Mumbai: My foodie affair with Chinese cuisine goes a long way back. As my initial schooling years were spent in Kolkata (Calcutta of yore), I was introduced to Chinese fare by virtue of occasional visits to eating joints like Peiping and Chung Wah (they no longer exist). Hence, it was not novel to me when, years later, I settled in Mumbai and visited Chinese restaurants like Mainland China. I liked dim sums, spring rolls, Manchurian and of course the inevitable jasmine tea served in tiny cups fascinated me no end, at Anjan’s famed Chinese eatery.
I recently got an invite to a sit-down 3-course dinner with Anjan Chatterjee, the man behind this legendary restaurant, Mainland China. This time around he himself was present to introduce the new menu with new flavors created by talented Chef Dubey. To keep up with the trend of fusion cuisine, eastern flavors have married western essence with élan. And the outcome is a delicious mélange of different flavors complementing each other.
What we vegetarians tasted at the sit-down dinner were curry leaves and black pepper sprinkled crispy lotus stem, crispy mushrooms, truffle-laced zucchini spring rolls, edamame dumplings with truffle oil and the Vietnamese clear soup had a dash of cinnamon flavor besides Thai style dim sums, steamed Chinese greens and tofu in a mild ginger sauce and Japanese wheat noodles with vegetables. For a sweet finale, chocolate dome was scrambled on a cake-mixing table with brownies, popcorn, hot chocolate, and vanilla ice cream pouring out of the dome that jostled with each other to tempt the sweet-toothed guests.
I could see my non-vegetarian friends at the next table enjoy their fully oven-cooked satay, baked fish, dynamite prawns, smoked duck rolls (minus smoked liquor), fish in lemongrass and cilantro sauce, braised chicken in smoked chili sauce and smoked duck and asparagus fried rice. An evening well-spent in the company of owner Anjan Chatterjee and Chef Dubey’s exotic creations is what I would say.
Till date, the décor remains almost the same – as the statues of Three Wise Men stand to welcome you at the entrance, dimly lit lamps hang from the ceiling and the impeccable service, warm hospitality along with innovative dishes by Chef Rajesh Dubey continue to tickle the palate of their esteemed patrons. Mainland China’s new menu with new flavors is worth checking out!