In May 2017 the city’s foodscape will be greeted by a new culinary culture, that of Southeast’s Shophouse with Pan Asian street & homestyle delicacies.
Inspired by the 18thcentury shophouse boom during the colonial era, Shizusan’s story unfolds in our very own shophouse. A dual zone space with a restaurant inside and home-converted-into-a-bar outside, the menu here pays homage to the dishes commonly found at these establishments across Southeast Asia. Here where the ingredients are fresh and honest, and the techniques are true, we recommend that you put your head down and eat.
After garnering a cult following in both Pune and Mumbai, Shizusan will open at Phoenix Marketcity Whitefield Bengaluru in May 2017. The brainchild of Romil Ratra, Deepti Dadlani and Chef Paul Kinny, Directors over at Phoenix Mill’s Bellona Hospitality who say, “Shizusan is our big Asian dream. It is everything that we love about Asia – right from its spirit, people and attitude to big flavours, local ingredients, high-pitched sizzle and clanking of the wok, and aromas that permeate through the tiny by lanes reminiscent of the colonial era. Shizusan is our Asian atom that captures all the essence of the Southeast Asian galaxy. And what better place to open after Pune and Mumbai than Bengaluru which already has a high number of expat residents and a discerning palate for Asian food.”
THE CULTURAL INSPIRATION
The 18thcentury in Southeast Asia was marked by imperialistic colonial rule and sea travel from the Western world to spice and commodity-rich lands of Asia. With the arrival of the colonists and merchants, the local Asian communities built respite areas or what we now know as the ‘shophouse’ with opium and tea dens downstairs and brothel upstairs. With the exit of the colonists, the locals converted these into eateries for the working-class seeking a home-style meal. It is this very ‘shophouse’ story that inspired the menus and décor at Shizusan Bengaluru.
The menu here is clearly inspired by comforting street and home food across the rich-culinary cultures of China, Japan, Burma, Vietnam, Korea, Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand. On entering guests will be greeted by the sight of a Sushi Bar that encourages casual style dining of Sashimi, Nigiri and Maki Rolls. The comfortable seating and diverse menu of vegetarian and non-vegetarian offerings has universal appeal – from the corporate diner looking at a quick pocket-friendly meal to the ladies who prefer a more leisurely atmosphere.
The menu also has plates and bowls of a wide selection of Maki Rolls, Sashimi & Nigiri, Baos, Dim Sums including the famed Xiao Long Baos or Soup Dumplings, Gyozas, Har Gaosand Korean Mandoos. Fresh salads like the unique Bitter Melon & Shrimp from the streets of Hanoi; curries like the Massaman, Rendang and Laksa; staples like Black Pepper Lobster, Cashew Chicken, Yakiniku Beef, Jap-Korean Buri-Bop, Dan Dan Mian Noodles, Hibachi Rice, Singaporean Mai Fun and Hainanese Chicken Rice too. The standouts appreciated in other cities include Taiwanese Miso Milk Broth, Singaporean Chilli Crab, Filipino Adobo Pork Belly and vegetarian Kung Pao Red Pumpkin, Miso Aubergine and Penang Lotus Stem.
The bar menu continues the brand’s commitment to Southeast Asia with a selection Sake, Japanese Whiskeys and Asian Cocktail Beer, Iced Coffees and Coolers.
The cocktail menu will focus on classics with an Asian twist using typical ingredients like kaffir lime, and some use of exotic oolong and butterfly pea flower teas as well. There’s a focus on contemporary presentation and even a colonial-inspired twist to the classic Old Fashioned called Genie in a Bottle. An Asian Hair of the Dog called Cocky Rooster which like a Michelada has vodka, celery, salt, topped with a pint of Beer and bird’s eye chilies for the final Asian finish… Chairman Mao’s Negroni is another top recommendation, and so is the delicate yet precise Hattori Hanzo where the butterfly pea flower lends magic to this colour-changing drink. There’s then a take on the classic Lynchburg Lemonade here called Saigon Lemonade; the Piss Alley Cat named after Tokyo’s popular drinking street made famous by Quentin Tarantino’s visits, and a DIY Island Tea where guests can assemble their own potent version of the Long Island Iced Tea.
The bar captures an apothecary vibe with potion bottles of seasonal infusions, aptly called ‘Moonshine & Hooch’ on the menu, containing vodka, gin, tequila, rum and whiskey – the bartenders will make these depending on availability and changing winds. Fruits like strawberries, plums, apple and spices like star anise, peppercorn will see light of day. Considering that it’s an all day, the evenings will soon have Yum Cha Hours from 4PM – 7PM with unlimited dim sums and pots of Asian teas.
ONLY FOR BENGALURU
To make sure Bengaluru has its share of exclusive delicacies, Chef Paul has introduced One Bowl Lunches like Pho, Ramen, Donburi, Khow Suey, etc, that are satiating, quick and pocket friendly. Other new dishes include to be found only in the Bengaluru menu include Phuket’s Som Tam (Raw Papaya Salad), Yam Neua (Thai Beef Salad), Bo La Lot (Betel Leaf Wrapped Beef), Pan Roasted Pork Ribs, Beef & Broccoli, Thai Pork & Bamboo Shoot andTurnip Cake.
Just for Bengaluru is the new cocktail called One Night in Bangkok inspired by the flavours of a Tom Yum soup, made using white rum, coconut, lime juice, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. The iced coffees, apart from the Ca Phe Sua, has a new Cà Phê Trứng or Egg Coffee: a Vietnamese specialty with an equally-interesting tale that tells us of the ingenious owner of Giang Café in Hanoi who to compensate for the lack of dairy beat together egg yolk and sugar for a creamy sweet custard to soften the taste of the bitter robusta coffee brew. Coolers using cucumber, oranges, lemongrass; hot and iced teas using Asian flowers make a refreshing appearance too.
Asian beers like Tsingtao, Asahi and Cass will be easily available along with a range of Sake like Hakushika Honjozo.
Situated in the IT Hub of the city at Phoenix Marketcity, the restaurant attempts to recreate the colonized-era style shophouse. In late 2016 the task was assigned to Metaphors Design to transform the structure into Bengaluru’s first-ever Asian Shophouse & Bar. Commonly part of most historical precincts in Southeast Asia, the shophouse is a culinary institution housed in a vernacular structure characterized as being mostly two or three storey high with a shop on the ground floor for mercantile activity and a residence above. With a shift in culture most of these eclectic structures, that were often a mélange of architectural styles, have reinvented themselves as upscale boutique hotels, teahouses and restaurants. Following in similar lines, the transformation of this space deliberately sought to capture the beauty of a bygone architecture while making the diner feel right at home. The concept of the restaurant is woven around a fictional character “shizusan’ which loosely translates ‘collector of maps’ in Japanese.
Unlike the space in Mumbai which is a two-floor vertical building, here in Bengaluru the design is horizontal with a restaurant, sushi bar and dim sums studio inside and Kyoto jazz bar inspired bar on the outside. On entering the space, the guest will be welcomed by a dining-centric space inspired by the elements of nature: a gorgeous Tree of Life plays a pivotal role around which there is comfortable sofa seating and a pretty wall mural capturing a natural landscape. Next one can spot an austere Sushi Bar and a glass ensconced Dim Sum studio with aqua-hued tiles and wooden cabinets that immediately transports you to any one of the Chinatown dim sum houses. Culinary drama! There is also a cozy private dining table for anyone looking to have a more intimate dining experience.
Step outside to the open air ‘bar’ of the Shophouse & Bar where jazz and swing music capture the senses along with a stunning bar with hints of a rose gold mirror, bottles of sake, Japanese whiskeys and Asian beers. The outside zone is meant to transport guests to the streets of Kyoto and New Orleans where Jazz bars spill onto the cobblestone streets, with rod iron street lamps and spacious bar stools meant to be occupied for hours over drinks, food and memorable conversations.