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Updated: September 25, 2013 17:24 IST

Over the moon

Liza George
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Chef Wang Wen, of Chinapolis, Vivanta by Taj, Vazhuthacaud. Photo: Liza George
The Hindu Chef Wang Wen, of Chinapolis, Vivanta by Taj, Vazhuthacaud. Photo: Liza George

The Autumn Moon Festival at Vivanta by Taj brings an exotic spread

The Chinese Moon Festival is a family affair, says Chef Wang Wen of Chinapolis, Vivanta by Taj, Vazhuthacaud. “It is a time when family and friends get together and enjoy a feast.”

Celebrating the season, Chef Wang serves diners a typical Chinese feast along with moon cakes, a must- have during the festival, at an ongoing Autumn Moon Festival at the restaurant.

“I have created a special menu that reflects the traditional cuisine of the season. The moon cakes are complimentary for diners who visit the restaurant during the festival,” says Chef Wang. The chef has decided to spoil me and gives me a taste of some of his favourites on the menu, which is nearly half of the dishes on it!

Not one of my favourite vegetables, I am rather apprehensive when I try a dumpling that has broccoli and cheese. It is surprisingly tasty, the cheese helping to mask the bitterness of the broccoli. While Shui jing prawns dumpling (Rs. 495) has a thin chewy textured skin with a prawn filling that has the fresh flavours of seafood, Charsiu pork bau (Rs. 445) are buns stuffed with Chinese barbecue-flavoured minced pork. Steamed, the Charsiu buns are soft and the pork mixture, juicy.

Among the starters, Double chilli chicken (Rs. 495) and Basil and glass noodle spring rolls (Rs. 445) are my favourites. Double chilli chicken is medium spicy crisp strips of chicken with onions and red chillies. Keep a glass of water ready in case you bite into one of those chillies.

The strong hint of basil in the basil and glass noodle spring rolls lent the dish an interesting flavour. Hot garlic fish rolls are a must try. The outer coating of the Hot garlic fish is thin and crisp and the filling consists of moist, steamed fish and slices of green chillies. The hot and sweet garlic sauce that is smeared on each slice does a tango on my taste buds.

Lung fung kang (Rs. 275), a soup, has minced shrimps, chicken, ginger, coriander and green chilli. The XO noodles with shrimps and anchovies is spicy while the meat in the Moo shio lamb and shiitake (Rs. 575) melts in my mouth.

Although I can’t eat another bite, the chef persuades me to try their special dessert, Coconut and pineapple ice cream. Yum describes the dessert!

The meal ends with a Mooncake with jaggery and dried fruits. An innovative dish made by the chef, he says: “During Onam, I watched the other chefs prepare ada pradhaman and felt that some of the ingredients would make an interesting moon cake.” The other moon cake variety has a filling of kidney bean paste. “That is a more traditional moon cake,” he says.

The Autumn Moon Festival is open for lunch and dinner until October 4. Contact: 6612345

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