Lalit Ashok’s bento meals take you on a culinary tour around Asia
There’s something exciting about eating out of a bento box, and The Lalit’s Asian restaurant, Oko, is tapping into the craze with the Bubbly Bento Boxes that cover Japanese, Chinese and Thai cuisines.
We asked for a non vegetarian box spanning all three and did not regret the decision. We chose to start with Thai and dug into the raw papaya salad or som tam, which hit the spot. We loved the crunchy, fresh papaya slivers and the balance of spicy and sweet notes in the sauce. And with the nutty peanut flavour, it is a well rounded dish. To douse the heat, we went Japanese, and tucked into tuna filled California rolls (minus the wasabi, of course). The rolls were fresh, and full of flavour. The fragrant tom yum, thanks to a blend of lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime, had us returning to Thai territory. A wholesome concoction, ours had a hearty inclusion of mushroom and diced chicken. The box also included a portion of basil fried rice, Thai Green curry and a side of Chinese stir-fried chicken, which all went well together.
We ended our Asian meal, with another Thai creation — a bowl of sticky, crunchy water chestnut with crushed ice and velvety soft coconut cream, which left us wanting more.
Rs.890++ (per person). At Kumara Krupa High Grounds.
— Rashmi Rajagopal