Enjoy Mangalorean and other coastal fare at Laughing Llama Restobar
Employees of the month’ says a sign on a wall at the brand new Laughing Llama Gastropub. Below it are framed pictures of their ‘employees’, Saleem Pasha, America Chopra, Bisale Gowda, Innocent John and KRK, among others. But don’t look around to be serviced by these colourfully named individuals as the pictures are of actual llamas, each with a distinct quality and look to match their name! Barely a month old, the restobar even sells stuffed llama toys if you, like the owners, have soft spot for the animal. Fun, young and quirky, it struck us as a no-nonsense place that is perfect for after-work drinks, where you can unwind and just be yourself. The decor is minimal yet chic with tungsten bulbs and a sunny yellow color scheme offset by touches of black.
After taking our seat at one of the wooden tables, we were served a warm bowl of soup — Coastal Comfort. The thick and creamy seafood soup is flavoured with coconut and lime. The citrusy and creamy notes came together well and we were off to a great start. The pani puri in recent years has seen quite a lot of reinvention, with vodka, mutton kheema and what not. But at The Laughing Llama, the Koli Gappa is paired with butter chicken. While not high on innovation, the combination did work for us.
The Real Jerk, Jamaican style jerk beef is peppery and fiery — a great accompaniment for the long list of cocktails they have on offer. But our favourite was the Prawn Hub — prawns cooked in a Malabar masala. Aromatic and spicy, we enjoyed the flavour of the curry leaves and fresh masala. Ghee roast minus the protein, Ghee Roast Goes French is a great choice for vegetarians. Made with ghee roast masala, sourced from Mangalore, the fries were a bit soggy but the flavours were spot on.
For mains, we tucked into the Chow Chow Bunny. The South African staple, featuring hollowed out bread with a curry in the middle, is replaced with a loaf of home-baked bread and a Malabar seafood curry. The bread was soft and slightly sweet, which went well with the velvety and spicy curry. Served with prawn pickle and rice crispies, this brings coastal Southern Indian flavours together in an innovative way.
We ended our meal with the Madras Affagato — Italian affogato with vanilla ice cream, topped off with strong Madras coffee. Bitter, sweet, cold and hot at the same time, it served to douse the chilli heat and was also delicious and moreish. With its fuss-free, single minded focus on good, comfort food, The Laughing Llama is sure to draw in a lot of visitors.
Rs.1,300++ for two. Off Brigade Road