Life beyond chicken....Mr Chow's, Bandra

This is not the first time that I've written about Mr Chow's, the delivery only Chinese food chain in Mumbai. Yet, it has been a while since I have written about them. The last time  that I had was in 2010.

Most of my posts on them were on their chicken dishes as that's what we used to call for. This time it's different.

A couple of Sundays back I met Rahul Velkar who owns the Mr Chow's chain which had originally started in Bandra and has now spread quite a bit across Mumbai. For some reason, surprise surprise, the discussion moved to pork and how very few new Chinese restaurants heseem to stock it. Velkar reminded us that he offers pork and vouched for the quality of pork that he keeps and said that he has a loyal set of customers for his pork dishes.

I remembered this conversation a few nights later when a friend had come over for dinner. She is Goan, loves pork and is on a no carbs, protein rich diet currently. I was thinking of what to order for dinner and Chinese starters seemed like a good option. I was wondering where to call from. It's been a while since we have called in for Chinese you see. Ever since we discovered Ling's Pavilion we don't go anywhere else for Chinese. We'd rather trek up to Colaba to Ling's for our fill. 

If I want Chinese at home then I toss up some noodles like I did the other night with some prawns. 

The prawn noodles that I cooked using Cambay's frozen prawns
Quick recipe:  Heat vegetable oil, add chopped ginger & onion, stir. Add prawns and toss for 2 min. Add boiled noodles. Add soy sauce, black bean sauce, chilli sauce, salt, lime juice. Stir for 2 min. Add chopped cabbage, capsicum, carrot. Stir for a min. Top with chopped fried egg and serve


Which is when I remembered my conversation with Velkar, and our meal at Uncle J's house on Diwali which was from Mr Chow's, and thought of ordering from there. I didn't have the menu as I hadn't ordered from Mr Chow's in a couple of years. I got the number from Just Dial and called up.

Our guest is not a big fan of chicken and said she was bored of it. I told the gentleman taking the order that I wanted something dry and not sweet (since my friend is off sugar) in pork and prawns. From the options he gave I chose shredded pork with chilli and onions and salt and pepper prawns. For myself I ordered an egg fried rice to go with it and was happy to find out that they had a single portion too which was smaller than the regular. Which was good since only I was going to eat the rice.

The gentleman taking the order said that the food would take 45 min but it actually reached us in 30 minutes or so.

We let the food remain for about an hour and then reheated each dish in the microwave for a minute each in the containers the food had come in.

Fried rice with the pork and prawns from Mr Chow's


The prawns were fairly big and were cooked beautifully. They were juicy and had a nice bounce to them. I loved how the prawns had retained their spring and were not tough despite the fact that we had reheated the prawns and were having them more than an hour after they were cooked. The flavouring was delicate so that one could enjoy the taste of the prawns in their full glory. There was a strong chilli hit in the background for those who like their food spicy.

We then tried the pork which looked very good to start with. The pork tasted fantastic too and lived up to its looks. Again, like the prawns, the pork was very juicy and succulent. Some pieces were belly cuts, redolent with some lovely chubby fat. The only 'disconnect' was that the dish was slightly sweet. It was probably cooked in honey which is a common Oriental tenderiser for pork. The honey and chilli combined to give a warm and slightly sweet coating to the dish. Now, the only problem was that our guest was trying to avoid sugar so if the descriptor of the dish (shredded pork with chilli and onions) had suggested honey anywhere then we would have ordered something else. We both agreed that it was a lovely dish though.

The Goan approved of it and pork for them is religion after all. Talking of Goan, I asked her why there were hardly Goan Christian restaurants in Mumbai. Her take was that there were hardly any Goans left in Mumbai and that most of them had moved out hence the lack of restaurants.

My fried rice, typical of Mumbai restaurant fried rices, unlike those in Ling's, or in Kolkata or in Chinese restaurants outside India, was served white sans any sauce for flavouring. Yet, I must admit, that it was seasoned well making it a fairly tasty dish.

We couldn't finish it all and I had some of the rice and pork the next afternoon and it stayed pretty well. The quality of the produce use lived up to the pride Velkar takes in it.

This was the first time we had moved away from chicken in Mr Chow's and I must say that the result was pretty pleasing.

The three dishes came to about Rs 850

Their number to call in Bandra is 26489951/52/53
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