Four times the size of the tiny original
Atmospherics: Whereas the original was on the ground floor, it was altogether too tiny for its popularity. And its size did not warrant a bar licence. So, the proprietors (the same as for Townhall and Public Affair) moved it to a bigger venue, this time on the first and second floors of a middle lane location. It still retains something of its original insouciance because of the décor and the eye-catching minis of the female staff. The décor and the music is specifically targeted for the young at heart, but most of the food is as serious as The Oberoi’s erstwhile Chinese restaurant, Taipan, where Chef Choy used to work as a dimsum chef. The rest of the menu flits around South East Asia. However, the rock grilled seafood and the dimsum sections are for epicures.
Table talk: the dimsum are four to a portion. Prices are fantastically down-to-earth while the quality is as high as can be expected from a chef of Choy’s pedigree. Prawn hargao (Rs 295) features firm chunks of sweet prawns encased in a skin that resists disintegrating; lamb bao (Rs 395) is different from the regular cha siu bao (Rs 275) because of the way it is folded and being pan-fried after steamed. For a rather unusual dimsum, this one is a must-try. Even better is the prawn gyoza (Rs 345), bursting with prawns with a faint hint of lemongrass. There are salads: traditional as well as nouvelle, with an oriental twist, for example the beetroot, carrot and assorted vegetables in chilli sriracha (Rs 275). The best section is the hot rock grill section, where you can choose a generous chunk of seafood, and have it grilled to the doneness of your preference with a sauce of your choice. I chose salmon (Rs 795 for 180 grams) which turned out to be sushi grade. It is a steal at the price, so do not miss it.
Plus and minus: The cheung fan was beyond terrible: too soft, it disintegrated at a touch and the finely diced raw vegetables were an abomination. The edamame, mushroom, truffle oil, toasted garlic and leek dimsum (Rs 325) simply had too many elements. And the chairs and music are not comfortable for a mature audience.
Food: 3.50, Service: 3.00, Décor: 3.00
Must try: sautéed mixed mushrooms with glass noodles; pork adobo; ramen noodles
15 Middle Lane, Khan Market
Open from 12.30 pm to
Meal for two: Rs 1,200
Alcohol served; credit cards