Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Is China 1 The One? ......

Ch1na Restaurant

When we reached Infinity Mall in Andheri West and took a right from the signal, a decrepit road lead us to the precarious Morya Estate. A garbage dump greated us at the entrance, we took another right to enter the building where China 1, the latest addition to Andheri’s Chinese eateries, is located. 

As I enter the premise of Ch1na, I can’t help but be caught on by the contrast of the locality and this place. The spacious outer area of the restaurant is done up in a chic and elegant manner with lounge like seating areas and palm trees. The interior of the place was swanky as well. The décor of the restaurant seemed to be highly influenced by Michael Jackson’s famous number Black or White since the entire restaurant was adorned by either colour or both. From the murals on the walls to the cutlery to the upholstery all of it. Couldn’t help but imagine how a zebra would feel so much at home here!

The place was quite occupied even on a Wednesday, mostly by mademoiselles celebrating their few hours of freedom from domesticity with each other. Chatting up on everything from the upswing in the prices of onions to the latest Loius Vuitton patchwork bag. I feel quite fashionably as well as domestically enlightened after my luncheon thanks to my neighbours. Don’t get me wrong I don’t eavesdrop, they were a tad bit sonorous emphasizing a lot on the Hermes, Guccis and Jimmy Choos.

Getting down to the food, we opted for the buffet. Priced at Rs 470 (inclusive of taxes) with one drink a beer/ice tea/ freshlime soda, it was quite an attractive offer. We started with the soups – the Clear Chicken Soup with vegetables was a ‘knorr’ kind of thick broth which tasted sweet. Quite a letdown in the first go. However the thick spicy Corn Soup, a spicier cousin of the sweet corn was tasty.

In the appetizers, the spread for vegetarian was as good as the non-vegetarian. China 1 would earn a point for that since many of my vegetarian friends complain of being discriminated against and not having much choice. First there was the Spinach & Corn Fried Wantons. A fusion dish I presume, since it had cheese, nevertheless it was quite a savoury. I gobbled up plenty. Then was the Crispy Vegetables, batterfried vegetables tossed in soy sauce which also was an equal delight. The next were the Chinese Greens were brilliant with crunchy deliciously steamed vegetables tossed in soy sauce. In the non-vegetarian appetizers there was Chicken with Cahewnuts which was delectable. The juicy chicken woken fried with peppers cashews, spices and sesame oil was sapid. On the other hand the Fried Fish in Hot Bean was rubbery and didn’t seem fresh to me. The Crab in a sought of garlic red sauce although looked scrumptious was a letdown. It tasted stale.

The Chicken Dimsum was beautiful. Minced chicken and vegetables enveloped in translucent rice wraps. Succulent. The Prawn Dimsum and Vegetarian Dimsum were passable but no match to the chicken one. On the whole while the poultry and vegetarian dishes were palatable the sea food was unsavory and tasteless.

For the main dishes there Chicken in black bean sauce – mildly flavoured with garlic and peppers it went well with the corn fried rice. One thing I noticed however was that the quality of rice was not that great. The Hakka Noodles were Plain Jane nothing outstanding about it.

When it came to the desserts, there was an enormous spread from blueberry cheese cakes to chocolate soufflés, to chocolates fountains and brownies. However all except the fresh fruits were a humongous disappointment. The chocolate sauce from the Chocolate Fountain was syrupy and not thick. It tasted like cement with sugar (not that I have tasted cement but you get my point), the Choco Sticks to be had with the sauce was limp and stale. The Chocolate Brownies, I think were  for people suffering from diabetes with no trace  of sugar or any other taste. The fresh fruit spread was nice with kiwis, strawberries, melons, papayas and grapes but however couldn’t compensate much for overall dessert disappointment.

Verdict: The Food is a Mixbag, Hospitable Service, Good ambiance

So getting back to my question, Is China 1 the one? The one Chinese restaurant that appeases both the gourmand and the miser in you? The miser maybe but not the gourmand. Although the spread is value for money, my suggestion would be to skip it or go only for the vegetarian and poultry dishes. Don’t bother to tryout the sea food or the desserts. I see a huge compromise in quality on that front.

QuickTip: Take those uninvited relatives who you hate but have to entertain. After all its value for money!

The Co-ordinates:
Ch1na, G-05, Morya Landmark 1, Plot B-25, Off Link Road, Andheri (W), Mumbai
Landmark: Opp. Infinity Mall
Phone: 42723333

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