I returned back from my trip at around 5 in the evening and I had to reach China Bistro by 7. I was really tired but just could not miss this bloggers meet. After all, it was China Bistro. I have visited it twice before and those two visits were enough for my family to declare it as their new favorite Chinese restaurant.
China Bistro is an all Asian dining restaurant with its presence in four areas across Mumbai. The Chinese warriors of Qin’s dynasty had a very distinct approach towards food. They cooked with passion and used a lot of earthy flavors. China bistro along with FBAI invited 12 of us to unravel the mystery of these age old recipes, which are believed to be protected by the terracotta warriors.
WATERMELON AND BASIL MOJITO
A few of us reached before the others and while waiting for them, we ordered for our drinks. I ordered for the watermelon and basil mojito and undoubtedly it’s one of the best mojitos I have ever had. The others tried several other cocktails with Bellini winning each and every one of their hearts.
SOM TAM SALAD
The first dish to arrive on the table was this salad. Raw papaya, peanuts and a few vegetables made up this one. I am not a fan of salads, however, I gorged on this. It was a bit sweet, a bit spicy, a bit sour and a bit salty.
CHICKEN BASIL DUMPLINGS
Dumplings are my weakness. Six heavenly balls of chicken and basil were the next to arrive on the table. The coating was really thin, you can actually see through it. The meat inside was tender but the flavor of basil was very mild.
VEGETABLE BASIL DUMPLINGS
Surprisingly the vegetarian counterpart of this wasn’t that appealing. It looked appetising, the coating was again thin, but somewhat the filling did not taste good enough.
BARBEQUED CHICKEN BAO
2015 was the year of the Bao. Surprisingly I had not got the chance to try it even once. However, coming to China Bistro was worth it. The barbecue chicken bao made my day. The bao was soft, the chicken was well flavored and the lettuce added the necessary crispness to it.
MANGO MUSTARD SEA BASS
This was again one dish we all were eagerly waiting for. Sea bass cooked in mango and mustard, this itself is enough to tempt anyone. The dish was uniquely plated. The appetiser was so tasty that I regret it coming towards the end, I could not have much of it.
SINGAPORE CHILLI PRAWN
The Singapore chilli prawns also looked very tempting. They were garnished with spring onions, bell peppers and chillies. This was another starter which I could not stop eating.
FIRE ROASTED MANDARIN CHICKEN
Fire roasted mandarin chicken was soft juicy pieces of chicken on skewers. They were served on a mini barbeque and looked devilish. They were a bit spicy and flavored really well. Each skewer had a lot of chicken to gorge on.
KOREAN BARBEQUED CHICKEN
This one looked similar to the previous one. It was again chicken served on skewers on a mini barbeque. However, the sauce in which the meat was cooked, was different. It had a decent taste but the entire table preferred the fire roasted mandarin chicken
We tried a few more dishes from the Vegetarian menu.
CRISPY LOTUS STEM WITH BLACK PEPPER AND CURRY LEAVES
Lotus stem is one of those vegetables I prefer maintaining a distance with. Surprisingly, this was the dish I loved the most. The finely sliced pieces were so crispy. The sauce, in which it was cooked, was delicious and the curry leaves just added their unique flavor to it.
PAN GRILLED TOFU WITH BLACK PEPPER AND PAKCHOY
Slabs of pan grilled tofu were neatly arranged on the plate. The tofu was really creamy. The sauce was similar to the lotus stem dish. However, no other vegetarian starter was standing even close to this one.
Another tofu dish to be served to us was the dynamite tofu. Small crunchy pieces of tofu were served in a Martini glass. The coating of the tofu was crisp but I found them really disappointing when it comes to the flavor. The flavor was really mild and could not compete with the other, heavily flavored, dishes.
Soon after the huge variety of starters, next came the Khao Suey. This is probably the only soup I devour. The portion size was massive, can comfortably be had by two people. The condiments served along included peanuts, spring onions, lemons, fried garlic, fried onions, coriander, green garlic and boiled eggs. A simple yet comforting soup.
LITCHI SORBET POPSICLE
Before heading towards the main course, we were presented with a palate cleanser. The lithi sorbet popsicles were just insane. They had this distinct freshness in them. The popsicles should have been a bit smaller in size I feel.
THAI GREEN CURRY CHICKEN
Thai green curry has lately become one of my favorite dishes. The curry was creamy and loaded with a more than generous portion of chicken. The jasmine rice, served along, was a bit sticky and completed the dish.
LOBSTER IN HOT BEAN SAUCE
The lobster dish had a very generous portion of the meat. Served in a hot black bean sauce, I shall definitely order this the next time I revisit China Bistro, and that is going to be soon.
CHILLI GARLIC A-LA-ITALIANO (CHICKEN)
The chef tried fusing Chinese and Italian cuisines together, and I would say, he was successful at it. Spaghetti cooked in a mild spicy sauce, loaded with vegetables, were enjoyed with the lobster dish.
STEAM FISH WITH GREENS AND GARLIC
The steamed fish with garlic had a very mild flavor. Broccoli was present in abundance and the fish was perfectly cooked. Had my stomach not been so full, I would have eaten more of it.
LEMONGRASS FRIED RICE
Any meal for me is incomplete without a portion of rice. This did not look as good as the Nasi Goreng rice but definitely tasted better. The fragrance of lemongrass and it’s mild flavor just won our hearts. We all gorged on this rice.
NASI GORENG RICE
It was my first encounter with the Nasi Goreng rice. It was topped with some fried wafers, fried egg, and two pieces of chicken satay. Decent in taste, I however preferred the lemongrass fried rice over this one.
STIR- FRIED ASIAN GREENS WITH WHTE GARLIC
Unfortunately I did not have place to even try this one. But yes, it looked like a light accompaniment which would go really well with the rice.
CARAMEL SPONGE CAKE WITH TOFFEE SAUCE
There were two desserts that evening. The first one’s name itself got our mouth watering and the second one kept us wondering about it’s taste. The caramel sponge cake was really soft but incomplete without the toffee sauce. The more the sauce, the better it tasted.
THAI GUAVA ICE CREAM
The guava ice cream is one unique dish which struck the right chord. Salt and chilli powder were sprinkled on it just like the peru we used to eat outside our school. The taste was very authentic and I am definitely going to order this the next time.
Overall it was an evening well spent with great food, great bloggers as company and a few awesome contests ( I won one of them, that’s why :p). China Bistro is a must visit place if you want to enjoy some Pan-Asian food and not burn a hole in your pocket at the same time.
PUBLISHED BY AKSHAY LALCHANDANI Writer|Intense Foodie|Explorer