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| Sunday, February 3, 2013 |

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Launch Pad

A new place that's rocking your city

Oriental flavours

Walking into Bangalore’s newly launched restaurant LikeThatOnly is like walking into a modern day garden of Eden. The ambience draws you in before you surrender to the sumptuous Pan Asian fare.

The eatery in Whitefield’s suburban Hagadur Road, is owned by restaurateur A D Singh along with partners, executive chef Manu Chandra and F&B veteran Chetan Rampal. The 100-seater restaurant and bar sprawls over a lavish 7,500sq ft and two floors.

“Diners in India are increasingly looking for newer and more international experiences so we conceived LikeThatOnly as a beautiful space which was approachable and affordable to a wider Bangalore audience,” says Singh.

According to Chandra, Bangaloreans are more receptive and appreciative of new dining concepts than any other city in the country.

The restaurant’s quirky interior is an instant winner. From colourful kettles-turned-lamps at the entrance to eye-catching installations against the white and grey interiors - the place stands out. Old brass turtle graters act as foot-light shades while a huge strainer, surrounded by colourful metal dragonflies, has been turned into a chandelier. Artistically installed lights emphasise the art pieces custom-made by designer Anshu Arora.

There’s an alfresco dining option while the restaurant and lounge area are all about a vibrant ambience. For an evening in the company of your fave poison, just hit the bar and plonk yourself on the wooden bar stools. On the first floor is a conference room along with a spacious terrace that can be converted into a rooftop party venue if required.

The menu too has got some innovative touches under Chandra and executive sous chef Prashanth Puttaswamy. Along with Pan Asian flavours, they have introduced the concept of mash-up food - it involves pairing of ingredients you never imagined would work together. They also have small plates for taste enthusiasts - you get very small portions of food in a plate or a tasting menu of 10 vegetarian or non-vegetarian small plates. The chef introduces you to 10 of his select preparations along with a menu explaining the ingredients and unusual mash-up combinations.

“Foodies who like to savour different flavours and texture of food at a slow pace are loving the concept of small plates,” says Chandra.

So nibble on delights like soy glazed chilli pork ribs with buttermilk and fried onion rings, coconut jumbo prawns with mayo or spicy tuna tarter roll. For those who savour oriental flavours there are different combinations of bentos available for lunch. Although inspired by the Japanese bento boxes, the bento menu is not all about Japanese cuisines here. LikeThatOnly offers a lunch menu called Out of the box -Bentos, in which you can pick between a vegetarian, chicken or seafood menu comprising soups, salads, dim sums, curries, rice, noodles and desserts inspired by different Oriental cuisines (think Japanese miso soup, Thai red curry , Thai massaman curry and Indonesian veg rendang curry etc).

There is a separate menu for kids as well. Think fried calamari, chicken nuggets, spaghetti in cream sauce, French fries and cream cheese sushi - all specially prepared keeping children in mind.

The bar boasts some poisons with a twist. Try the signature cocktails like Mary Pops which is a smoked Bloody Mary served in a glass jar, while Fru Fru Colada is a concoction of fresh pineapple, coconut water and a dash of rum. There is also a wide selection of red and white wines apart from liqueurs and champagnes.

Bon appetit!

By Chitra Anand Papnai
Photographs by Sanjay Ramchandran and Kunal Chandra