Early in the 16th century, the Japanese built fortresses to protect their rulers from their rivals. These Shiro, or castles, constructed from stone and wood, were meant to guard important sites. The structures were made tall to offer a better view of the surroundings and to spot impending danger. I have had the pleasure of dining at one such Shiro.
Sitting high on UB City’s terrace, Shiro’s location is perfect for those looking to have a quiet dinner. As I step into the restaurant and look up to the high ceiling and wooden furniture, I am reminded of Japanese castles. A large structure of Buddha’s head is placed at the center of the restaurant. This blend of Thai culture with Japanese architecture is a subtle reminder of the pan-Asian cuisine that Shiro caters to. Being in no mood to get drenched by the menacing rains, we pick a cozy alcove. Our server informs us of a Thai food festival running at the restaurant and we decide to give it a try.
The Thai festival menu is categorised based on flavours, a detour from the conventional way of starters through desserts. Five of Thailand’s classic ingredients have been incorporated to create the fare, namely tamarind, bird’s eye chilli, lemongrass, Thai basil and, of course, coconut.
I opt for a Mango and Thai Chili Whiskey Sour, which is a chilli, infused mango nectar served in a salt-lined glass. Sweet and salty as you take a sip and suddenly the chilli kicks in, the cocktail is refreshing. My friend’s tequila-based Tamarind and Passion Fruit Martini is an ingenious innovation.
The Citrus Salad made using orange chunks and served in cute crispy cups has a piquant flavour as it hits your tongue. For appetisers, we order the Thai Cracker Baby Corn, which is spiced baby corn on skewers. The garlic chilli dip served with it steals the limelight. The prawns served on, wait for it, sugarcane skewers is delectable. The shrimps are cooked with bird’s eye chilli and the sugarcane provides a hint of sweetness.
We opt for the Southern Thai curry with steamed Jasmine Rice and Drunken Flat Noodles for the main course. My server forgets that I had ordered the Thai Curry sans mushroom and brings me a bowl of curry with mushrooms afloat. He apologises for the error and replaces it.
I get lucky on the second try, as it is the knockout dish for me. It tastes completely authentic with no ‘Indianisation’ of flavours. The drunken noodles don’t stand out much for me. All mains are served with a choice of veg, chicken or prawns. The menu also includes poultry and seafood options.
Thai food is known primarily for its use of fresh ingredients and presentation, Shiro scores high on both counts. The plating is an absolute delight with every offering meticulously prepared. The use of bird’s eye chilli in dishes playfully jolts my tastes buds every now and then.
The choice of dessert is limited to the Duo of Coconut. It is a coconut pannacotta served with red wine reduction. The dessert I find rather sweet and quite forgettable. It does not add that sweet happy ending to my evening that desserts are supposed to.
The music through my dinner is a live performance by a lovely lady, who provides us with her rendition of the 90s’ music. The service is prompt leaving little to complain.On the
On the whole, I love the creativity in the spread. The use of colourful components and aromatic flavours enhances one’s senses giving quite an oriental experience.
Cost for two: Rs 3,000
Address: 2nd Floor, UB City Mall, Vittal Mallya Road, Lavelle Road, Bangalore