This place is so unassuming that I never plan to go but end up here somehow. I’ve been there thrice so far.
Once in Bangalore at 1MG Road, and twice in the DLF mall down the road from where I live now. At all the three times, my experience has been unanimously yummy. Every time I come back from there, I would have had at least one thing that would have delighted me, even more than the last time. The first time, it was just their translucent looking delicately pouched dumplings that I was awestruck looking at. I could not stop asking for more, since it comes only in triplets. I must have tried most of the vegetarian section over a couple of hours of conversation. It usually consisted of either combinations or carefully chosen and chopped – lotus roots, water chestnuts, asparagus, shitakes and all other exotic fungi. I remember it well because we couldn’t proceed to the main course afterwards. Like finger snacks, we’d had just the dim sums alone for lunch. I was pleased with their un-intrusive service and spacious ambience with free seating, reminded me of a lot like Wagamama, except a lot more plush. Perfect setting for a corporate luncheon on a group discussion. After all, it had just opened in town. With a Michelin star reputation to back it up (that’s actually quite misleading), it can still be a stretch to try it with your own hard-earned money. No?
The second time, it was a quick dash for lunch, for the lack of better options in a mall. And I was surprised to discover their set menu. Lucrative within a budget, it had a soup or a salad, dim sum, main course and ice cream or a sorbet to finish – on offer. Now that’s quite extensive but all priced staggeringly reasonable. I choose not to disclose the price, cause I want all of you to go give them a try. Having said that, I was yet only interested in the dim-sums but pushed myself to try one of their main courses this time. Settling on the Oriental greens-stir fried, quite content with the service, food, and the time of the day where the place doesn’t get as noisy as it was about to get on my next visit. Barring few aunties for the kitty in a corner, it was quite. Lunch time is suitable for idle dating, an intimate and lazy conversation or a business chat. But i spotted more of the former. Young couples probably bunking their college or work to get some respite and spice up their noon. To add to that, I am in Delhi, where they would rather impress the girls by showcasing their car keys on a fine dining table than offering much on plate. Blinks
The third time, it was a conscious decision just to try the Jasmine tea cake for dessert that had bowled me over the last time. No.. wait, we actually went there after being sent back from the newly opened Indigo Deli which refused to admit us on their Inaugural launch night. I mean who does that? Sending back guests on the very first day they open? Isn’t guest the god anymore? I will save all that for when i visit them, once they invite me.
So this time, it was more like a family affair. And reaching around 8 30pm, we didn’t expect it to be that packed. It seemed like a gala party here instead. Old people with their grand kids, along with the in-laws, young couples with their toddlers, everyone was feeling at home. So yeah, dear dating diners, do not choose this as your date especially on a weekend. You’ll know better if you follow my blog.
Coming back to my dinner, this time I was actually hoping for something to go wrong, as it’s really rare to have consistently happy experiences to top the previous ones. I kept ordering more kimchi to irritate the staff, also cause it was so refreshingly crunchy! While we waited for our dim sums getting entertained by the antics of a toddler in the next table, I realised what a self-sufficient this place is. Following a rhythm to take and suggest orders, the staff was quite disciplined and following their SOP’s to the tee. It does feel robotic if you ask me. The same sentence being repeated over and over – ‘Ma’am this is our signature dish and very much appreciated by all’ made me smirk a little. However, following the recommendations turned out to be a good idea. Seldom do the service staff know their menu this well, unless of course if there is a Standard Operating Procedure in place. I hope these guys become natural over the time.
Nevertheless, I went ahead with the recommendations and boy was I pleased! This time I had the raspberry mousse, with a red-velvety exterior that was air -sprayed. If you ask me it looks quite mystical and sometimes phoney. But this one, not only did it just look gorgeous but taste absolutely delish. Took me right back to the memories of cozy winters in London when someone used to make it fresh for me. Those were creamy light pink igloos perched on a chocolate biscuit, topped with frozen raspberry jelly. It was my quickest route to heaven.
Talking about Michelin starred restaurants foraying into India these days, I think it’s a bit of a baggage for them. Since not many people care much about its ratings here. Also, that these restaurants have the said rating only in their home country outlets and are just franchised in India, it can set wrong expectations to start with. Although as we upgrade ourselves to be the food connoisseurs that we can be, may be it isn’t that bad an idea.
That was just my two cents on ratings and reviews. Now am just glad to find a short cut to heaven, right down the road. Rarely does a restaurant please me thrice. This was a clean hat-trick! Of course I write here only about such exceptions. So you know about only the best. Yahooooo.. ciao!
Oh I must mention – the desserts pleased my cousin so much that it now frames her cover picture on Facebook. That must mean something. Right?