I was planning on taking it easy this evening and regroup from my trip to Mexico, but a publicist called and asked if I might help celebrate Bombay Talkie's first anniversary by bringing a guest and coming to dinner. Well, twist my arm.
A few phone calls later I found a friend who was available. Often it's the busiest friends who can be most easily pinned down for a date, and that was true tonight. Kenny Lao is the owner of Rickshaw Dumpling Bar, and his schedule's pretty full. Nonetheless I can prevail on him to eat with me with some frequency. If you want to celebrate with pork, Kenny's there to do it with you.
Free plug for Kenny: He's being featured on an MTV special called "First Year" that will trace the opening of his restaurant. It's airing February 4 at 2pm and 8pm, Eastern Standard Time.
We pretty much left it up to Bombay Talkie's owner, Sunitha Ramaiah, to select our food, although Kenny picked two dishes because he liked their names: kolivada macchi, which is crispy fish served with shoestring potatoes; and nargisi kofta, Scotch eggs in lamb with rosewater-cashew sauce.
What else I ate and drank:
Umrao Jaan: gin, lime juice and saffron syrup
Ankur: pomegranate seeds and juice, tequila, Rose's lime juice and Cointreau — basically a margarita
Bombay Talkie Digestive: Pastis and fennel syrup
Papdi Chat: crispy beggar's purses stuffed with potatoes and chickpeas, served with tamarind and yogurt sauce.
Nilgri coconut kebabs: lamb meatballs in a South Indian sauce of coconut and mustard seeds
Chicken chettinad: Sautéed chicken in red chiles with cardamom
Pork vindaloo: boneless pork in sweet and sour sauce
Chocolate chocolate cupcake with coconut sorbet and mango sauce
Coconut tapioca with cherries