Bangalore restaurant reviews Chinese

China Pearl

Monday, November 07, 2011Me! In words

To say its been busy would be an understatement. For a while there I almost forgot what my blog looked like. So much so I would go on a guilt trip everyday on how its been neglected. And so today, when all seems quiet in the house (respite before the next storm?!), I am getting down to as many posts as I can and hoping to get things back on track here.

China Pearl was among the first to hit the scene in terms of good Chinese in Koramangala. The fact that it belonged to a good family friend saw us dining there on several occasions, celebratory or otherwise. Back then it was on a single floor, with characteristic Chinese decor and a lot of Feng Shui principles being put into practice. Not once were we able to fault the food and this is with no partiality to our good friend. In fact, back then, food was even customized to your palate - do you want it the real Chinese way or the inimitable Indian Chinese way? Or if you have eaten almost everything on the menu (like we had done) and wanted something new, the chefs were always willing to oblige. 

Time went by and many more restaurants came our way. We were in the vicinity recently and thought of giving it a shot. "Let's see how good it still is". China Pearl had now expanded and had another level to it. The decor though still based in Feng Shui had changed significantly and is now quite upscale to what it was. We managed to get a table without reservation on a weekend which was plain good luck. We were seated on the first floor and within a few minutes, the famous winding line that normally is outside China Pearl began. Some things don't change. 

A look at the menu and we found that a lot had changed here though, some old favs of ours were there and many new ones had found their way in. The Dragon Punch was a drink we always had when we visited earlier and Sudhakar had one of it this time too. This was an interesting mix of mint, sprite, lemon juice and spice. Quite literally packing a punch. 

The Dragon Punch

Another old favorite was the Spicy crab meat soup. And so a round of that too was ordered. Nothing had changed here as well. There was a lot of fresh crab meat in the soup, it was piping hot, peppery and good for the cold weather (thanks to an over enthusiastic AC vent over us) and bad throat if you had one. It does look like an egg drop soup, but all that you see is crab meat and not egg.

Spicy Crab meat soup

We then went in for squid, batter fried and served with a hot garlic sauce. Not something we had ordered before, but nice as a starter. Went down really well with junior. The quantity was good and the squid had been fried to a nice crispness and not a rubbery chewy one. 

Batter fried squid with hot garlic sauce

The starters came soon enough and seeing the pace we ordered our mains well in advance. We stuck to an old favorite - Jade rice, made all nice, green and healthy with spinach and chicken mixed in and a Ta Wok Kay - the fact that it would be served in a small wok still cooking at the table was an added plus point.

And then the wait began. At first we whiled away time looking at the decor and reminiscing. Slowly we began to notice that tables seated much after us were paying their bills. Still - benefit of the doubt - we hung on for a while, till it began quite evident almost half hour (or a little more) later that we had been forgotten. A stern dressing down by Sudhakar and our food appeared in a genie's snap of the fingers.

Late service apart, the Jade Rice was just the same, flavor wise and quantity wise. The Ta Wok Kay was quite interesting, with the little flame below and the wok. Junior was quite thrilled. The chicken was diced, tossed in a garlic based gravy, spring onions, red and yellow peppers and topped off with large coriander leaves. All the right ingredients for a good, medium spicy accompaniment.

Jade Chicken Rice

Ta Wok Kay

We decided to skip dessert because we didn't want to wait any more. Other than the long waiting period for mains there was nothing to complain about. China Pearl still does retain its charm food wise and for the monetary value it provides. This meal came to Rs 950, which is an increase from when we used to visit the place earlier. But then what hasn't become expensive. Some other classics that you must try are the Lat Kay Fa - chicken with chilli, lemon and spices, the spring rolls, the Cantonese Hot Pot (if you are in a big group), The Natsu Kay, The Drunken Chicken and for the vegetarians, the Shaolin Sticks, Chilli Potatoes and Buddha's Delight. The loos are clean.

Address: #53/1, 5th Cross, 6th block Koramangala, Bangalore 
Phone: 41105060 (Reservations are always a good idea here)
Cuisine: Chinese
Wallet factor: Rs 1100 for two 
Cards Accepted: Yes
Parking: Its 5th block Koramangala! You need your fairy godmother to be in a good mood

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