What makes Asia the biggest continent on earth? You would say the geographical area; we say the diversity that runs across its countries. For most of the world Asians are Chinese people lined up outside arcades to shake a leg on the dance dance revolution machines (oh that’s picked up from a Russell Peter’s gig) but there is a lot beyond that. Asia is a celebration of food. Food that brings smile to over 4.4 billion people.
Mainland China’s Asia kitchen brings cuisines from three countries on one platter. We were invited for a dinner meal to try some of their delectable serves. Here’s our review from the evening.
FROM THE DESIGNERS PERSPECTIVE!
Located inside the Oberoi mall on the top floor they have quite a large enclosed seating area. The extra heighted ceilings of the mall make the place look even larger. Being the Asia kitchen the décor is done as blend of three cultures namely Thai, Chinese and Japanese. A larger green coloured open kitchen will grab your attention as you enter the place. We took a stroll to the kitchen to find it extremely organised and clean. Wooden tables alongside chair in the centre and sofa seating on the periphery are quite comfortable. The walls and columns are done in wooden finishes and only if we could read any of the three languages, would have told you’ll what they read in the laser cut inscriptions. Larger than life prints of Asian people happily eating, cover the large walls. Suspended pendent lights on the periphery tables and general lighting make sure the place is aptly and evenly lit. The ambiance is quite as compared the mall and is perfect for any kind of a meal be it for a family, couple, team or business associates.
DRINK IT BABY!
Thai Exotica was a recommended pick and the ingredients mentioned on the menu tempted us to try this one. This drink had a blend of many flavours and the beauty of the drink is that every flavour stood out evidentially in every sip. We could savour the flavours of guava, cranberries and pomegranate. This drink was served in a tall glass with a garnish of pomegranate and green mint leaves.
Bailey Tropical Drink was a beautiful blend of butterscotch and pinacolada. This was a magical drink with perfect blends. It is tangy and creamy with the crunch of butterscotch. This one is a recommend.
FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD!
The restaurant welcomes you with soya chilli flavoured peanuts placed on your table. The full-sized peanuts are boiled with a tinge of cinnamon flavour. It is a good way to start your experience.
They have four varieties of vegetarian Dimsums on their menu and we were eager to try them all for the Dimsum fans we are, so we ordered their Dimsum Platter. They serve three sauces to go with the dimsum namely black pepper sauce, mustard sauce and chilly soya sauce. All of them have a very authentic taste and go very well with the flavourful dimsums.
Spinach And Sesame Gyonza Dimsums are green cloured dimsums with a filling of spinach sesame and groundnut. It is very lightly flavoured with a prominent taste of spinach and the crushed groundnuts add crunch.
Vegetable Sui Mai Dimsums are thin, white covered, open dimsums with a filling of majorly cabbage and carrots. It goes well with the pepper sauce.
Vegetable Chilli Basil Dumplings are ball shaped green coloured dimsums with a filling of shredded and spiced veggies. This one has a prominent basil flavour and was more flavourful than the others.
All the dimsums had a very thin and almost clear covering which made them more desirable. The flavours were light and sauces are a must to tickle your taste buds.
Vegetable Dumplings in Roasted Chilli and Soya Sauce is another kind of dumpling, which is not steamed but is deep-fried. This one has similarities to the Manchurian balls served at most Indian Chinese joints. These flattened balls were delicious with light but prominent flavours. We loved them here for their perfect flavours and appearance.
Tom Kha Veg Soup is white textured coconut milk based soup with colourful chopped veggies. The veggies in colours of orange(carrots), green(beans, broccoli), light yellow(lemon grass, galangal) look beautiful floating in a white base. The taste is creamy and has an overpowering flavour of lemon grass. A decreased amount of lemon grass will make the soup extremely desirable.
Vegetable Spring Rolls are our second favourite starters at a Chinese restaurant. At Asia Kitchen they serve these rolls with a thin covering and no excess oil. They are more like thin cigar rolls so one can pop one piece at a time. The filling is of cabbage and rice noodles which is very lightly flavoured but gets well balanced when had with sweet chilli sauce served alongside. The sweet chilli sauce is also very flavourful and very closely resembles the Indian sweet lime pickle.
Crispy Lotus Stem With Black Pepper And Curry Leaves is a deep fried dish served on a black platter with some greens. The lotus stems are crisply fried but retain a lot of undesirable oil. Other than the oily fact the dish is very tasteful with black pepper, curry leaves and honey flavours. Honey added glaze to these discs, which might be confused to be excess oil. The stems are moderately sliced making them crispy on the outer and tender underneath.
Teriyaki Chilli Potatoes, a dish made with Japanese cooking techinique where the potatoes are grilled and given lustre with sugar or honey. The teriyaki sauce, which has sugar, honey and soya is coated over potato sticks and then it is grilled. It has sweet, tangy and spicy flavours, which mingle very well with crispy potatoes. This dish is a recommendation here at Asia Kitchen.
Crispy Vegetables With Oriental Spices is batter fried eggplant, babycorn, cauliflower, mushrooms and more veggies tossed in garlic, spring onion, red paprika and black pepper. This dish is topped with dry masalas, which is fiery. A little more seasoning would help make it more palatable.
Corn And Water Chestnut In Black Bean Sauce is a main course dish and can be had with your choice of noodles or rice. Sweet corn was used along with waterchestnuts in black pepper and black bean sauce. The dish was crisp with the crunch of water chestnuts. The gravy was less consistent and could be had as a standalone dish as well. The flavours were pleasant.
Schezwan Rice is one of the spiciest options in Chinese cuisine. The small grained rice here was mildly spiced and had a very amusing taste. It was tossed with finely chopped veggies like sweet corn, carrot, bell pepers and other veggies. We loved this preparation. It was one of the finest dishes served here.
Chilly Garlic Noodles had a good texture and looked amusing but the taste lacked the main ingredient, garlic. The noodles were short in length and well tossed. The flavour was not very pleasant so we passed this one.
Caramel Custard is a must try delicacy at Asia Kitchen. It has a toffee flavour twist to the regular caramel custard. We loved this one.
Rambutan With Ice Cream was a new introduction to the menu. It introduces a tropical fruit similar to litchi found mostly in Southeast Asia. Fresh Rumbutan was placed beside a cup of ice cream and nitrogen flames were used to make the dish an eye candy. We quite like the fruit and the concept. Good try!
Chocolate Rolls With Vanilla Ice Cream were thin rolls filled with chocolate brownie and dusted with coconut served alongside vanilla ice cream. The rolls are crisp on the outer and add the necessary crunch. Pretty nice!
HOW MAY I HELP YOU?
They are not bad and neither are they best at what they provide as service. Started pleasantly at an empty restaurant with the all the due attention a guest would seek. As the restaurant moved to a full house the captains and servers were running around to cope up with the guests and fell a little short at the efforts. They did not falter with the orders, only ran a little slow. The service did not takeaway much from the overall dining experience.
HAWK EYE VIEW!
A pleasant dining experience with some good Asian food and an engaging ambiance sums up Asia Kitchen by the well-established Mainland China chain of restaurants.
Bailey Tropical Drink , Vegetable Dumplings in Roasted Chilli and Soya Sauce, Vegetable Spring Rolls, Scezwan Rice, Rambutan With Ice Cream