Temptations from the Orient

THE RESTAURANT looks the same, its Oriental trappings intact.

Take a look at the menu, though, and you'll realise quite a few things have changed at Chin Chin, the Oriental cuisine restaurant at the Residency, Coimbatore.

A host of new dishes have made their way into the menu, representing the cuisines of China, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia and Singapore.

The highlights of the new menu include Stolen Chicken (chicken with bones covered in lotus leaf and clay and baked), Mongolian Prawns, Corn Cream (finely mashed corn cut into diamonds, dusted in corn flour and fried) and Honey Garlic Vegetables (crispy fried vegetables tossed in chopped garlic and honey).

The medium-sized Mongolian prawns, prepared with a fair sprinkling of ginger, garlic, capsicum and fresh dry red chillies, were sweet and spicy. Stolen chicken had a `natural flavour' to it, cooked as it was without any spices, and tasted quite different from the other varieties of chicken one has tasted before.

Lamb Konjeenaro had an overwhelming flavour of ginger. Batter fried lamb tossed with tomato and chilli sauce, Konjeenaro looked more like a vegetarian dish, thanks to the generous use of carrot, onion and capsicum, which had been used to render it colourful.

Chicken raindrop soup, thick chicken soup with chilli oil and garnished with beaten egg white drops, tasted very different.

Chinese cuisine is incomplete without noodles. The non-vegetarian Sayur Mee Goring noodles and the bland, coconut-flavoured Thai Red Patay Chicken (diced chicken cooked in Thai red curry paste) were an ideal combination.

In the vegetarian counter, South Lake soup, diced, boiled vegetables in a soya base, was on the spicy side but very soothing.

Among the starters, Volcano baby corn, fried baby corn tossed in sweet tomato sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds, Corn Cream, and Vegetable Tempura, vegetables fried in a batter of corn flour and served on a seekh, impressed.

The melt-in-the-mouth corn cream, which tastes bland otherwise, had a lovely accompaniment in the special spicy sauce.

Temptations from the Orient

The onion-flavoured Nasi Goring rice, which had been lent a special touch with the addition of fried, ground shallots, was good, too.

For dessert, don't miss out on the famous fried ice cream. There is an explosion of tastes when you bite into the dish — ice cream stuffed in a maida base and dipped in desiccated coconut before being dunked in smoking oil.

The intermingling of tastes is a gastronomic delight. Honey and nuts are drizzled onto the dessert for added effect.

S. Ashok Kumar, the Executive Chef of the Hotel, says the new dishes were initially introduced on a trial basis and incorporated into the new menu after the guests approved of it.

Sous Chef Raja Mohammad, who heads the Chinese kitchen, says the dishes have been Indianised, but guests are served authentic fare on demand.

The waiters, in their new Chinese costume, add to the overall dining experience.

The Japanese dishes have increased in number in the menu as the hotel has a number of guests from that country staying at any point of time.

An average vegetarian meal for two would cost around Rs. 300 while a non-vegetarian meal would cost about Rs. 500. Also on offer is a Chinese business lunch at Rs 154 (veg) and Rs. 179 (non-veg).


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