After all these years, meticulously run
Atmospherics: Something of an architectural marvel in the hotel, this magnificent restaurant is built around a central axis, so that no matter where you are seated, you can just view the neighbouring tables. The kitchens are arranged all around the restaurant, being designed according to the dishes that are prepared in them: one kitchen for Peking Duck, another for dumplings and noodle dishes, a third for those dishes that have to be steamed, a fourth for those that have to be wok-tossed and a fifth for dessert. Nothing of this scale has been attempted either before or since. Even the duck oven was built in situ by a gent from China who had been flown down expressly for the purpose of setting up the oven from scratch. In China, every single restaurant or banquet meal starts with cold starters, moves on to hot starters (not necessarily fried!) and then main courses and soup. Rice and noodles are, in China, seldom part of a restaurant meal, being thought of as rather homely. Of course, road side stalls specialize in noodles and noodle soups. As for both rice and noodles in the same meal, it happens only in our country!
Table talk: it would be a travesty to stick to the cliches while you are in China Kitchen. There are three Chinese expatriate chefs in the kitchen and the difference is clearly visible. Hence, I usually order the gems that are available nowhere else. Red chilli with coriander shrimp mousse, ginger, soy (Rs 838) is a masterpiece of novelty, colour, flavours and pleasant spiciness tempered with a surprising element. Xinjiang spicy garlic lamb pancake with coriander (Rs 1125) is a preparation from Western China that goes down well with us, reminiscent as it is, of a stuffed roti, albeit with refined flour. Chairman Mao’s most prominent bequest to Chinese cuisine was to make spicy braised pork (Rs 1988) iconic and it rules restaurant menus to this day. The China Kitchen version is not only very creditable indeed, it is a brilliant idea, containing as it does, a pleasant amount of spice. For lovers of seafood, there are crab preparations: chilli jumbo crab and pepper jumbo crab (Rs 5888 each) but be prepared to eat with your fingers!
Plus and minus: They have food suitable for keto and zero-carb diets, vegans etc. All you have to do is to tell them.
Food: 4, Service: 4, Décor: 4
Ground floor, Hyatt Regency Delhi
Bhikaji Cama Place, Ring Road
Tel: +91 98184 77234
Open from 12.30 pm to 3 pm and 7 pm to 11.30 pm
Alcohol Served; credit cards accepted
Meal for two: Rs 5,000