GITA HARI indulges in some lip-smacking Chinese cuisine at China Pavillion
There is a newly opened Chinese restaurant in D.N. Nagar, Versova Andheri and it is called China Pavillion that sports a smart façade and as soon as you enter, Chinese-looking hostesses in traditional Chinese Qipao attire welcome you smilingly. Muted green and red hues for upholstery with bamboo sticks demarcating the buffet service zone from the seating mark the interiors. A private seating area to the right is ideal for family get-togethers or the many tv actors and Bollywood starlets who are regulars here find it to be a cosy dining place. Our visit coincided with the well-known South and Hindi film actor Flora Saini whom we spotted relishing Thread Paneer along with her mother.
You know what to expect in a Chinese eatery – steamed or fried dumplings famously called dimsums or wontons, spring rolls and sesame toast for starters; sweet corn soup followed by noodles or fried rice. But at China Pavillion you can expect some interesting stuff like Thread Paneer, Chicken Button Mushroom soup, Chicken Saiwoo or pan fried noodles and Fish in Dragon sauce. Their menu also puts forth exotic Chinese Sizzlers which are a must-try one-dish meal.
Proprietor Yogesh Shetty has made no compromises on serving dishes using only fresh ingredients as he lays emphasis on eating a healthy, well-balanced and nutritious meal. He recommends on how to plan your menu by urging the guest to inform the order taker about the likes, dislikes and restrictions if any. He further suggests that we have a dish of fresh, leafy green vegetables and one of soya beans.
Coconut & Ginger Chicken or Crab Asparagus soups go well with the nip in the air. Thread Paneer comprising crunchy exterior and moist paneer inside and Pepper Chilli Prawns of succulent prawns in thick peppery sauce make for brilliant starters.
For the mains we settled for Kung Pao Paneer – a perfect mix of sauce in soft, fresh, paneer. To go with Shetty’s suggestion, we also had Stir Fried Chinese Greens which were okayish. Main course come with a choice of chicken/fish/lamb/seafood made to order in a sauce of your choice – Hunan, Schezwan/Hot Garlic/Manchurian/Oyster Chilli/Thai/Soya Garlic/Devil/Sweet & Sour/Dragon or Teppanyaki. For vegetarians it’s potatoes, paneer or light and easy vegetables. Plenty of rice and noodles – tappan, pan fried, Meifoon, Singapore, Burnt Garlic and more.
Have a yen for oriental sizzlers; it’s for your taking at China Pavillion. Paneer and Babycorn in soya garlic sauce hissed its way to our table with French fries and fried rice on hot sizzling plates with greens on the side. Very filling and delicious. Non-vegetarians have a choice of Chicken in Hot Garlic/Devil/Oyster Chilli sauce; Fish in Jade/Hunan sauce or Prawns in Dragon/Garlic Pepper sauces.
The most remarkable thing about China Pavillion besides palatable fare is their pricing for where else can you get a lunch buffet with a choice of 1 Veg & 1 Non Veg Soup + Choice of 2 Veg & 2 Non Veg Starters + Choice of 2 Veg & 2 Non Veg Main Course + Selection of 1 Rice Preparation + 1 Noodles Preparations + Selection of 1 Dessert, all this for an all-inclusive charge of Rs.299.
Round off with Caramel Custard, Chocolate Mousse, Honey Noodles or Brownie with ice creams or for that Indian touch – Malai Kulfi. A nice little place to dine with family and friends as Yogesh makes sure his staff is as friendly and hospitable as he is!
Kung Pao Paneer (Cottage Cheese)
l 1 cupful Paneer/cottage cheese cubes
l 2 tbsp Cornflour
l 3 pods Chopped garlic
l 1 Spring onion sliced
l 1 tsp Onion greens
l 1 tbsp Soya sauce
l 1 tsp White vinegar
l 1 tsp Honey
l Salt to taste
l 1 tsp Dry Red chilli flakes
l 4 tbsp Cooking oil
l 20 gms Black and white sesame seeds cracked
l 10 gms Cracked black pepper
Marinate cottage cheese with cornflour and salt. Shallow fry cubes and set aside. Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan. Add red chilli flakes and garlic. Introduce fried cottage cheese. Add soya sauce, vinegar, spring onion slices. Finish with honey and give it a good toss. Serve hot with garnish of spring onion greens.
Paneer & Babycorn Sizzler In Soy Garlic Sauce
l 1 cup Paneer cubes
l 1 cup Babycorn
l 1 Carrot sliced
l ¼ cup Peas
l Butter as required
l ½ cup Cauliflower florets
l 2 cups Cooked Rice/noodles
FOR THE SAUCE:
l 1 tsp Sesame oil
l 1 tbsp Soya sauce
l 1 tsp Lemon juice
l 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
l Salt a pinch
Method for sauce:
Heat butter and sesame oil in a pan and sauté garlic. Add soya sauce and salt. Stir to get a semi-thick sauce consistency. Let it cool and squeeze in lemon juice. Keep aside.
Boil carrot, peas, cauliflower and babycorn. Heat butter in a pan and sauté paneer cubes. Add boiled vegetables and sauté for a minute. Heat a sizzler plate over a burner for 15 minutes. Add butter and you will get fumes from the plate. Place rice/noodles along one side. Arrange sautéed vegetables and paneer in the centre. Pour over the soya-garlic sauce over the vegetables. You can have French fries as an optional serving around the dish.