Eating Chinese food in India can be tricky as we tend to adapt all cuisines and modify them to suit our taste buds. I have experienced north Indian Chinese which is very Punjabi spice influenced, south Indian Chinese which incorporates spices found down south or Kolkata Chinese which is yet another part of this food family. Wherever you go, you are bound to find some variation done to the dishes that suit the palette of that region. I don’t criticize this as it is in our very nature as an Indian that we are open to adapt from foreign countries and I love that we can give a little bit of ourselves to it and make something entirely new. However sometimes you do crave for authentic Chinese food which is so different in terms of subtle balances of flavours instead of the loud spices we generally eat. Thus comes my outing to China Garden.
China garden is located in the middle circle of Connaught place. Their chefs are all from China so you can be sure to taste some authentic Chinese cuisine here. A lovely place for fine dining, we sat in the downstairs area which had a lovely classy feel to it. With semi private dining areas, the place makes sure that we are able to enjoy our meal in peace. The whole vibe of the restaurant is very calm and relaxed. They have a seating on top alongwith a bar that is function during non meal hours. The restaurant seemed a little low on maintenance with old looking walls…maybe its time for a renovation.
The potion sizes of the dishes were very good, especially the mains. The servers have good knowledge of the food and I loved that they explained the dish to us as and when it was served.
Get Set Gobble:
~ Drinks – Their drinks are absolutely Delish! I personally never thought that mocktails could actually taste this good. I began with a green apple frozen daiquiri while my friend had the lemon one. MUST ORDER. We also tried the frozen strawberry and peach margarita. The peach one had very subtle flavours and I personally love the strawberry one more. These came in glasses with a salt rim. MUST TRY. However I think the green apple definitely stole the show and we ended up repeating it again.
~ Steamed Fish dimsum – Absolutely the best starter I ate here. The fish came on a bed of rice noodles topped with a sauce and was steamed in a basket to be served. This was a non traditional Dimsum without any flour covering. It was served with a black bean sauce and we were told by the server to try them together for sure. As we did we were blown away. The fish was super soft and moist and the dip added such a depth of flavour to it. My friend who is essentially a ‘chikitarian’ (eats only chicken when it comes to non veg but has tried fish sometimes) loved it so much so that she ended up going for repeats! MUST ORDER!!!
~ Gin chicken – These were deep fired balls of minced chicken that have been marinated with gin overnight. It is served with a coriander dip and we were instructed by the waiter to be generous with it. The combination of flavours was just beautiful that we kept on going back for more. No sooner had the dish been served that we had managed to finish it up in record time! Amazing dip and excellent chicken made for a scrumptious appetizer. Go heavy on the coriander sauce as it really helps bring out the flavours. MUST ORDER!!!
~ Smoked chilli prawns – Served on a hot stove bowl, the prawns are deep fried and adding some colour to this dish are ample amount of dried red chilies. Looking at it I was immediately worried about he spice and judging the expression on my face, the server immediately came and pointed out that the dish isn’t spicy unless you wish to eat the chillies as well. He was absolutely right, it wasn’t spicy at all. DO TRY
~ Loo Phai Kut (pork spare ribs) – The pork was served with a dark glaze and I personally did not enjoy this as much as the other appetizers. It had a sweet sticky glaze to it and was quite tender but I could have gone for a bit more tenderness.
~ Shanghai Chicken – This chicken gravy is served in a pot on a mini hot stove! I simply loved it cause the presentation looked interesting and kept the gravy warm and bubbling. I personally like my food hot and this really helped. The flavours of the gravy is a little low and I felt it was low on seasoning. The server was kind enough tot modify it to our taste buds. DO TRY
~ Soya Wine chilli steak – The steak for me was a bit chewy and I was told that it is somewhat so because of the cut of the meat and also with the size of the meat, they cant cook it too tenderly or else the dish might get mushy. They did redo it to make it more tender for us. Much appreciated.
~ Korean butter chilli garlic prawns – The prawns were well prepared and fried to a crispy golden brown. Could not taste any spice in the dish though. If you loved fried prawns, you will still like this. I think this was better than the starter which were a bit dry. DO TRY
~ Black olive fish – This was another winning dish. I think the restaurant’s strongest point is their fish dishes both of which were cooked on point with flavours that made your taste buds dance with every bite. I really enjoyed this dish. The fish was full of flavour and absolutely soft, flaky and juicy. MUST ORDER!!
~ Select vegetables yellow bean stir fry – I am not much of a vegetable fan so its no surprise that amongst all the other dishes out there, I paid the least attention to this one. It was tossed veggies in a light gravy.
~ Hunan pepper pork – Another well served pork main, it had a great marination. MAde with pork belly it was a semi dry preparation.
~ Vegetable teppan noodles – The noodles were served in a hot sizzling plate. As a result of this some noodles at the bottom became super crunchy giving a great variety of texture. I liked that these weren’t too thick and had been prepared well. It went really well with our mains. MUST ORDER
~ Fortune rice with black mushrooms – The rice was served in a large bowl tossed with shiitake mushrooms. It was well prepared and fragrant. DO TRY
~ Caramel Custard – This is a signature dessert. I am a fan of caramel custard but I felt it was missing that burnt caramel flavour to it.
~ Chocolate mousse – Dark chocolate mouse topped with chocolate chips was served with ice cream. Too chocolaty for me and a very homemade kind of dish.
Fish and prawn preparations. Authentic Chinese cuisine cravings. Mind blowing mocktails. Detailed service of dishes.