Vantage point

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Adios Shiok!

Madhu Menon's restaurant Shiok (Bangalore) is closing down on March 31st. I went there only once, at its old location in 2004, and was totally floored by the quality of the food, the service, the cocktails, and the painstakingly composed bar. Madhu's personal hospitality, and the company of some other "cartelians" made it all even better. Lovely memories that I will cherish forever. As many of you might know, Madhu quit a lucrative IT job to start the restaurant. And he did it, not with the help of some business partners or investors, but pretty much on his own. Not the easiest thing to do. And his personal touch, attention to detail, and commitment to excellence shone through in the layout and design, the menu, the service, and of course, the delicious and authentic East Asian food. Madhu's personal instructions to the chef to customize the food to our individual liking, and then mixing together some heavenly cocktails (I haven't had a better Illusion since, in 4 years in the US) made it a night I will never forget.

That was the last time I visited Bangalore. So although I met Madhu later a few times in Bombay, that was and will remain my only visit to Shiok. I wish I had been able to go there more often and had more memories. I wish I could have gone to the new location, and lounged at Moss as well. But alas, it's too late.

But it isn't too late for you, dear reader, if you live in Bangalore. You have ten days in which to visit Shiok, and try as much of the delectable menu (vegetarian menu here) as you can. The best is his signature dish, the drunken beef, which you people in Karnataka should have lots of, what with the beef ban and all. Also memorably yummy - fragrant prawns, green curry, and the hot n sour rice noodles. The drinks are at a discount, so try as much of his cocktail menu as you can too.

And I will *sigh* go to the barely passable sole Thai restaurant in my tiny town, have their inferior food, and raise a toast to the exciting 6 year-long ride Madhu had with Shiok, and the countless memories he helped so many people create.