New in town: Far East in Nungambakkam serves up an eclectic Pan Asian menu
We recommend the Chicken Rendang with Jasmine Rice and the XO Jumbo Prawns
Nungambakkam is now a hub for Pan Asian fare. After Nasi & Mee and Nght Mrkt, the latest entrant to this space is Far East. We’re greeted with a Malaysian street favourite called the Cendol. A tall glass of this sweet sensation with the indulgence of condensed milk serves up a bit of an adventure as we explore the melange of ingredients in the mix, which include green noodles made from green bean flour. We sip, then slurp (as we realise we might have discovered one of those drinks you tell all your friends about) while taking in the interiors of this 60-seater. Lanterns of different sizes are suspended from the ceiling, and a statement wall covered in dim sums and baos give us an idea of what is to come; while neon signage (an ode to night markets) guide our eye. At the entrance, one says: Wok this way...
Business partners and cousins Dasarath and Ramachandra Reddy, who also own Orange Wok (opened in 2015) tell us that this restaurant came together in a matter of three months with the help of consultant Gourmet Sage Hospitality Solutions. “We see a lot of potential in the Pan Asian space, dim sums and sushi are normal and expected on a menu these days. And customers are willing to spend on them.” We, for one, would spend good money on the Chicken and Chill Oil Sichuan Dumplings. Magenta dumplings sit on a fiery bed of chilli oil with deep flavour notes from the imported Sichuan peppers and sherry wine vinegar in the mix. Although, if you are a sushi enthusiast — your appetiser list would do well to include the Tori Katsu with a bit of crunch from that Panko crumb fried chicken enveloped in sticky rice.
Lotus stem cells
Also, worth commending is the Crab Meat & Asparagus Soup, with just a hint of oyster sauce. Although, the Ramen and Laksa bowls (if you are seeking out a soupy main) pale in comparison. While on the shellfish jaunt, one of Far East’s signatures is the XO Jumbo Prawn platter. “The sauce is made in-house with dried shrimp,” chef Aravind Raja reveals their secret ingredient. Here’s a tidbit of trivia: the name XO comes from fine XO (extra old) cognac, which is a popular Western liquor in Hong Kong. We move on to more delicate flavour notes with mild hints of Thai spice and coconut milk like the Crispy Lotus Stem and later, an Indonesian-inspired Chicken Rendang with lemongrass and galangal served with Jasmine Rice. Even our dessert — a Deconstructed Coconut and Caramel Flan is a rich custard with coconut milk as one of the prime ingredients. We try the more intense Dark Chocolate Bao, a moment later. Warm and intense, this one beats hot chocolate any day of the week.
Meal for two at INR 1,500.