This Asian restaurant in Chennai serves the fluffiest Baos you've ever eaten
It’s all about the theatrics and drama at Va Pho. Between the chef flipping meat bits oh-so-deftly across the grill into a waiter’s mouth, and the smoking chocolate brownie announcing its entry — we knew we were in for a treat. The 70-seater is located adjacent to Seras the lounge, which is also of the same parent company, Oriental Cuisines. The vibe and interiors of this branch are almost the same as the original one, from the signature bling auto at the entrance to the pop art on orange and cyan coloured walls to even the board games that are stacked on a shelf.
Win some, dim sum
While the first branch is an Asian canteen, this one is an Asian grill, explains Chef Ram Kumar, the Executive Chef who was integral in crafting the menu at the Thai restaurant, Benjarong and Va Pho at Cathedral Road. “We have maintained most of the menu and added some new additions like the soups and grills,” says Chef Ram. We start with Dim Sum Zucchini, Chicken and fish baos and a satay platter. The dim sums are fluffy and light with a filling of corn and cream cheese. The baos are steamed buns with a pillow-like texture, one lined with fried chicken and the other with fish fillets, both drizzled with chilli mayo. It’s safe to say we may have gorged on more than just one, and we assure you, you will too. The satay platter is a firecracker of a dish with a different spice rub for each meat. While the fish is lathered in a roasted chilli sauce, the chicken satay, which we feel is the star dish is a southern Thailand spice rub. This is a paste of shallots, fresh red chilies, galangal, lemongrass and garlic, all mixed with coconut cream. To wash it down, we have a Miloni crush, pineapple and melon mixture and a malty iced Milo Dyno.
Prawns & pearls
Their house specialties Meat Pho and Southern Thai Spicy soup come next. While both are aromatic, the pho is light and subtle and the soup, stronger in flavour. After being tossed around dramatically, we are served the Teppanyaki from their grill menu, which is generously slathered in hoisin sauce. For pescetarians, their signature dish Va Pho prawn made with homemade sambol sauce is your best bet. Dessert arrived with a sizzle with their Sizzling brownie and to counter that warmth and richness, we had a delicious Tender Coconut popsicle with sweetened coconut cream and sago pearls.
Meal for two: `800 to `1,000.