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Wok the talk

A new chef and a new menu add zest to the Golden Dragon

Savour the best of Chinese food — Photo: Satish. H

IN EVERY culture, at least one food requires courage from those who try it for the first time. In French cuisine, escargot tastes delicious — once you forget that your appetiser spent many happy days feeding off plants.

As for Chinese cuisine, a famous Cantonese saying states that "Anything that walks, swims, crawls, or flies with its back to heaven is edible." So it's not surprising that the Chinese conjure several unusual foods.

Like any food-loving city worth its hot sauce, Hyderabad inspires some classic culinary arguments, mainly concerning who cooks the best noodles or dimsums.

Lately, though, a hotel restaurant has had visitors debating which chef makes the lightest corn niblets and whose wonton is like the ones in Shanghai.

Enter the (Golden) Dragon - Hotel Taj Krishna's signature restaurant.

All questions will be answered by their newest culinary import, Chef Hung Fung Ng, who has journeyed from across the Great Wall and travelled the world weaving magic with his specialities and has finally chosen to share the secrets of his wok with the city. Bringing together his expertise from having served discerning cognoscenti in Paris, Beijing and Mumbai, Chef Hung has revamped the menu at the Golden Dragon. He introduced the Hong Kong style of Chinese cooking which is accepted more internationally. "Chinese cuisine cooked with a strong Indian flavour is on the decline. Which is why we revamped our menu to suit international tastes," says Sandeep Singh, assistant restaurant manager.

Making the city home

Chef Hung worked out a repertoire of dishes which were then approved and graded by some of our regular clients. He is now so sure of what the city wants in terms of Chinese cuisine and has moved in with his family.

Chef Hung who speaks little English lets his wok talk for him. At the Show Kitchen, which doubles up as a live counter, Chef Hung tosses noodles with the nonchalance of a juggler. He recommends from the counter the Schzewan Spiced Steamed Dimsum. Defying all laws of physics, Chef Hung's dimsums have skins so translucent that the ingredients can be clearly seen. The Freshly Steamed Bao with filling of vegetable and the flaky Beijing Onion Cake are also worth a try. For starters, the Jiang Jin Chicken is a must - all succulent yet crisp and the Wok Fried Lotus Stem from the Emperor's Pond, which shouldn't be given the go by. Don't skip the Home-Style Lamb and Cucumber Soup flavoured with fresh aromatic coriander enroute to the main course for which Chef recommends the Whole Baby Pomfret in Garlic, the Taichin Chicken and the Dry Konjee Crispy Lamb.

Vegetarian wonders

For the vegans there is the Mapo Bean Curd with Minced Vegetables, Sawo Hot Garlic Egg Plant in Clay Pot, Yang Chow Fried Rice and the Three Flavoured Noodles. Toffee and Darsaan have the run of the desserts.

The Golden Dragon has also introduced the Wok-in Lunch priced at Rs. 300. Starting from the first Sunday in September, Emperor Shen Nung's legacy - the Yum Cha ceremony will unfold over lunch. And don't forget to order green tea before you kowtow.


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