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For the diet conscious

M. AM. A

Baked and steamed food stands out at this Chinese food fest


"KONG HAI fat choi" (Happy Chinese New Year) read the SMS sent to a diner at a Chinese restaurant in the city. Even as the Chinese rang in the "Year of the Monkey", Ninhao in Saibaba Colony was serving scrumptious delicacies to its patrons.

And, this Chinese Food festival was for the diet conscious. Most items on the menu were either steamed or baked.

"There is a perception that the Chinese eat only snakes, frogs and the like. But, Chinese cuisine incorporates a whole lot of other things too," says J William Fan, proprietor of the restaurant.

You can start off with fish ball soup, spicy crab meat soup or chicken coconut soup. For those used to savouring chicken clear soup, the fish ball soup, with small balls of fish meat, tasted a lot different. Shui Mai chicken, chicken sealed inside a maida pouch and steamed and Man Thou, the parotta-like Chinese bread, are a must-try.

The thick black soya sauce, served as an accompaniment to these dishes, is spicy. Unlike the regular one you get to taste, this has a fair sprinkling of garlic, ginger, green chillies. "It takes a lot of time to prepare these items, and so we cannot feature them in our daily menu," he explains. Normally, a bowl of rice is served with the steamed items.

Vegetarians, take heart. There are quite a few items to tickle your taste buds as well. Take your pick from corn curd, hot and sweet chow chu potatoes, the deep fried golden fried baby corn, crispy onion rings, spinach on toast and Chinese vegetarian sizzlers.

Be wary while biting into the corn curd, though. Thanks to the deep-frying, the cabbage-baby corn-onion paste can quite scald your tongue. You can wind up your meal with the popular Chinese tea. The fest is on till February 1. For bookings, contact: 0422-2445652

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