Blurb: A powerhouse of talent moves to Delhi
Cuisine: Beijing meets Canton
Atmospherics: The very first time I was brought face to face with Chef Zhang Xue Shi’s towering talent was in a hotel in Chennai five years ago. The world of food is not so large after all, and after fantasizing about the lunch he served me all those years ago, I met up with him at K3, JW Marriott. his time, several things had changed. Chef Zhang, whose English name is Oliver, is now part of an all-day diner, where he is in charge of the Chinese section, and although his talent shines through in the buffet and the a la carte, the Chinese section is but a diversion in the larger scheme of things.
My advice to you is that if it is real Beijing or Cantonese food that you are after and if you are part of a group, do sound him out a day or two earlier (his English is excellent) and tell him what you want, rather than restricting yourself to the rather populist menu. It is Chef Oliver’s mission to promote the concept of cold starters to Delhi’s diners, so do not be surprised if the Chinese section of the buffet has one or two of them.
The lone cold starter that was on the buffet on the day of our visit was Poached chicken salad with peanut butter dressing (Rs 900). It has everything going for it, whether one is familiar with the concept of cold starters or not: the chicken is meltingly tender and is combined with a sauce that is both creamy (smooth peanut butter) and spicy (red chillies pounded). It is also spot on authentic.
There is a hot starter that is seldom made by Chinese chefs because it requires a fair degree of expertise: Cantonese Barbecue (platter of duck, chicken and char siew pork) Rs 1650. The pork, sliced with a marbling of fat, and the duck, cut in thick slices, would be found in a specialty shop all over Hong Kong and China, so specialized an art is it.
Must try: XO lobster, prawn noodle soup, kung pao chicken
JW Marriott Aerocity, Asset Area 4-Hospitality District, New Delhi
Open 24 hours
Meal for two: Rs 4,000
Alcohol served; credit cards