Quite the most dramatic, photogenic eatery
Serves: South East Asian street food
Atmospherics: Almost black walls with huge murals, hanging bamboo lights and enormous bamboo back rests for some seats defines the mood of Soy Soi. South East Asian restaurants are a dime a dozen in our neck of the woods, but this one is in another league: in serves mainly the street food of the few countries in our neighbourhood where the core team of the restaurant visited. So, grand spectacular dishes from the royal houses are not part of Soy Soi’s menu; instead, you will get the far more homely soto ayam madura and samosa thouk from Indonesia’s night markets and Myanmar’s street stalls respectively. This is a branch of Savya Rasa next door and if there is one thing they have in common, it is the quest to give the diner an unusual experience. Therefore, there is no idli-dosa-sambar-vada next door and no chilli-chicken-hot-garlic-sauce here. Whether that is a good thing or not depends on your perspective.
Table talk: whatever you do order, please do not miss the Larb Isaan (Rs 375) which has moist minced chicken flavoured with a myriad seasonings. Served in a whole cabbage leaf, you can, if you are adept at it, make small parcels of the leaf and pile it up with the chicken as they would in North East Thailand. Other outstanding flavours included sate kambing Padang (Rs 395): juicy lamb piccatas grilled till almost charred on the outside, then napped with peanut sauce made the traditional way with palm jaggery and roasted peanuts being cooked before being ground. I have hardly encountered any restaurant in the NCR taking such pains. The one section where nouvelle liberties have been taken is in the sushi section. My crispy tuna maki (Rs 345) was firm to the bite and would be great for those who like nouvelle sushi. Finally, Burmese chickpea tofu (Rs 325) had bite, spice, flavour and texture yet was vegetarian.
Plus and minus: Corn and spinach dumplings with blue cheese sauce (Rs 345) had no discernible flavour of blue cheese (the only reason why I ordered them). When I pointed it out, I was brought a fresh helping, with the blue sauce component increased. Such tricky flavours should be introduced in a second iteration of a menu and not in a brand new restaurant.
Must try: chicken murtabak, Burmese chilli lamb, ohn no Khauk-shwe
Food: 3.75, Service: 3.50, Décor: 3.75
3rd floor, Ardee Mall, Sector 52, Ardee City, Gurgaon
Tel: +91 9319429735
Open from 12 noon to 11 pm
Alcohol served; credit cards accepted
Meal for two: Rs 1800