Septembers are for second summers before the blessed cool, we tell ourselves consolingly, as we step into the cheery yellow interiors of Just Khao Suey. Traffic nearly does our head in as it lets out another obnoxious blare at the busy Indiranagar junction where this new Thai/Burmese spot has set up shop.
Deep in the middle of a particularly foul-mouthed rant, our entrees arrive. These are hearty bowls piled high with fresh herbs layered over peanuts and egg noodles, swimming in a gently steaming broth. Classic Burmese khao suey is spicy and flavourful, with generous helpings of chicken soaking up the broth. It’s not as creamy as we would like, but comforting nonetheless. Our First World troubles seem to melt away as our bellies are filled. The a less traditional Nutty Suey turns out to be khao suey's more velvety and far milder cousin - we prefer it to the classic.
Drinks arrive to save us from impending dehydration. Luridly neon kiwi cooler and orange mint crush, while nostalgic in their artificial sweetener flavouring, are entirely forgettable. The Burmese tea salad accompanying them turns out to be more kachumbar than fermented flavours, and we abandon both quickly in favour of sticky chicken skewers. There’s something about food on a stick that rids the need for any kind of authenticity: these caramelised chunks of chicken, onion, and capsicum hit the spot immediately.
Satiated, we turn our attention to dessert. Dark chocolate mousse and Burmese coconut souffle are pulled out from a fridge behind the counter, their plastic receptacles foggy from the sudden temperature change. We dig in absently as we round out our evisceration of capitalism, but our anti-national rants fall to the wayside as the cool desserts flood our tongues. True to its name, the mousse is pleasingly dark, but still sweet - texture light and creamy like all good mousse should be. But the real delight here is the coconut souffle. An unassuming eggshell white, this is a tenderly fashioned masterpiece - not too sweet, airy, and immensely flavourful. In true worker bee fashion, we are glad to have had the foresight to have the remainder of our khao sueys parcelled, if only to make room for this treat.
Ultimately, this weekday lunch is just what it promises to be - an eating your feelings interlude in the busy business of living life.
Getting There: No 46, 9th Main, 80 Feet Road, HAL 3rd Stage, Indiranagar - just opposite the BSNL office. A meal for two will set you back Rs. 1071.
Accessibility: A low step up from the pavement.
Sushmita Sundaram writes about food, culture, and discovering your city. Follow her on Twitter at @sushmitas.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
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