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Cantan: Chinese Bar House, Lavelle Road, Bangalore

Cantan: Chinese Bar House, Lavelle Road, Bangalore

Restaurant Name: Cantan: Chinese Bar House, Lavelle Road, Bangalore
Phone: +91 8048669269 / +91 8048669267
Address: 25/4, 1st & 2nd Floor, Opposite Harley Davidson, Lavelle Road, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Time: 12 Noon – 3 PM, 7 PM – 11:30 PM
Meals for two: Rs. 2,800
Cuisines: Chinese, Cantonese
Facilities: Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking Available, Serves Cocktails, Indoor Seating, Table booking recommended

Cantan: Chinese Bar House, Lavelle Road, Bangalore – Decor

Cantan is the latest offering from the Olive group and exudes the seemingly effortless style the brand is known for. This used to be Lady Baga before and what a transformation it’s been through! Everything from the wallpaper to the fabrics that cover the chairs has been carefully chosen, with tasseled silk lamps evoking Oriental elegance. The lower floor is a quieter dining room, while the upper one, where a red dragon lights up the bar, is a buzzy place with a party vibe. I loved the playlist, too.

Cantan: Chinese Bar House, Lavelle Road, Bangalore – Food

First, the cocktails. I tend to look askance at the cocktail-making experiments at many places in town, frequently disappointed by the overreaching effort to be different. Not so at Cantan. My Tea House of the August Moon was clean and fresh, a wonderfully balanced concoction of whisky, tea-smoked pineapple and toasted star anise. My companion’s Song of the Mystic Mountain Spirit — yes, they are elaborately named — was also fabulous.

The menu that draws extensively from the cuisine of Canton is proof again of Chef Manu Chandra’s ability to blend the classic and the contemporary with remarkable flair. Executing in the kitchen is Chef Prashanth, whose prowess with Asian cooking has been proven since the days of Like That Only. It’s a vast menu that combines dishes that excite with their newness and comfort with their familiarity. The Manchurian Candidate is the latter, the Gobi Manchurian acquiring sophistication as glazed cauliflower sits on a cauliflower-soy puree. The Smoked Tuna Cold Spring roll is nothing like you’ve tasted in Chinese restaurants here and a triumph of taste and technique. The Marinated Pork and Cucumber from the cold selection comes like sheets drying on a line; the meat could have done with more seasoning and flavor.

I tasted a selection of dimsum — Lobster and Fish Roe Crystal Dumpling and a delightful Spicy Beef and Coriander Goutie, pan fried and topped with scrumptious crispy bits. The Edamame ad Tofu Dumpling beckons vegetarians, but I prefer eating edamame off the pod, rather than pulverized into a filling. The vegetarian dish I absolutely loved was the Wood Ear Mushroom Salad, dark, earthy and infused with robust flavors. The Peking Style Pork Ribs were similarly flavor-packed and perfectly cooked.

It was Duck Rice and Calamari XO for main course, the seafood dish, utterly delicious. The Chocolate and Hazelnut Tart we had for dessert came with a Sichuan Pepper Ice Cream, and the sweet-spicy note is an excellent one on which to end this meal.

Service:

Expect attentive, intelligent service here.

Plus & Minus:

Go for the setting, the food and the superb cocktails. You probably won’t be able to walk in here without a booking, especially on weekends.

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