February 8th 2016 rang in the 4713th Chinese New Year, the year of the Red Monkey.
Located in the busy business district of Lower Parel, it’s nestled in some very quiet surroundings of Mathuradas compound, a stone throw away from Zaffran. The restaurant operates out of a place which once may have been a mill or a factory which explains why they have high ceiling and thereby ample of natural light.
They have certainly used the natural light to good effect and hung up some wonderful Chinese lamps combined with some red lamps as well. The bar counter has a huge eagle made mostly of twigs suspended from the beam above. The bar counter is bright green as against the staid grey shade used elsewhere.
We started off with a couple of non-alcoholic drinks; APPLE & CUCUMBER FIZZ was my choice. Still Apple Juice with cucumber pieces and a hint of mint, the drink was more of a cooler than anything else.
ORANGE & KAFFIR LIME CAIPIROSKA was my partner’s choice. Kaffir Lime leaves provided the twist to this otherwise plain orange juice. I loved the combination of orange juice & kaffir lime leaves.
We proceeded to the STARTERS with 3 STYLE MUSHROOM DUMPLINGS. I am biased to Mushrooms and anything related to Mushrooms. These dumplings were lovely from the word GO, finely chopped and flavoured mushrooms were filled in a thin rice sheet and steamed. It was served with a spicy red sauce and soy sauce.
GRILLED VEGETABLE SHANGHAI DUMPLING
The menu indicated that this dumpling would be spicy. But the actual product was nowhere close to it. The filling was somewhat sweet and bit too oily in the process of pan frying then.
SICHUAN PEPPER CHAR BAO
This Bao is huge but very doughy and stuffed with bland veggies making the entire dish a very bland affair.
STIR FRIED BLACK PEPPER TURNIP
Triangular shaped turnips tossed in a sweet-sour sauce with onions and peppers. I would have loved it if it was made slightly spicy by adding some chili and fried garlic as a topping.
HOI YIN YUM PRIG
A complicated name for potato fries, fried okra, spring onions and tossed with black pepper.
GADO GADO SALAD
A wonderful salad made from broccoli, red peppers, Chinese cabbage, sprouts, turnips and some fries. This was then topped with some peanut sauce which gave it a wonderful flavour. The salad was a welcome break between the starters & main course. I had almost made up my mind to skip it and jump to the main course, I am glad I didn’t skip it.
Whole wheat, thick smooth Japanese noodles combined with mix veggies of pok choy, onions, broccoli, shiitake mushrooms tossed in black pepper sauce and topped with spring onions. Though the noodles tasted nice overall, I found the salt content to be slightly on the higher side.
It was first time of trying this dish, an Indonesian speciality. It was a very nice – a right combination of flavours and spice. It was interspersed with mix veggies and topped with some fryums.
PASSION FRUIT PUDDING with CASHEW & DATES
We ended our session with a desert made from Passion Fruit. It had bits of cashew nuts in it and the flavour of dates was prominently felt. The passion fruit lent its sourness to the pudding thereby making a diversified experience.
Service was rendered with a smile, courteous and was prompt. Our plates were refilled or at least we asked for a refill every time by any of the stewards who passed by our table.
o:h cha did offer a mixed bag experience in terms of this culinary offerings. While some offerings are worth a second visit, some need to be tweaked upon. I would love to drop in again to have a go at the favourites.
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