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Essentially Asian @ Shizusan Shophouse and Bar, Phoenix Marketcity

The word Shizusan as much as I remember means a “Collector of Maps” and rightly so with its eclectic mix of the various tastes every Asian Cuisine lover swears by. From the streets of Vietnam to Japan, Bangkok to China and Korea to Philippines, this uber chic venue inspired by the shophouses of the Orient in the early 21st Century brings together under one roof the best of Asia, with subtle hint of contemporary urban cuisine. The décor reflects shades of Orient without screaming loud and the jazz ensemble playing in the background add to the mysticism of the 20’s.

I was impressed to find out that the Tree of Life encompass the entire dining area in parlance with popular belief and culture and single seats lining the Internal bar area. The well-designed and thoughtful interiors remind one of times gone by, very tastefully re-created within the four walls of this exquisite venue. The prompt service and the colourful menu with ample illustration add to the Yin-Yang balance. The 4-seater private section to the extreme right corner of the door is artfully titled the Opium Den keeping in mind the Shophouse culture where Opium was served post dinner to house regulars and friends.

We started with a very refreshing twist of the traditional Thai Soup-Tom Yum in an alcoholic concoction with Coconut Milk and White Rum titled One Night in Bangkok. I asked for a potent version of the same and was quite overwhelmed with its taste and presentation. A very generous portion of the Dynamite Shrimp and the Three Mushroom Maki Rolls made their way and went perfectly well with the Asian notes of our drink. I did not use the Soya as the Maki was spot-on and the fresh seared Shrimp added to its succulence. We also had the Wasabi and Basil Bloody Mary and a very exotic Golden Floss Pockets, Dimsums with Minced Chicken and Scallions.

We chose the Raw Papaya Salad or Som Tam as they are known in Phuket with a hint of Fish Sauce. The very Golden Prawn Satay was up next in its full grandeur and was a delight to say the least. It was however the Beef Satay that swept me off my feet owing to its earthy notes and subtle hints of Chilli Oil. I was able to satiate myself with almost an entire portion. The Hattori Honzo, comprising of Tequila and Butterfly Pea Flower Tea, one of the most unique drinks to date mesmerized me with its colour changing stint owing to the mix of Acids with Alkali. It is an experience to witness this as well as to sip it after preparing the final mix of the two. Undoubtedly the only reason to walk into Phoenix Mall combating the horrendous traffic of Mahadevapura, this masterpiece of mixology is sure to take Bangalore by storm.

It was time to try a different type of Mains than the usual Curries and so I decided to go with the Gochujang Buri Bop, a traditional Korean slightly charred rice in a hot stone bowl with Beef on the side. The flavour of the dried chillies add special zest to the rice and is enjoyed best with the sauce provided.

Desserts are very diverse out here and we tried the Thai Tub Tim Grob and the Halo Sundae, the latter being my personal favourite. With a menu so diverse, this is definitely a place which never grows old with time and calls for regular visits. I went back a week later only to try their Lobster pockets and Back Pepper Lobster and were sure winners as well. A must visit for every Asian food lover, Shizusan is not only here to stay, but to thrive. Hopefully we will have a new outlet closer to the city in a year’s time.

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