A bowlful of goodness: This beautiful concept is transcending its south-east Asian origins

By: | Published: November 26, 2017 3:09 AM

The meal-in-a-bowl concept is transcending its south-east Asian origins

meal in a bowl concept, One Bowl Winter festival, Monkey Bar, Soulful Bowl, Asian origins, Indian cuisine, spicy chicken XacutiPanch phoran and kasundi maach bowl at Monkey Bar

It was 2015 when the ‘meal-in-a-bowl’ concept flooded the tables of restaurants and hotels across the country. And two years later, the trend is still going strong. Usually a healthy and nutritious mix of proteins, roughage and calories, meals in a bowl are especially popular among the health-conscious. The concept is also a perfect fit for urban on-the-go lifestyles, as it offers convenient and quick meals. Now, the concept is transcending its south-east Asian origins and embracing all types of cuisines. Monkey Bar’s ongoing One Bowl Winter festival pays ode to this food trend. The festival offers diners two types of bowls: Hearty Bowl and Soulful Bowl. “The Hearty Bowl consists of an aromatic broth with flat noodles, bok choy, bean sprouts, carrots and mushroom with chilli oil and chopped scallions—non-vegetarians can have variants ranging from grilled chicken to pork and prawns,” says head chef Manu Chandra, adding, “Soulful Bowl, which is our signature bowl meal, comes with a choice of vegetarian and non-vegetarian toppings.” You can expect piping hot kadhi with fragrant basmati rice and crisp fried bhindi; creamy rajma with pickled onions; kasundi-marinated fish; spicy chicken Xacuti, etc.

“This is our way of holding on to what’s important… reimagining pub food within a context as rich and complex as Indian cuisine, but with a few innovations, making the creation on your plate a clever and sometimes irreverent rendition of the conventional,” Chandra says. The appeal of ‘meal-in-a-bowl’ is understandable—it offers comfort food packed with delicious flavours. “People opt for it because it’s comfort food. Take, for instance, the ease of eating rajma-chawal in a bowl… it’s a comfort for customers. A piping hot bowl meal is perfect for winters too,” he says.

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