By Mudita Girotra
New Delhi: When you get to know that six chefs have specially travelled from China to curate delicacies that represent the essence of Chinese fine dining, it won't be out of place to expect scrumptious dishes to be served on your platter.
At an ongoing Chinese food festival here, I didn't have very high expectations but I sat tight for those traditional dumplings, stir-fried vegetables and simple noodles to come my way.
A shocking surprise awaited me -- on offer was the Chinese Diaoyutai cuisine with its absolutely bland flavours and unpalatable recipes.
The style, culture and etiquette associated with the Chinese food is unmatchable. Contrary to its complex presentation, the Chinese Diaoyutai food happens to be extremely simple and colourless. This kind of food will change the perception of Chinese food in India.
The Diaoyutai food festival is on here at Capital Kitchen, Taj Palace till April 22.
Starting with the assorted cold platter, the four course menu winds up with simple desserts -- fresh pea paste cake and fresh fruit.
Hot weather calls for cold food. The assorted cold platter was a combination of fish, chicken and shrimps. With small bites of the three meats, it was a good way to start the meal. There is nothing on the menu was for those who like hot and zesty foods.
This was followed by Fricholoma soup with chunks of chicken in it. I had to ask for some chilly sauce to spice it up a little. The improvisation went well with the cottony pieces of chicken.
The one thing that never disappoints is undoubtedly wine. I clubbed the not so appealing Diaoyutai cuisine food with white wine and it all went just fine.
For the main course, there were braised delicacies, pan fried cod fish chinese, baked mutton chops, steamed jiaozi, braised asparagus with mushroom, glutinous rice and whisker noodles.
Baked mutton chops were visually quite appetising. It was going to be that one part of the whole course that should not have failed. That tasty look made me feel that it was nicely cooked in mouth-watering masalas but unfortunately, it came out as hard and dry.
It was hard to chew and not so great in taste.
I chose to skip the braised delicacies that were visually quite uninviting unlike the Chinese delicacies from Sichuan that the Indian tongue is used to feasting upon.
Steamed jiaozi was basically a dim sum that went great with the chilli sauce I had been using to give life to the food.
Pan fried cod fish chinese was just edible and so was the whisker noodles that we ate with it.
For dessert, there was fresh pea paste cake and fresh fruit. As they say, all is well that ends well and the end was decent. The cake was not so sweet but nice to eat.
For the sake of a new experience, one can and one should definitely go to the festival and explore this very different Chinese cuisine.