‘The spring honey chicken is the signature dish and deserves a standing ovation'

After traipsing down the hot and dusty Horamavu Main Road at noon, the air-conditioned Shanghai Kitchen was a welcome respite. I entered this tiny eatery with barely any expectations.

I notice that there is not much in the way of décor here. Just a couple of Chinese lamps and a small decorative fan hanging on the wall. The al fresco section, which is slightly bigger than the a la carte section, is lined with pots of big, leafy plants, which breathe some life and much needed air into the place.

Starters

A perusal of the menu reveals the same old Chinese dishes, with a few intriguing unknown ones, along with a north Indian menu. I decided to order the lemon coriander soup with crispy chilli baby corn and hot potato chilli, for starters.

In the short time that it takes for the food to arrive, I drown in the noise of the traffic outside, the conversation at the neighbouring table, and the sight of children streaming in to buy ice-cream. But once the food arrives, nothing else matters.

The steaming hot lemon coriander soup, served with a wedge of lemon, looked heavy, but was in fact very light. One could taste the freshness of the coriander and pick out the flavour of the various spices. The crispy chilli baby corn was cooked and seasoned to perfection. And the hot potato chilli was exactly what it claimed to be! A little on the wrong side of spicy, it had me reaching for my glass of water ever so often.

The spring honey chicken is the signature dish of the Shanghai Kitchen, and it deserves that spot.

Its taste was a perfect balance between sweet and spicy, and made me want to give the cook a standing ovation! The ‘threads chicken', which is chicken, wrapped in noodles and batter-fried, also deserves a place of honour.

For the main course, I opted for the chilli garlic veg fried rice, with a side-dish of prawns chilli in semi-gravy. The fried rice had a crab-like flavour to it, but was good, nonetheless. The prawns, though fresh and cooked well, could have used a little less chilli. “I wanted to start small,” says the chatty and friendly co-owner and manager of Shanghai Kitchen, Balraj Paul. “Our only form of advertising is word-of-mouth.” Paul is a former manager of In China, the popular Chinese restaurant on Museum Road.

Located amidst a jungle of apartments, the restaurant runs home-delivery and prepares plenty of take-outs.

Though tiny, and a little run-down, Shanghai Kitchen is definitely a go-to place for lovers of Chinese food. The restaurant is located at No. 2. Anjanappa Building, near the railway crossing, Horamavu Main Road. Call: 25315983.

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