Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mainland China

The original plan was to dine with my friend, her sister, and her sister's friends at a lovely Italian joint; but the plan fell apart with our individual weekend commitments. Thoroughly disgusted, my friend and I decided not to be disappointed and dined at Mainland China on Cenotaph Road. I had earlier visited their Aruna Inn branch and ever since, wanted to go back for a second helping of their fabulous dishes. As usual, we were left wanting for more.

For appetizers, we ordered the vegetable Sui Mai dimsums, served with a tangy sauce and another sauce with finely cut greens in oil. While I din't quite like the tangy sauce, the greens-mix fabulously complemented the dimsum. We also ordered the fantastic Tofu Hunan style, which is lightly fried tofu served in delicious gravy. I'll give a thumbs up for this one. Its one of the best cooked tofu I have had in a long time. For the soup, we went for a delicate Wonton Clear Soup, which was light on the stomach, but tasted quite bland after devouring the deliciously flavoured appetizers. Nevertheless, we enjoyed it with a little soya sauce and a dash of chilli paste to zing it up.

Finally for the main course, we had Vegetable Pan Fried Noodles. This is one of my favourites. I love how they combine the crispiness, with finely cooked noodles, topped with a generous assortment of vegetables, and serve it up in a lip-smacking gravy. We were too full at the end of the course and gave the dessert a miss. I was only surprised that there was no Chinese tea that is usually served after the meal. It keeps your digestive system light and intact.

This is not an authentic Chinese fare. It is quite obvious that the sauces and the cuisine is redesigned to cater to the Indian curry-masala loving crowd. In general, Chinese cuisine employs common ingredients like sesame oil, ginger, soy, vinegar, with rice and noodles taking their place as the main course. Just like any other culture, in time, various movements from the north and south, including the dynasties that ruled during the times, gave way to a variety of cuisines, which also blended each other's style to create a distinctive array of dishes. Chinese stir fry is by far the most sought after.

Now Mainland China, doesn't disappoint. They have tried to stick to the Chinese concept of harmonizing contrasting flavours (yin-yang) and have done commendably well.
The ambience was good, except for the loud music and a terribly crowded joint, which can make you feel a wee bit claustrophobic. The courtesy extended by the staff was not bad, but sometimes, it could have been better. One of the attendants convinced us that the regular room temperature water he served us was infact hot water! Now, that's not a good impression. However, the team earned brownie points for serving the order quickly and at the right moment, so the tempo is well maintained till you give out a satisfactory burp.

The place is pricey, but considering the quality, flavour, and quantity, I would crib less and order more. A meal for two, with soup (one by two), two starters ( six pcs each plate), and a main course ( one huge plate), cost us close to Rs.1000. A friend told me that their Crackling Spinach is supposed be one of a kind and probably the best served, beating top contenders like the Taj.

Now, all this means that I'll just have to go back and find out what I have missed! Remember to make reservations if you are planning a weekend visit. The place is jam packed and there maybe some waiting time if you are a large group.
You can reach them at:
Mainland China,
Srinivasan Towers
NBR 5/11 Centoph Road
Tel : 044 45000123/236/237/238/239 24312168/78


Jay said...

Sounds yummy...always used to wonder whether the chef is really Chinese just like they show in the TV ads.

AquaM said...

Unless the chef is intelligent and knows how to manipulate his Chinese menu to the Indian taste buds.