, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Malaysian cuisines with live sushi, teppanyaki and oriental grill counters spread over al-fresco & eclectic indoors featuring expansive bay windows, there is an aura of oriental mystique to this fine dining restaurant.

I visited this sophisticated rooftop restaurant tucked away in potentially one of the most standout hotel properties in our city, on the invitation of the effervescent Sandhya Nair, Manager Marketing and Communications at The Lalit Ashok, Bangalore. It was one of those lovely afternoons where the weather, the company and the food came together in perfect harmony.

Once you venture inside the doorway leading to OKO, you are greeted by a Buddha flanked by tall aromatic candles, soft neon-blue lights, the fresh fragrance of flowers, and plush interiors that beckon you with wide open arms.

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Sandhya and I were joined by Executive Chef Suvaranjan Banerjee, who brings to the table over a decade of accomplished culinary experience. Once we were seated, Chef Banerjee spoke at length about his secret love for street food, how he tends to his herb garden within the hotel’s premises, and his passion for Mediterranean and Italian cuisine.

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Soup

Thai food being right at the top of my list of most loved cuisines, we started with some exceptionally delicious Tom Yam soup, considered the signature dish of Thai food – flavourful, spicy, sour and fragrant; created primarily using a variety of spices such as chilli pepper, galangal & lemongrass. I had tasted Tom Yam in many of its avatars, from milky broth to curried versions, but at OKO they did the soup just right. The delicate flavour with lemongrass and perfectly cooked pieces of tender chicken and mushrooms resulted in quite a fabulous version of Tom Yam. I savoured the soup to the last spoonful.

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Tom Yam
{Thai Sweet & Sour Soup}

 

Salad

Our next taste of the goodness to come was the classic Som Tam – a delicious, tangy Thai raw papaya salad with peanuts. Addictively hot and refreshingly crunchy, this Thai staple combines all four tastes – sour, chilli, sweet & salty; and has been called the world’s best salad.

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SomTam
{Thai Raw Papaya Salad}

 

Entrée

I really love sushi and given an opportunity I would be more than willing to make a complete meal out of it. So when we were presented with the Japanese Caterpillar Roll next, I was elated. Sushi gourmet specialists are considered as artists in Japan, since sushi is not just about texture and taste, but also about geometric arrangements and aesthetic presentation. A variation of the Rainbow roll Uramaki, this dish was delicious and artistically pleasing; characterized by seasoned rice enshrouded with thin slices of tuna and salmon, with tempura crunch comprising the head and tail, with a liberal drizzling of soy sauce over it. Pleasing to the palate and complemented perfectly with wasabi and pickled slices of ginger.

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Japanese Caterpillar Roll
{Ingredients: Cucumber, Carrot, Asparagus, Oshinko, Shiitake, Japanese Mayonnaise & Avocado}

 

A delicious selection of Dim Sum was to follow. Describing the ingredients as top quality or fresh will be an understatement and this clearly reflected in the taste.

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Chicken Xiao Ji {Minced Chicken Dim sum}, Prawn Har Gow {Minced Prawn & Bamboo Shoot Dim sum} and Jai Chai Jiao {Bok Choy or Chinese Cabbage Dim sum}

 

Next on this specially curated menu was the Norwegian Salmon with Teriyaki glaze. The perfectly seared and pan-fried juicy & delicious salmon cooked in teriyaki was melt in your mouth; crispy on the outside and brimming with amazing, sweet & salty teriyaki flavour on the inside. It must be said – one of my favourite dishes in Japanese food. I love it!

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Teriyaki Glazed Norwegian Salmon

 

Main course

Thinly-sliced lotus stems are stir-fried till crispy gold with flavourful sauces, spices and honey to get a sweet & sour delicacy that tickles your taste buds. Its crispiness makes this dish fabulous and is another top pick, and the Chef’s rendition was just lovely. Presented with a lip-smacking honey-chilli sauce.

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Crispy Lotus stems with Thai Nam Prik Pow sauce

Thai Jasmine Rice and a beautifully flavoured Green Curry {a delicious and succulent preparation with chicken}, was that special combination of simplicity and depth of flavours.

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Kaeng Kheow Waan Kai {Thai Green Curry Chicken} with Khao Mali {Steamed Jasmine Rice}

 

The meal was enjoyed in the company of interesting spiced OKO water. The rich taste of which complimented my meal beautifully.

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The dessert of my choice was the obvious ‘Tab Tim Grob’ – water chestnuts in coconut milk with a heap of shaved ice, followed by traditional Chinese jasmine tea. It’s the best way to end a meal and for me it did make for a perfect ending to a lovely meal in an ambience that makes you forget all your troubles and soak in the beautiful view. So, if you’re looking for some excellent Pan Asian cuisine this weekend, you should head to OKO.

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Tub Tim Grob
{Thai coconut cream with water chestnut}

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Traditional Chinese Jasmine Blooming Tea
{The most popular Chinese flavoured tea; high-quality loose tea leaves are blended with jasmine petals, giving the tea a delicate, mildly sweet flavour and aromatic fragrance}

 

Address: Kumara Krupa High Grounds, Bangalore : 560001
Cuisine: Pan Asian
Lunch: 12:30pm – 3:00pm
Dinner: 7:00pm – 11:30pm
For table reservations please call: +91 80 3052 7777

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* I love bringing together a bunch of conflicting items and weaving my own sense of one-ness to them. *

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