Chinese ceiling lamps and colourfully painted cane chairs along with greenery make the restaurant owned by entrepreneur Rachel Goenka come alive. Located at Hill Road, Bandra, House of Mandarin has reopened. Divided into three sections, it offers a 25-seater glass-enclosed party section, and a 6- to 8-seater private dining zone besides the regular dining area.
Chef Subash and his team treated us to an appetising array of Chinese, Japanese and Asian specialties from the menu. We started with the classic Sweet Corn Soup with veggies bursting with subtle flavours followed by other appetisers: Spring Rolls and Crystal Dumplings with semi-translucent wrappers hugging diced vegetables. These, when dipped lightly in the sauces gave a crunch in every bite. Though we skipped the sushi, we were keen on dimsums.
As vegetarians, we have potatoes as our favourite staple. We couldn’t miss out on the Kung Pao Potato. This Indo-Chinese preparation sported layers of taste - nutty and slightly spicy - a glorious medley of fried cashewnuts and lively red chillies. The sauce was lightly sweet and sour, pepped up with a mild chilli heat and a hint of Sichuan pepper that made our mouths tingle pleasingly. The ingredients were all cut in harmony, to match the potato wedges which were just cooked and wonderfully succulent; the cashewnuts retained their crispness.
Next came Singapore Noodles – the stir-fried rice noodles with bell peppers, onion greens, scallions, tossed in curry powder, were a cross between a curry and Pad Thai noodles. Jasmine rice with edamame and truffle oil was as flavoursome as it could be. Steamed water chestnut, lotus root and asparagus made for a healthy platter while the soothing drink Cranberry Kiss did not overpower with fizziness.
Three-in-one indulgence enticed us in the form of dark chocolate & raspberry mousse with raspberry sorbet. Still we also went with Seven Textures of Hazelnut and Chocolate. And that was a perfect ending to a flawless meal!
Recipe of Kung Pao Potatoes
•3 large Potatoes rinsed cut into thin slices
•1 tbsp Olive oil
•Salt as per taste
•Black pepper powder
•1/3 cup Kung pao sauce
•15 Cashew nuts
•1 inch piece grated Ginger
•5 Dried red chillies
•2 tsp corn flour make a smooth slurry
•1 tbsp Oil
Method for the Kung pao Potato stir fry
1. Heat oil on medium flame, fry cashew nuts till golden brown.
2. In the same oil add dried red chillies, fry for a minute. Add ginger, garlic and onion greens and saute them for 2 minutes.
3. Introduce the potato wedges and toss everything together.
4. Add prepared Kung pao sauce over the potato and peppers and give a good mix.
5. Pour cornflour slurry and cashew nuts. Stir fry for few seconds on high heat.
6. Turn off the heat and serve with fried rice.