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Dishing up an unusual cuisine

Mainland China has new dishes on its menu as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations



This time round, Mainland China has strikingly different fare

MAINLAND CHINA on St. Mark's Road, wears a bright and festive look. And rightly so, the Chinese New Year that the restaurant is celebrating has just gone by on January 22. Ushering in the Year of the Monkey, a time for new enterprise, expansion, and new alliances, Mainland China offers for the connoisseur of Chinese food, a whole new fare for one week.

Following the Chinese legend, a colourful Dragon greets you as you enter the restaurant. A popular Chinese symbol found in their literature, poetry, architecture, songs, and even cooking vessels, this Dragon certainly sets the mood to enjoy a feast of traditional Chinese dishes. Going by Chinese

tradition, a large amount of food is prepared and consumed at New Year time as this symbolises abundance and wealth for the household. In keeping with this trend, the restaurant has prepared an all-new menu with delectable dishes that will continue to be on their menu cards even after the festival. Many dishes have significance on one's luck and prosperity too.

The harvest rolls, available both in chicken and vegetarian preparations, are said to bring in good luck for receiving gold, while the jumbo pomfret in spicy honey sauce promises abundance. A variety of small dumplings, stuffed with prawn, crab, and mushrooms are in keeping with the North China tradition of making dumplings. There is the Governor's fish and the Governor's water chestnuts in dry red chillies and wild pepper, a recipe that was the favourite of the Governor of China. Those who want to really feel special can go for some unusual ones such as squid pepper salt and Chengdu noodles with spicy sesame sauce — a never-had-before cold preparation with boiled noodles, cucumber, and peanut butter sauce.

New Year specialties such as seafood (lobsters, fish, prawns, crab), representing togetherness and abundance, chicken for prosperity are used abundantly in preparations that provide the gourmand with ample options in terms of sauces - black bean, hot garlic, Tao so, Szechwan chilli, butter garlic, and so on.

The Yuling's hot and numbing Chicken, a specialty made in white garlic sauce with Szechwan pepper, the crab claws in exotic wine sauce, sizzling duck, make you feel like an Emperor indeed.

The vegetarian selection is vast and delightful. Almost everything is a new preparation and solicits another visit to this place if you have to try it all. For starters, try the shredded eggplant with bean thread (glass noodles), the Mandarin baby corn, a sweetish preparation made in orange sauce, and the vegetables in satay sauce.

The strikingly different preparations of braised noodles and pineapple-fried rice in the shell are a must-have too. As are the coconut rolls in honey butter sauce for those with a sweet tooth. And if you carefully follow the good luck charms each dish stands for, you should be lucky enough to pull

a gift for yourself in the lucky draw at the end of the meal! Good luck and Happy New Year!

Reservations can be made at 22277722.

TINA GARG

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