Bandra has recently been witness to burgeoning eateries, each one better than the other. While most of them wane out just as quickly as they appear, a few of them have also managed to gain a footing and win over loyal patrons.
Five fat monks is the latest entrant to the flourishing QSR scenario in Bandra. Bindiya Chotrani finds out what’s different.
Five Fat Monks couldn’t be put up at better location. Or maybe on second thoughts, it is at a slight disadvantage, being pressed between Subway (a hot-favorite) and Sliders (which is doing pretty well). Well, we too chanced upon Five Fat Monks – just another place that serves saucy, snappy and cheap pan-Asian fare. Hungry, tired, we couldn’t risk experimenting and Subway would have been our safest bet. But with a dining companion like ours, maybe experimentation was just on the cards. With huge mirrors adorning walls, outlandish chairs and tables, a constant flow of diners, cardboard boxes instead of serving bowls, plastic spoons and forks for cutlery and an order system where one marks out preferences on the menu when calling for something, gave it the charm of a fun street food experience in Bangkok. The decor is in a vibrant white and orange palette and also reflects on Five Fat Monks’s China boxes, in which all the food is served, regardless of whether you’re eating at the 40-seat restaurant or ordering it to go
Quick service by the efficient staff meant next to no waiting time between orders with never a dull moment to spare. And even if there was one, the eatery’s open kitchen kept us occupied.
We decided to play safe instead and called for their crafted specials. The Chowmein Chakra (Rs. 275) took no more than ten minutes to appear on our table and looked visually appealing. We picked on our forks, secretly hoping that it would taste enticing as well. Fortunately for us, we were not disappointed. Chowmein Noodles cooked in a Tangy and slurpy sauce had additions of broccoli, pok choy, and sugar snap peas. We forgot our table manners after our first bites and polished our plates clean. Even with this being just the first dish on our tables, we knew that it was going to be the star of all. So much so that we wanted to call for a second portion of just the same.
Nevertheless, now that our experiment was pretty successful, we decided to push our luck some more. This time, we acted with even more gumption and unleashed the chef in us. We decided to get food, cooked and customised our way with the ‘make-it-your-way’ combo. With preferences to be checked onto the menu, there was a choice between rice and noodles, a protein (read chicken, tofu or paneer), a minimum of 3 veggies, a sauce and some garnishes (Rs 275).
We chose rice this time alternatively, with paneer for protein. For veggies, we had pok choy, bell pepper, and shiitake mushrooms. The waiting staff there suggested we try our combo in the kung pao sauce if we wanted it a tad spicier. We asked for our dish to be garnished with spring onions, chopped red chillies and thai Basil. With rice a little undercooked, the preparation was passable and in no way comparable with the Chowmein Chakra. But with it being completely our brilliance, we couldn’t be upset afterall.
Five Fat Monks is doing a pretty-good job from what we are guessing of the decor, the Chowmein Chakra and a bill that amounted to Rs. 600. For now, we are definitely adding it to our list of quick service joint we’d visit again.