Chin Chin welcomes you with its familiar comfort food as well as with exciting new dishes as part of its Schezwan Festival

Going to The Residency is like returning to the mother ship. When you don’t want any nasty surprises gastronomically, and are not feeling particularly adventurous, it is the place to go to. So, a sore throat, a sniffy nose and a complete lack of desire to cook anything for dinner takes us to Chin Chin. The idea is to virtuously eat only soup, but …

Chef Ashok, noticing the red nose and the raspy voice, suggests the Lemon Pepper Soup. A clear soup, with baby corn, carrots and some greens arrives and the hubby and I dive in. The pepper has obviously worked hard, and as the liquid goes down the throat it feels like, it is slaying the germs on its way in. Absolutely delicious. Fortified now, and feeling much better, we plan to leave, when Chef Ashok appears and asks, “Why don’t you try some of the starters?” And of course, we do. How can we possibly say no to a marriage of mushrooms and cashew nuts called Kung Pou Mushrooms, or to the honey-dressed chilli lotus stem (I feel exotic every time I eat the lotus stem!).

The festival menu, mercifully, has limited options; so, one is not swamped with difficult decisions. But there is still a wide range with something for everyone. There are honey chilli vegetables, vegetables coated in thin batter, fried and then covered with honey and chilli, a Chinese version of potato wedges and, of course, the Malaysian cottage cheese with the satisfying crunch of peanuts on top, that has somehow sneaked into the Schezwan menu. But, we are not complaining.

The vegetable noodles has turmeric, explains the chef. So, it is also good for my throat. Remember milagu manjal? Do they really cook like this in China? Probably not, says chef Ashok. It is modified to suit Indian taste. And, as if by cue, the three pearl vegetable is served. The gravy looks suspiciously like it has a tomato base, and it does. And a dash of coconut too. The combination of the noodles with this gravy is blissful and both disappear in no time.

There is plenty more, but we muster up enough self-respect to decline desserts, and leave.