Bangalore restaurant reviews Chinese


Thursday, May 06, 2010Me! In words

When food, in all its avatars is something you have been exposed to since childhood, it is but natural that you develop a keen sense of what works and what does not. Couple that with training in Switzerland and years of experience with likes of Zen at the Leela Galleria and you have a product like Hunan, the brainchild of Jagdish Menda.

Hunan is on New BEL Road and made for a wonderful drive on a Sunday afternoon. Amazingly traffic was sparse that particular day. Hunan is above Reliance Fresh. Don't factor in the stairwell when forming an impression. Once you step through the glass doors of Hunan, you will be transported to a chic and classy oriental setting. The slide show at the end of this review gives you a 360 degree view of this red, white and black restaurant.

I am opting for a pictorial review of this restaurant since the fare Jagdish had spread out for us was good enough for a king (and queen) and then some more. Hunan specializes in Chinese food. The menu is exhaustive and has ample choice for meat lovers as well as vegetarians. The Thai menu is selective despite which you will feel like you are spoiled for choice. Of course first came the customary pickled veggies and kimchi.

Kimchi and pickled veggies

We decided to cool ourselves down after the long drive with a Fruit Punch (to the left) and an Alice in China. Both mocktails were freshly shaken together, were pleasant and remained that way till the end of the meal.

We started with a soup - Crab meat soup split by two. The crab meat was fresh and generous in quantity. It was obvious that the meat had been cooked in its stock and was not the customary boiled flakes of frozen crab meat thrown into an egg drop soup. The soup itself was leaning more towards the bland side which is characteristic of a good crab meat soup. No stray pieces of red chillies in this one to appeal to the Indian in you. Next came a huge trail of starters.

We love pork and what better way than to start with a roast chilli pork. Finely cut slices of pork with just the right amount of fat, onions, green peppers tossed in a mix of soya sauces and others that I cannot put my finger on... The meat was cooked well and was light on the stomach.

What is a Chinese meal without some dumplings. Red Dragon chicken dumplings came on next. Soft casings (which very few restaurants can claim to achieve), perfectly pinched together to hold a juicy chicken filling. A sprinkling of spring onions tossed with the chicken gave it an added crunch. Delish!!

Red Dragon chicken was another offering. Don't go by the name. These diced pieces of chicken were not tossed in a fire-blowing style sauce, but rather in something much more subtle. A mix of hot and sweet if you may. A few cashews and spring onions for garnish and you may as well be tempted into ordering seconds.

Pork Sausage dumplings. Now, here is one dish you don't normally hear about in popular chinese restaurants around. The shape reminds you vaguely of the Tibetan Shabbaklay, though that is fried and this is steamed. The pork filling was ample. With both the dumplings, a peanut sauce and a soya sauce garnished with coriander leaves sauce was served. Perfect accompaniments to complete the taste.

Pork Spare ribs were brought on after a few minutes to loosen the belts a notch. A pleasing combination of meat and fat in balanced proportions. The sweetish sauce it was marinated in was sticking wonderfully to the meat. The meat yielded to the knife easily showing that it was in there for just the right amount of time. A must-have for those who love their pork.

Peking Prawns, with the tail on. Fresh, juicy, well spiced. Don't be surprised if you are tempted to lick the sauce of the tails to make sure you get every morsel of this tasty offering.

Also among this really long line of starters was the Mushroom cap stuffed with tofu. Again, not a dish you would normally find. The name describes the dish. The caps held within their confines shredded tofu which was well spiced and peppered with spring onions. What really caught my attention was that the caps were skewered together and each cap literally melted in the mouth once you put it in.

My favorite of the lot however was the Lemon Chilli Basil Mushroom. Four of my favorite ingredients all tossed together to give you a dish which was a riot of flavors. Pop a mushroom into your mouth and you feel the fresh of lime wash all over, followed by the twang of the chilli and then the soothing basil. Of course each mouthful had these sensations following a different order.

And with that, we actually moved on to the main course. Since we let Jagdish do all the choosing, he settled for a chicken hakka noodles for junior. For us it was fragrant white rice with a Thai red chicken curry. Also, Hunan Thai signature dish, the Kow Pat Prik Grapraow was brought on.

Chicken Hakka noodles made for the perfect meal for Anoushka. It was soft with tender pieces of chicken and vegetables thrown in.

The Thai red chicken curry was fragrant and was the real deal. No added spices, no doctoring, just some wonderful coconut milk, galangal and chicken.

The rice too could stand out on its own as it had shavings of lemon grass which added to the fragrance at the table

Kow Pat Prik Grapraow is a mix of spices, finely chopped meat, a melange of veggies and oodles of taste. If you are choosing from the Thai menu, this is what you should have.

By now our stomachs had at least three-meals worth of food in them. Despite which we decided to round off the experience with a blueberry cheesecake. Jagdish did mention that their specialty was the molten chocolate cake, but it was not something we could handle then.

A couple of observations about Hunan. The Chinese here is the real deal. Its for those of you who prefer not to find the Indian staple of dried red chillies in their food. Those who do like Indianized Chinese too will like this place because of its variety and the fact that they have a great selection of the spicier Chinese dishes. The enclosed cubicles make for intimate meals. The wait staff here know their menu and that is a great thing. Service is prompt. The ambiance is bright during the day and much more classy at night. Restrooms are fair enough. Jagdish promised us service with a genuine smile and that is definitely what you will get when you visit Hunan.

Its Friday today, factor in Hunan in your weekend plans and believe me you will not be disappointed.

Address: Samruddhi, #10, 1st Main, Above Reliance Fresh, New BEL Road, Bangalore - 560095
Phone: 23413337
Cuisine: Chinese/Thai
Cards Accepted: Yes

Parking: Valet

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