When we decided to descend on China Bistro
to cure our tummies of The Case of the Rumbles, little did we know that even breathing would be a difficulty while walking out the door. Upon entering, the Terracotta army ushered us in and we were instantly fascinated.
One of the many symptoms of rumbles is extreme enthusiasm in ordering food, and we had it bad. In our intense fervour, we decided to fire away and ordered a soup and a starter. Since they also had a yum-cha (dim sum) festival going on, we obviously had to try one of those as well. While we were waiting for our appetisers to arrive, the servers placed a big bowl of Kimchi salad and sweetened cucumbers in front of us. Famished as we were, the size of the portions impressed us and we proceeded to dig into the bowls armed with our forks and spoons.
The Kimchi salad was generously pickled and was dripping with sauce. But delicious as it looked, we were slightly sad when we realized that it left no aftertaste. The sweetness of the cut cucumbers though, was finely balanced. Refreshing in the face of the scorching heat outside, we happily munched on those till it was time for our starter.
Fire Roasted Mandarin Chicken, it was a perfect name for a starter that was feisty, with just the right amount of chicken on a skewer. Deep fried, the chunks of chicken indulged in a hot, tangy tango with our taste buds. Next to arrive was the Spicy West Lake Lamb Soup. Swirling in a dark, delectable stock with finely balanced flavours of garlic and spring onion, the soup left a deep impact on our culinary psyche. Something that had hidden flavours and undercurrents of rich spices and sauces, the soup was mysteriously delicious as it tasted different with every sip. Looking at it another way, it also could have been slightly meatier as lamb chunks were few and far apart. Next up was the dim sum platter, called Moment of the Battle. We realized the truth behind the name when we saw the assortment; 4 chicken dim sums, 2 prawn dim sums and 2 fish dim sums all vying for your attention. The dim sums were very well cooked. From the thickness of the coating to the meatiness of the filling, from the neutrality of the spices to their size, these little hearts, definitely stole ours.
For the main course we again decided to sample one of each. We ordered Chilly Garlic Noodles in Prawns, that basically took the table by storm. The slurp of the spaghetti was made that much smoother by the delectable sauce. The punch of the dish lay in how viciously the flavours popped in our mouth. Chilly and garlic took centre stage and were only thrown off balance by the wonderful sea-side, breezy aroma that the prawns brought with it. To provide companionship to our steamed rice (no one ever accused us of being picky eaters), we ordered for Kowleen Pot Chicken. Meaty chunks of well cooked chicken, dripping in red gravy, this dish was given a slight hint of being Thai by red pepper and bamboo shoots. The presence of the pungent Chinese mushrooms in it turned it into a winner.
While normally we would have taken a bow and walked out, that day apparently, we were on a roll. When the server asked us if we wanted to try some desserts, we ordered Coconut Caramel Custard and Chocolate Spring Rolls without batting an eyelid. Initially, the Coconut Caramel Custard did not look set at all. But on closer inspection it was revealed that it was just the coconut making it look so. Luscious and creamy, it was quickly taken care of. The presentation though, could have used a helping hand. The chocolate spring rolls were a slightly exotic dessert species and we wanted to do right by them. With slight hints of coconut and cardamom, the crispy rolls with splattering of chocolate on the inside and dipped in chocolate sauce outside was a force to be reckoned with. Though yummy, these are definitely not meant for those who like their deserts plain and simple with no hint of any spice.
By now we had had all that we could and more. Feeling like a boss then, we retraced our steps and prepared ourselves for a long siesta!
Address: Infinity Shopping Complex, Ground Floor, Ashar Residency, Majiwade, Pokhran Road No. 2, Thane (W) 400062
Contact Number: 022 61270999
Timings: 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm and 7:00 pm to 11:30 pm