Chinese Whisper

I have heard about Mainland China ever since I’ve been at Mumbai. But it was sort of out of the way for me so I would normally end up going to China Garden at Crossroads or China Gate at Bandra when I wanted good Chinese food and wanted to go to a reasonably special palce. However, I’d wanted to go to Mainland China for a while since it seemed to be highly recommended quite a bit in the papers. Plus I admired the proprietor’s other efforts specially Oh Calcutta and Sweet Bengal.
I finally made it there recently when the wife and I happened to be at Marol one evening. I suggested going there once we finished our work there and drove down to Mainland China. We asked for directions and figured it was down the Leela’s road and just before the big crossing. It falls on your left when you are moving away from Andheri West.
We reached at about 8.30 in the evening just as the place was getting crowded. Luckily it has valet parking as the traffic’s a killer there.
The ambience was nice and pleasant. I thought they had utilised the space quite well. The crowd was a mix of families and corporates, the Saki Naka office crowd I guess. I heard quite a smattering of Bengali.
They had a well stocked bar but I don’t drink when I have to drive back. So I had a Peach ice tea which was quite nice. It wasn’t overtly sweet and pulpy as some ice teas are. Quite refreshing.
We then shared a crab meat sweet corn soup. The wife and I agreed that it was one of the best sweet corn soups which we have had. The crab was tasty and fresh and the soup didn’t have the gelatine overload which sweet corn soups in the city often have.
We then moved onto the main course. Now here’s the thing…being a Bong I love rice while the wife is allergic to rice. So we end up compromising in most Chinese restaurants. We either have noodles which is not my favourite. Or I have rice and the wife has a no carb only side dish meal.
Now the great thing about Mainland China is that they offer both small (around 140 Rs) and large (around 220 Rs) portions of the main course. So we could both have what we liked.
I ordered a shitake mushroom and onion ring rice. It was really good and well flavoured. The rice grains were separate like I like it (and don’t always get), the flavour was delicate and didn’t have the overpowering taste of ajino moto. The mushrooms and onions were an interesting touch.
The wife had prawn hakka noodles which she quite liked…and she is quite picky.
We had a shredded lamb in chilly bean sauce. The sauce was nice, tasty and not corn flourish. The quality of the lamb could have been better. The wife felt it was over cooked and I thought it was a bit smelly.
They have a good dim sum counter and lot of desserts too but we were too full to try either.
All of this came to 825 Rs which I thought was not bad given the overall good quality of the food and nice atmosphere and friendly service.
Talking of service, I did feel that they were discreetly rushing us a bit. I realised the reason when we stepped out at 10 PM as there was a huge crowd waiting. So would make sense to reach there by nine PM.
The one thing missing was a wider range of meats like pork and beef which I feel lend themselves well to Oriental cooking…and Fortune Cookies. They had a supply of nice complimentary jasmine flavoured Chinese tea running though.
Overall worth a visit if you are in the Western suburbs and if you like good Chinese.
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