Over the moon with some authentic Chinese cuisine


Serving, what else, gourmet Chinese with a Singaporean soul, the tiny 34-seater first floor restaurant in south Delhi's Khan Market is a fine balance of good food and relaxing ambience. While many would vouch for the regular menu, the Rice Wine festival is worth visiting.

Priced at Rs.1,200 for two, the festival menu, which also includes drinks, has eight food items on it.

As you soak in the aroma of all that is served to you, the simple tri-chromatic aesthetics of the place done up by designer Anjana Bhargav complements the mood.
The over a year-old restaurant is themed neatly in black, white and red - the tables are black, the napkins alternately red and white, the cutlery is in simple white and so are the walls with a driftwood installation that has a hint of red at the centre.
To begin with, one can either choose from the range of soups - prawn noodle soup and chicken sweet corn for instance - or go for the Singapore soul with rice wine, a starter.
The jumbo prawns in red wine sear that comes next is delectable. A dry preparation, served with a sauce made of onions and herbs, it is perfect for the Indian palate - not too strong, nor too delicate.

The classic crispy chicken garlic mayo lives up to its name - tiny, crispy pieces of chicken with a mayo topping. To some, it may be a reminder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)!
Next on the platter is roast sliced chicken in chilly and rice wine sauce - a must try. Thinly sliced pieces of chicken, not overdone, are served in a thick, dark gravy with lots of herbs.

As one looks out of the large windows into the buzzing Khan Market, next to pop up on the table is Singapore kai lan vegetable ginger garlic.
Kai lan is basically a green vegetable, much like our leafy greens, and is cooked lightly with ginger, garlic and red chillies, ensuring it doesn't become a squishy mess. Despite all the chillies used, the food is not very spicy!
Much of the oil used in the food is sesame oil.

Bobby Lee, the head chef, says to ensure that the taste is authentic Chinese, a number of ingredients are sourced from outside India.
"For example, we get the chillies from Thailand. It's called bullet chilly and is not very spicy but is ideal in Chinese cooking. The small white flowers, chrysanthemums used in the Chrysanthemum tea are sourced from Singapore," Lee told IANS.
"However a number of other items which were not available in India earlier and had to be brought from outside are now readily available. For instance, Kai lan was earlier not available, but now we get it at INA Market."

As an accompaniment with the dishes, one can either go for Singapore mei fun rice noodles with vegetables, fun rice noodles or plain steamed rice.
"Having small, hot cups of jasmine or chrysanthemum tea at the beginning and end of a Chinese meal is a ritual. It is very rejuvenating and we keep re-filling the cups," says Arjun Singh, assistant manager of the restaurant.
And if tea is not your "cup of tea", then a glass of Aussie red wine should do just fine.
The Rice Wine festival is on till Nov 5.

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