Rich Flavors from China
Written by Sama Ankolkar
It was my first visit to one of the largest malls in the city; Pheonix Marketcity, Kurla. Obviously the main reason to come here was Sichuan House, but I was swayed with surprise by the sheer size and range of shops the mall comprises of. I could have easily been in shopaholic mode and walked into Sichuan House to forget my bustling about to enter a soothing ambience of Buddhism enhanced with high ceilings, walls with bamboo and white washed brickwork, ornamented by Chinese elements. The spacious seating gives you the feeling of being able to enjoy a private lunch with a loved one or closing a business deal with a client. The ambience caters to all.
Once settled into our comfortable seating, we started off with the soups. The Lemon Coriander Soup with the vegetables won me over. It was light, with the right amount of flavor and a great variety of vegetables. From broccoli, juliennes of zucchini, mushroom, some tofu and hints of burnt garlic, this soup was a great start to my meal. We also had a couple of refreshing mocktails, the iced tea and the cucumber and mint one being our favorites, being the exact nourishment you need on a hot summer day.
We sampled the Corn and Water Chestnut dumplings, the Chicken and Shitake dumplings, and the Prawn and Chive dumplings. The Corn and Water Chestnut dumplings are a great call for the vegetarians, while the Prawn and Chive are a must call for the non-vegetarians. The dumplings are well sized, decently stuffed and the coating is not moldy, where you feel like you just have ball of dough in your mouth. They are complimented with a variety of 3 sauces other than the existing table sauces.
With appetizers, our favorite was the 3 flavored fish. This takes your taste buds through a journey of sweet, spice and tang, which work well for your palette. The Chilli Garlic Cottage Cheese is extremely tasty too. The Crispy Shitake Mushrooms could be enjoyed with a drink or a cocktail at a bar.
The batter fried squid totally made my day. The flavor of spring onion and garlic work really well and this is a great appetizer to call for. The Thai Basil chicken was very tasty too. Rich in flavor of basil and lemongrass, this chicken dish works well in terms of spice. Each bite is full of flavor.
For a connoisseur, the Steamed Sea Perch is an absolute delight. It is aromatic, light and almost fragranced. The shitake with this steamed fish in a light sauce works beautifully and I was extremely impressed with this dish. It is a reminder to original beauty of Chinese food, being light and aromatic with hints of flavor.
The Prawn in Black pepper is rich. The peppery zest is toned down a little with the Chinese wine that is used in the sauce. The prawns are large and juicy, well cooked and complemented the burnt garlic rice we had it with.
We ended our journey with the Chocolate Cigars with the Banana and Caramel journey and let me assure you here that it was one of the sweetest endings I have ever had. It seals your meal as one to remember with warm chocolate oozing out of the cigar that can be dipped into a little glass of more chocolate. This chocolate over doze is balanced with the sweetness of ice cream that blends well with beautiful cigar.
Well, to end this, I’m just going to tell you that if you want to head out with your girls, or even enjoy a beautiful dinner with your loved one, then make a day of it at the mall and make sure you end it well with a meal at Sichuan House. The meal promises to offer variety because of its vastness and it pledges to satiate taste buds that want a hint of China yet pleasing to the Indian palette.
Written by Sama Ankolkar