At last, a restaurant serving the real cuisine of China
Atmospherics: The Panasian of old has given way to Yi Jing, with a brand new, bold black, white and red décor and a chef from Sichuan. Recently married Chef Zheng Wei is extremely proud of his home cuisine, speaks fluent English and has worked in India before this present stint. Which means that Chef Zheng knows desi preferences, caters to them, yet gives us a taste of one of the eight greatest regional Chinese cuisines. It is highly recommended to ask the chef to plan your menu, because it has been graded into Sichuan classics, chef’s specialties and other dishes that the Delhi palate enjoys. Whether you want to sample a bit from each group (they’re not marked as such on the menu) or stick to just one is your choice.
Table talk: In the traditional Chinese kitchen, there is one specialist who handles the dimsum and another who makes the main courses. Chef Zheng is an expert in main course; the dimsum section is handled by the team, with the result that it is an uneven match. Sole fish in sweet and sour sauce (Rs 675) would have been an ancient favourite of the 1970s, except that this version is so much improved as to be barely recognizable. The sauce is made of real fruit juice with a tang, and the sole has been kept whole and cut into ‘petals’, leaving the base intact. Knife skills are one of the tricks up a Chinese chef’s sleeve and this is one show-piece dish. The other is a quintessentially Sichuan preparation that goes by the rather flowery name of ‘fish swimming in water’ in Mandarin. On the menu, it is called fish fillets in hot chilli oil (Rs 1250) and is served by pouring sizzling hot oil on fillets of fish and dry red chillies with Sichuan peppercorns. Don’t miss this one. The hotpot section is a meal in one and consists of a number of options of the stock and the vegetables, meats and noodles. It sounds like a perfect meal in a bowl.
Plus and minus: The lights are right above each table and are eye-wateringly bright.
Must try: Mapu Tofu; mixed seafood in Sichuan sauce; hot braised chicken with homemade chilli powder
Food: 4.00; Service: 4.00; Décor: 4.00
Sheraton New Delhi, District Centre, Saket
Open from 6.30 pm to 11.30 pm on weekdays; lunch and dinner on weekends
Alcohol, credit cards
Meal for two 2,500