Head to Cantan by The Olive Group for Cantonese barbecue, cold plates and hotpots 

The restaurant is helmed by Chef Prashanth Puttaswamy, and backed by chefs Manu Chandra and Chetan Rampal

Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo Published :  17th May 2019 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  17th May 2019 12:00 AM

Chinese food in India often gets a bad rap for being too ‘Indianised’, but here to change all that is Cantan - Chinese Bar House, from the Olive Group. Backed by chefs Manu Chandra and Chetan Rampal, and helmed by chef Prashanth Puttaswamy, the new restaurant, located on Lavelle Road, is an ode to Cantonese cuisine and focuses on lesser known dishes from the region.

The upper floor of the restaurant
The upper floor of the restaurant

The restaurant is spread across two floors, and while the first is an elegant space with minimal decor, the second is an explosion of colour and quirkiness with cloud-shaped lights, hand-painted walls, vintage-style chairs and lots of greenery. 

The Tea House of The August Moon
Tea House of The August Moon

We started our tasting with The Tea House of the August Moon. Taking its name from the American-Japanese comedy film of the same name, this cocktail blends whiskey with tea-smoked pineapple, toasted star anise and other spices. This thoroughly enjoyable drink is a must-try, and it was hard to stop at one.

Plating technique
Chinese cold plates are still a novelty in the city and we were quite pleased to get acquainted with the Pork & Marinated Cucumber Cold Plate. The dish features cured pork slices and marinated slivers of cucumber, accompanied with homemade chilli oil and garlic. Toss the meat and vegetable in the oil for an appetiser that has a wonderful balance of umami, tangy and spicy notes. The Spicy Beef & Coriander Guotie is a serving of pan-fried dim sum, with a crispy topping of thin dough. You break the fine lace-like sheet of topping to get at each individual dumpling. Delicately spiced with a dash of freshness from the coriander, this was a memorable starter.

Pork & Marinated Cucumber Cold Plate
Pork & Marinated Cucumber Cold Plate

The Shaokao or Chinese Barbecue is a selection of dishes that reflect the country’s love for grills. From this section, we sampled the Fresh Shiitake with Soy Garlic & Smoked Chili. This one is as fiery as it is delicious — a complex blend of smoky, spicy and earthy flavours. A handy tip: keep a drink at hand to douse the chilli heat.

In soup
Mild but brimming with the richness of Asian ingredients, Yunan Crossing the Bridge Noodle Soup is a great option for some-thing light. It comes with an aromatic chicken broth and is served with toppings like chicken slices, shiitake mushrooms, burnt garlic, and boiled quail eggs, all in mini bowls. For main course, an interesting pick is the 3 Grain Fried Rice that brings together Jasmine rice, Black rice and barley. Subtly flavoured with garlic, this paired well with Buddha’s Delight (wok-tossed vegetables, tofu and red bean sauce).


The desserts were truly impressive. We sampled the Baobing, Milk Chocolate and Hazelnut Tart, Cantonese Steamed Cheesecake and the Sugar-free and Eggless Chocolate Fondant. They were all utterly sinful, however, the Baobing (flavoured shaved ice with fresh fruits, fruit jelly, tapioca pearls, purple ube and raspberry ice cream; topped with condensed milk) and was the favourite. 

With a menu dedicated to showcasing the real cuisine and culinary techniques of the region, Cantan is sure to find a lot of discerning fans in Bengaluru.

Rs.2,800++ for two. At Lavelle Road