Monday, January 30, 2012

Foodie Jaunts


When I started this blog, I did not want to restrict it to just recipes, which is why I occasionally went on some Foodie Jaunts. Some days back my brother Aroop Bose - who is a foodie besides also being this blog’s designer and photographer - offered to contribute to the Foodie Jaunts section; I had no hesitation in accepting his offer. So let’s join my brother on this foodelicious journey. 

Lunch at Mainland China
by Aroop Bose

Among my favourite eating places is Mainland China which is a well known restaurant chain. The first Mainland China restaurant opened in the 1990s at Sakinaka located in the western suburbs of Bombay and had raised quite a few eyebrows for this place was considered unsuitable for a high profile Chinese restaurant. The restaurant became popular for its good quality Chinese food and today Mainland China outlets are spread all over Bombay and also in other cities as
well.
Recently we visited Mainland China’s Bandra outlet located on Linking Road for lunch. When we were told by their staff that they have a buffet we were tempted to try it and are glad that we did so. The meal began with seemingly unending servings of starters – vegetable salt and pepper, grilled chicken, potatoes fried, fried wantons, diced chicken, chicken dim sums and lemon coriander vegetable soup. It is not possible for me to describe each item but all I can say is that every item was a delight and the soup did not taste like anything I tried before and was really good. They also had jasmine tea and iced tea, we requested them to serve the iced tea with the main course but it never came for reasons unknown to us, despite the fact that about half a dozen members of the staff were attending us. 

While eating the starters one can easily get carried away and keep eating, after all they were yummy; we had to bear in mind that the main course was waiting and after that were the desserts waiting to be devoured. The main course comprised Yuling Hot & Numbling chicken (whatever that was it tasted superb), crab in butter garlic sauce, shrimp in pickled chilli sauce, fish in black pepper sauce, mixed vegetables in Chinese parsley sauce, tofu & mushroom in soya garlic sauce, four treasure vegetables in spicy hunan sauce, sweet and sour vegetables; all this to be eaten with fried rice and hakka noodles. The advantage of being a non-vegetarian is that you can try out both veg and non-veg items. Shrimp in pickled chilli sauce was very mildly hot (I mean not temperature but what is called ‘teekha’ in Hindi) and the flavours were quite balanced, nothing overpowering and tasted great. Fish in black pepper sauce was delicately flavoured and was delicious. The crab dish had a slight fishy smell which was a bit disappointing.

When you have a spread like this you have got to eat wisely if you wish to try every item that is being served including the dessert. The items in the dessert section was far too many for me to remember; there was caramel custard, souffl├ęs, mousse, tarts, ice cream in four flavours, pastries and some more items whose names I do not recall, and these were just too many to taste. For Rs. 664 (including taxes) can I say that we got value for money? Certainly, it was surely a great experience and I would like to do it again before they decide revise the prices upwards. If we were big eaters it would have been better value for money but alas, we eat small portions and have to be satisfied by that.

10 comments:

  1. Very comprehensive and useful review of mainland China's dishes. I have also visited the Bangalore Branch at Church street. Delightful cuisine.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

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    1. Haven't visited Bangalore for a very long time, would love to visit the place again and try out the restaurants there. At one time (long ago) I used to visit Bangalore very often on official work and there I ate at a restaurant called Noodles which was located within Hotel Ramanashree where I stayed. The Chinese buffet cost only Rs.50-70, very cheap even in those days. The restaurant was run by Chinese people, the food was superb. I used to also stay at Gateway Hotel on Residency Road during some of my visits, I had tried some Chinese food there -- it was terrible! Maybe they have improved by now. I used to also eat at some Chinese restaurants on M.G. Road near Brigade Road, the food was excellent. Aah! I want to visit Bangalore again.

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  2. That is certainly good value for money - and your meal sounds delicious, even if perhaps a little too much to eat! I'd never be able to plow my way through so many dishes.

    I've been a couple of times to the Mainland China in Delhi (Greater Kailash) - not very good. In Delhi, I'd choose between Yum Yum Tree, Mamagoto and probably Joy Luck Moon for Oriental (primarily Chinese) food - all are excellent. Joy Luck Moon is very distinctly 'Calcutta Chinese' food.

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    1. I am a little surprised that the food at Mainland China in Delhi is not very good. I am not familiar with the Chinese restaurants in Delhi, some day if we visit Delhi we might try a couple of them. Long time ago I used to visit Delhi quite often, at that time I used to regularly eat at a Chinese restaurant (don't recall the name)near a flyover at Defence Colony, Nirulas also had an outlet there; the food at this Chinese restaurant was superb and they served large quantities. I don't think the Chinese restaurant exists there now. I also had Japanese food at Def. Colony market, it was bad or maybe I made a wrong choice of dishes.

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  3. nice review

    Aarthi
    http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

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  4. Thank you for the critic!
    It sounds like good value for money, though I wonder what it has to offer to veggies like me. :-)
    Do you think you could describe a visit to a Bengali Restaurant? I wonder what Bengali people think of Oh Calcutta.

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  5. Harvey I think vegetarians always get a raw deal; however Mainland China did have a good number of veg items, but as I said in my post non-veggies can always try both veg and non-veg. We have never eaten at Oh Calcutta; in fact we have never eaten at any Bengali restaurant so far. We came to know through Dustedoff about a Bengali restaurant chain called ‘Bhojohori Manna’, they have an outlet in Bombay but we have so far not tried the food there. There is Hangla, meaning hungry in Bengali, they have three outlets, we know about, in Bombay. These are actually stalls serving Bengali food, the items are limited but they serve good food.

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    1. Thank you for the info, Aroop!
      I think they will be in Internet to search, aren't they?
      Looking forward to visit them when I am in Bomba next time.
      Thanks again!

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    2. Bhojohori Manna have a website and I will try to get you the phone number of Hangla.

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  6. There are many best Restaurants in Bangalore which serves the top quality food to the consumers. Eatisfy lets you a way to book your table online and enjoy the services.

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