FOOD SPOT Food

Chinese flavours from Ghaziabad

Sumptuous stuff: Chicken for chop suey

Sumptuous stuff: Chicken for chop suey  

When the heart sings for something hot, Dragon Noodles is a suitable option

It’s that time of the year when the heart calls out for something hot and sour. Time was when I would make a detour to the Pandara Road Market on my way back home from somewhere or the other and pick up two or three bowls of hot and sour soup from one of my favourite restaurants, Ichiban. Winter evenings are just right for the soup, which is, yes, hot and sour, and full of the good stuff – little pieces of fatty pork, nice plump shrimps, tender chicken, and a host of veggies.

Wide assortment

Chinese stir-fried vegetables

Chinese stir-fried vegetables  

So, when the temperature dipped some nights ago, my heart sang for something suitably hot to placate the spirit and the body. I have tried out most of the Chinese restaurants in and around East Delhi. This time I thought I would order some dishes from a place called Dragon Noodles – a seemingly popular Chinese restaurant with outlets in Indirapuram and Vaishali.

I placed my order through Swiggy. I asked for a plate of stir-fried Chinese vegetables (₹180), shredded chicken in black pepper gravy (₹210), roasted lamb in spring onion sauce (₹230), mixed Thai basil fried rice (₹170) and chicken Chinese chop suey (₹180). There was hot and sour soup on the menu, too, but I am a bit finicky when it comes to this hearty soup – and like the Ichiban version more than what the others offer. So I decided I’d try out the other dishes instead.

And I must say I was pleasantly surprised when I had my dinner, for the dishes were, indeed, rather nice. Chinese takeaway can be awful, and I live in fear of being presented with lamb in a thick red sauce, or chicken in a gelatinous white one. But I found the food had been cooked well, and each dish had a sauce that tasted different. The stir-fried veggies were deliciously crunchy, and the Thai basil fried rice was aromatically flavoured and topped with everything from shrimps to chicken.

I enjoyed my chop suey, which had crunchy noodles with chicken in a light sauce. I had the pepper chicken but thought would eat the lamb with spring onions at lunch the following day.

Piquant sauce

The chicken was in a pleasantly piquant sauce. The pieces were soft, and had infused in the flavours of the black pepper. I mixed it with my fried rice, and had a satisfying meal. The next day, though, my lunch was a bit of a surprise. I got some hot rice cooked at home, and mixed it with what I thought was the lamb. But every now and then, I got the feeling I was eating chicken, too. That was when I discovered that our (wo)manager of the hearth had thought the chicken and the lamb – with similar looking brown sauces – were two plates of the same dish, and heated them together. So I ended up eating shredded chicken and roasted lamb in black pepper gravy and spring onion sauce. And it wasn’t half bad!

Dragon Noodles gives me hope. One day I am going to try out its hot and sour soup, along with a dish called Dragon cottage cheese with spinach.

But if anything has to be heated the next day, I am going to supervise the proceedings. Or maybe not.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 9:54:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/chinese-flavours-from-ghaziabad/article25919478.ece

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