Soy is the key ingredient in any Chinese dish, because its free glutamates add the necessary umami (pleasant savoury taste) to any dish it is a part of. So as I go to visit the restaurant named Soy at the middle lane restaurant strip of the ever bustling Khan Market, I can’t help being excited. If the restaurant lives up to the umami spirit of Soy, I have a treat ahead for me. My climb up a flight of stairs reveals pleasant though overtly oriental interiors. A climb to the second floor has a beautiful terrace with a view of Khan Market and lush green environs. This is where I decide to sit down.
I am joined by Sunil Sharma, the operations manager of the restaurant, and ask him what makes this seventy-day-old restaurant different from the multitudes of Chinese restaurants that dot Delhi. “We have the Chinese chef who has come here from Hong Kong, and a Thai chef from Thailand. In addition our key ingredients and sauces are brought in from abroad to ensure only the finest and most authentic food is served, at reasonable prices” says he.
The first dish, a prawn tom yum soup (Rs 215) showcases some of the Chinese chef’s prowess. The soup is flavourful, with the various elements well in balance making it an enjoyable experience. The Polynesian seafood salad (Rs 395) is a fresh yet understated mélange of prawn, squid and basa fish, with a light dressing.
Next to come are the dimsums. The prawn with Thai herbs dimsum (Rs 395) has a soft exterior with a crunchy bite of fresh prawns inside. The hoisin cherry duck one (Rs 395) is sweet with hoisin sauce, though thankfully not too sweet. The veg pokchoi and water chestnut dimsum (Rs 195) has a good interplay of green with a soft crunch of the water chestnuts, which incidentally, are known in north India as singhadas.
It is time for the main course now. The crispy red snapper in spicy tangy Thai sauce (Rs 445) has a flaky fillet of fish, fried and then tossed in a nice hot and sour sauce. A great dish, but the Thai connection eludes me. The crispy (Rs 355) is a bit disappointing because the lamb (like in most restaurants that serve lamb) is chewy and not crispy as promised. The veg pad Thai (Rs 225) is not authentic as I was hoping it to be. Unlike the Bangkok street food classic, what is served here is sweet, and dense, and lacking the necessary crunch of the fresh long sprouts and scallions.
The restaurant gets its mojo back with jasmine tea (Rs 95) which is the real thing. The natural fragrance of jasmine blossoms soothes the senses, making it a complete dining experience.
There are many things going for Soy – an excellent location, nice décor, and great Chinese food. Their Thai food needs some sprucing but with the restaurant barely three weeks’ old, these are early days and I am sure these wrinkles will be ironed out.
Rating out of 5
Food: 3.5 | Ambience: 4.5 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0
Meal for two: Rs. 1200| Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Timings: 11:30 am – 12 midnight
Address: SOY, 58, Middle Lane, Khan Market, New Delhi| Telephone: 45795555