It’s difficult to find a good weekend buffet costing less than 400 rupees in Central Bangalore, so you can imagine my joy when I spied Dancing Wok’s poster for a lunch buffet for Rs 359 in Garuda Mall. I’d read a good review of the place in Mid-day and I hadn’t had good Chinese food in a long time, so I popped into this place without thinking too much.
Despite the rather cliched name, Dancing Wok’s cuisine is anything but cliched. There is no a la carte menu, but the buffet spread is extensive, covering five different cuisines (Chinese, Thai, Korean, Malaysian and Vietnamese). It started with a sweet corn chicken soup, with a sprinking of coriander, which gave it a wonderful flavor. The starters were varied, and included potato chilli with honey, which managed to blend sweet and spice very well, and fried baby corn with sesame- crunchy deep fried baby corn with a hint of spice. The vegetable wontons were more wonton wrap than vegetable, but the chicken dimsum was perfect, the yummy chicken filling enclosed in a soft non-rubbery wrap. I rounded off my starters with spicy hunan chicken, livened up with some capsicum.
The non-veg main course started with Chicken Malaysian noodles, which was good, but nothing to write home about. There was sliced lamb in Sichuan sauce, and shredded chicken with red and green bell peppers, both of which were high in the spicy quotient, but tasty nevertheless. Just when I was thinking that Dancing Wok had gone the Indian way with its Chinese that I sampled the fish in Hanoi sauce. Brilliant dish, with melt-in-the-mouth Vietnamese basa fish cooked in a subtle sauce that had me running for second helpings. Health freaks among you could have their pick of salads, among pineapple pepper coleslaw, Cantonese pickled vegetables and Cuban tossed salad, but you won’t miss much if you skip them. There was also kimchi, a Korean dish of fermented radish and cabbage, which I liked but can’t really comment on, since it was the first time I’d tried the dish.
The veggies need not despair,since they had a veritable feast lined up for them, with six different dishes to choose from. There was Dan Mein noodles, reed-thin noodles which were unexpectedly spicy, and four treasure fried rice (I think the four treasures were corn, carrots, peas and spring onions), which was cooked well but a tad sweet, which was offset by the mixed vegetables in mushroom sauce. I enjoyed the vegetable dumplings in hot garlic sauce, soft with a hint of garlic, but I wasn’t so enamored by the thai yellow curry served with steamed rice, probably because it was way too sweet for my taste. The stir fried tofu and mushrooms with hot bean sauce was a runaway favorite, giving me my first brush with tofu, and looking at the eagerness with which I devoured it, there will be many more brushes in future. The tofu was soft, with the sauce contradicting its name by being not so hot, but then, the best dishes on this menu were those which toned down the spice.
The desserts were average, with a fruit custard seeming like some store-bought version and a pastry no better or worse than the 10-rupee cakes you get at any local Bakery. But the darsaan, fried wonton strips coated with honey, served with vanilla icecream, I loved so much to get a second helping, despite my stomach telling me it may burst due to over-stuffing.
Dancing with Wok is brave to serve such a diverse set of cuisines, and gifted to make all of them lip-smacking. There was a steady footfall, and the staff seemed well-equipped to handle large crowds, with each customer receiving personal attention and the food being refilled regularly. I’ll be back, definitely.
Dancing with Wok
4th Floor, Garuda Mall