Following its success in Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata, Mainland China opened its pan-Asian restaurant Asia Kitchen in the city recently. While half the menu still features Mainland China’s popular dishes, the other half is a melting pot of delicacies from the rest of Asia. And keeping with Mainland China’s mantra – the dishes have been chosen keeping the Indian tastebuds in mind.
Asia Kitchen is now where the Koramangala branch of Mainland China once stood; a spacious restaurant that can accommodate up to 130 people. Dominated by wood, the décor maintains the Oriental theme well, complete with a glass facade that allows in ample sunshine.
Given that the menu features pan-Asian food, there’s quite a bit to choose from. If you find yourself in two minds, ask for their specials.
We took a quick culinary trip around Asia, beginning with the mildly spiced vegetarian tom yum soup, and the Japanese miso soup, and moving on to dynamite tofu from Hong Kong, Japanese tempura prawns, and the Korean barbecued chicken for starters. The dominating flavour of the lemongrass in the tom yum, and the strong taste of seaweed in the miso, prepped our appetite for the rest of the courses.
The tofu is tossed in wasabi mayonnaise but it’s not as pungent as wasabi normally is. On the other hand, the barbecued chicken is quite hot and perfect for our desi palate.
I’m not a big fan of the Japanese prawn tempura because without a dip, it can be quite bland, which is how it is here. We also tried the Thai starter – crispy vegetables in a sauce made with kaffir lime – that has a lovely tangy bite, and is rather enjoyable. However the succulent prawn dim sums were the best of the appe-tisers. Dip it into the black pepper sauce that’s already on the table.
If you want something wholesome, the Burmese khao suey is perfect. This big bowl of coconut milk-based broth (with a dash of Madras curry powder and turmeric) served with flat noodles, and deep fried garlic, ground nut, fried onions, chillies, lemon and eggs on the side is a delicious meal by itself. And you get to add the condiments yourself, and therefore control the flavours that go into your dish.
Soon it was time for main course. The lemongrass fried rice, and chicken with basil leaves, were full of flavour, while the nasi goring was a bit too salty for our taste. The mixed veggies in roasted chilli sauce however were quite well put together.
And finally, we finished the meal with rambutan in vanilla ice cream. Yes we were stuffed already, but how does one refuse dessert?
`1,200++ (for two, without drinks). 12.30 pm-3.30 pm and
7-11 pm. Details: 25504445
— Barkha Kumari