Saturday, May 14, 2011

Indian Southern Food Fusion, Really? Yes: The Temple Bar

Indian grilled cheese and tomato soup on a biscuit
I expected boring wannabe fancy food going for cocktails at a place called The Temple Bar with some of my MBA classmates after class one afternoon...maybe they will have California Rolls for white people or even truffle tries if we are lucky.


This was fusion I've never seen before: Indian married with Southern cooking. 

The Caramelized Cheese Biscuit (above) is actually a paneer and tomato based masala grilled cheese with a Southern twist. 

I've never thought I would order a Turnip Wrap at a bar like this, not that I ever thought I would see "Turnip Wrap" on a menu. Caramelized turnips, tomato chutney and flecks of spice on a whole wheat house-made chipati? YES!

Also on the happy hour menu was the Lamb Wrap: minced lamb with peas topped with a mint riata. My classmate gobbled this one down fast, so it must have been delicious. 

An order of the Chickpea Battered Onion and Bacon Bites is a must. Slices of onion and bacon dipped in chickpea batter and deep fried.  

My classmate, Bex!, was teasing me because I was actually fasting from animal products at the time. Just kidding, I asked her for a closeup.

The Chicken Meatball in a Biscuit with almond and cashew sauce below. 

I was that person who ordered a salad, but it was more like ordering peanuts. The Peanut Green Salad with hand roasted peanuts, onions ,tomatoes and my favorite green of all arugula: hearty, spicy and totally vegan!

The Pulled Pork Sandwich is another play on fusion: slow cooked pork with tamarind and jaggery(cane sugar) BBQ sauce on a chapati topped with chickpea battered fried onions.

Not only is Temple Bar inventive, serving downright delicious foods, but the owner, Raj, from Britain is incredibly friendly, chatting it up with patrons making you feel like you're in his living room. Love Temple Bar and can't wait for another excuse to return.  

The Temple Bar
305 NW 21st Ave
Portland, OR 97210


Wandering Chopsticks said...

OK, that has to be one of the coolest fusions I've heard in a long time. Immediately bookmarked for my next trip home.

nat. said...

I love Indian food so much!
That is in fact my favourite cusine, next to the italian one;)

Nice fotos, I'd really like to taste all this stuff !

Ivy said...

I know I am going to make a silly question now but when you say Indian is it Indian, as of India or Indian, as of Native American Indians, because if is the latter I don't know anything about their cuisine. However, everything looks delicious and I feel like digging into all those plates.

sdakflkasdjf said...
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Vanessa said...

When did you go? Temple Bar closed last week. Too bad, because the lamb poutine was amaaaaaazing!

gourmetpigs said...

This looks really interesting! :D
Maybe next time I go to PDX!

Raj said...

Hello Anna,

Thanks so much for the kind remarks and really glad you liked all the food. Laura put a huge amount of work into it all and everything was totally handmade. Sadly though, after much agonising, we finally closed last week. We had to take a couple of days off to fix some infrastructure and looking at how the business was likely to develop decided that would be a good time to bow out gracefully. You never know though - we might get reincarnated at some point in the future.

Thanks again for the kind words. Pics much better than usually seen on blogs by the way!


ex The Temple Bar

Dewi said...

Drooling !!!!!!! Anna, you torture me here. These are delicious looking food. You are so lucky!

tasteofbeirut said...

Sounds so interesting! I have never been to an Indian fusion owned by an Indian! He must be quite a character!

Lenia said...

Everything seems so delicious and inviting!Sure you enjoyed it a lot!Have a nice day,dear Anna!

Esi said...

That sounds like a really amazing fusion. If I ever make it to PDX, I must go.

Banana Wonder said...

Wandering Chopsticks - Alas, they just closed :-( I had no idea until the owner commented below.

nat - thanks me too!

Ivy - Not silly at all, This is Indian from the country of India (by way of Britain most likely) and Southern American fused cooking.

Vanessa - I went in the middle of April :-( So sad!

Fiona - Sadly they closed :-(

Raj - I'm so sorry to hear you closed. I hope you open up something like this - maybe in Los Angeles, per all the people wanting to come her next time they visit from LA. Never seen such a fusion.

Elra - I'd be even luckier to be your neighbor :-)

Tasteofberiut - You know it.

Lenia - Thanks :-) Perasktika stin koristaki sou

Esi - Sadly they have closed :-( I think this fusion would be stellar in a place like LA.

Gastronomer said...

Vern would DIE here. He's Southern and loves Indian food ;-)

Mary Bergfeld said...

It looks like a wonderful spot to have an uncommon bite. It sounds like a great place. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Helen said...

Yum! This food is making me drool. I'm impressed by the selection of interesting food combinations. Chickpea battered onions and bacon bites...bring me some!

Joyti said...

What an interesting fusion. It looks delicious, and works so seamlessly well. Whenever I'm in Portland next (haven't been for years...) I'll have to check it out.

Kung Food Panda said...

Interesting looking menu. Although I normally don't eat Indian food, this looks pretty good!