China on Church Street
The famed Mainland China has moved to a new location and has revamped its menu
CHURCH STREET can perhaps rightly assume the title of a stylised Khao Galli of Bangalore, for the narrow road boasts of some of the best restaurants in town. And quite a variety at that! It's not too surprising then that the famed Mainland China decided to move here from its location on St. Mark's Road. The restaurant, in its new avtaar, opened its doors to the public in July and has quite a few new things to boast of, including another chef from China.
The winner of the H&FS Best Oriental Restaurant 2003, Mainland China does still better in its new look and extended seating capacity. Spread over three floors, the restaurant can now seat over 230 people at a time.
Chef Dubey stresses that a shift in location has also meant a shift in cooking style. Mainland China now includes a number of delicacies on its menu that are braised and steamed rather than fried. This, he claims, is in conjunction with the trends world over. The menu also promises all the items that were earlier laid out only during special festivals that the restaurant celebrated.
To help you start your meal on a healthy note are the steamed dimsums, demanding little or no oil. Wrapped in colourful wrappers (orange, green, white), these come in various shapes such as moneybags, crescents, pouches, and triangles.
They simply melt in the mouth with fillings of tofu, seafood, chicken, and so on. Health conscious guests can also enjoy the crispy chilli golden corn, which is available in a sautéed version (besides batter fried) and the water chestnuts, which the restaurant now serves sautéed in a garlic pepper sauce.
Making his "ingredients dance with spices and sauces" Chef Dubey also conjures up some delectable seafood in a range of sauces the squids, sautéed lobsters, golden fried prawns, and crab claws and fish cooked in plums sauce, sansho pepper, or almond pastes are must-haves. Tangy preparations of the tofu, Hunan style, and mashed potato nuggets are great starters too.
Sauces such as the xo (shrimp based) and tausi (chilli black bean) show their wonders in the main course where crab, duck, chicken, and squid are served plentiful and ingredients such as pakchoi (greens), woodear (black fungus), Chinese parsley, and hubei (pickled vegetables) are introduced to produce unusual flavours. Lamb lovers will delight in the unique preparation called lion's head, using roundels of minced meat cooked in oyster sauce and served in a fascinating arrangement to resemble a lion's head.
Vegetarians have quite a variety to choose from, and taking the chef's recommendations on the new tastes introduced is recommended. The lotus stem and water chestnuts, which the restaurant now promises as regular features, are a good bet. A number of soups are available too. The eight treasure soup, with toasted almonds, is a wonderful change from the regular.
Promising newness in almost everything ambience, menu, cooking styles, ingredients, and even cooking oil (Chef Dubey stresses that sesame oil usage has increased) the restaurant ensures that it maintains its standards in service, something its patrons will always vouch for. Although slightly pricey, where non-vegetarian food is concerned, the restaurant solicits a visit for a taste of all that's new.
Mainland China can be contacted on 25597722.
Service: Won't disappoint you. There's also good parking space with valet service.
Speciality: Plenty of new tastes for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
Ambience: Spacious and classy
Wallet factor: Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,000 (taxes extra) for a meal for two
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