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Flavours from Far East

Just Oriental is the new restaurant offering Thai, Malaysian, Korean, Japanese and Chinese (Hunan) cuisine

CUISINE FROM the Far East can be best defined as exotic, flavourful and diverse, ranging from a scrumptious Crispy duck, a healthful Malaysian Satay to a zesty Thai green curry. While lemon grass and galangal add the delectable spicy notes to the Thai preparations, Malaysian food has a South Indian touch though the five spices and bean sprouts form essential part of the cuisine, Japanese fare is barbequed, steamed and accompanied with the famous rice wine Sake and Chinese food is much known for its tofu as well as jasmine tea.

Offering a platter that holds flavours of the orient - Thai, Malaysian, Korean, Japanese and Chinese (Hunan) cuisine is Just Oriental (H. No. 1177, Road #12, MLA Colony, near Lotus Pond, Banjara Hills, Tel: 55767770). "One finds that there are exclusive restaurants in other metros offering oriental cuisine and we thus wanted to open one such place in the twin cities," says Mir Aga, owner Just Oriental. It is not just the tastes of the orient that one comes across here, but a tranquil ambience that has chairs in Malaysian rubber wood paired with glass topped tables holding pebbles from the sea and covered with woven mats, black low seaters with contrasting red pillows and silk streamers and a generous helping of auspicious bamboo plants potted and on the canvas on the walls.

Barely a month old, Just Oriental, open for lunch (12 noon-4 p.m) and dinner (7 pm till midnight), has folks coming over, opting for a complete Thai food through the different courses— from a spicy Tom kha a coconut milk based soup flavoured with ginger and lemon to a Thai red curry and steam rice main course, and others choosing from different regions looking into the vibrant menu.

Executive Chef T.L. Kim recommends Phuket fish flat fillet made Pattaya or Sierra style served dry and spicy and Korean Momo's half moon shaped dumplings filled with meat or vegetables. "Okayo Japanese style rice based corn and mushroom soup made thick and topped with poached egg is a meal by itself. We also have a lot of people opting for Mongolian stir fry— choice of vegetables or meat tossed on a grill with select sauces and served on a bed of rice noodles, Hakka noodles, Soba noodles or steamed rice as well as from the Satay bar such as the veggie Indonesian Curried Cottage Cheese and Crunchy Sweet Pepper Satay and Japanese styled Teriyaki of lamb and green onion," he says.

One finds that the menu holds an elaborate sea food platter, from Shark fin corn soup to Stir fried prawns as well as a generous vegetarian fare from Stir fried Chinese green to Three treasures from Macao— made with oriental greens broccoli, baby corn and Chinese cabbage, as well as options in noodles and rice— Korean fried rice with greens or Keoy teow Malaysian hand made noodles cooked with choice of poultry, red meat or sea food. Among desserts Lychee toffee with sesame and honey and Fried ice cream are popular. While here you can sip non-alcoholic Chinese and Japanese wine, "one for the road," says Kim. Jasmine and green teas to iced (peach, strawberry and lemon flavours) teas are other beverages to choose from.

On the anvil is a food festival, "where we would be introducing Su shi and other preparations to the connoisseurs in the twin cities," says Mir Aga.


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