It is a long drive from Gurgaon to Noida. And we have decided to undertake this voyage to taste food from Beijing. Radisson Blu Hotel at Noida is running the Beijing Food Promotion on from August 23to September 1, 2013 and has invited us to taste out their menu. Once we reach there, we are greeted by the affable and charming Master Chef Liu Zhijun who welcomes us to our table.
Once seated, I ask chef Zhijun what exactly Beijing cuisine is. “China has eight prominent cuisines and this one is influenced by culinary traditions from all over China. The style that has the greatest influence on Beijing cuisine is that of the eastern coastal province” he says. On querying further he simplifies it for me by saying that the cuisine is close to the Cantonese cuisine, albeit is a bit more spicy.
The chef now gets busy preparing our appetizers and soon enough, they start arriving. Jian Xianbei, pan fried scallop and roasted eggplant with garlic sesame dressing (Rs 995) is the first dish to arrive at the table. The scallops are beautifully seared and their natural sweetness contrasts well with the hot, tangy dressing. Rang Jichi or deep fried prawns stuffed chicken wings with a ginger chili sauce (Rs 995) is equally delightful with its layers of textures and flavours. Cu Liu Malingcu, wok fried potato juliennes rolled in pancakes with chili vinegar sauce (Rs 495) is a good dish, but pales in comparison to the beauty of the other two starters.
The sauces on the table are chili paste, chili ginger sauce, and a nonya sauce. It is the nonya sauce with ground ginger, onions, and chili that captures my Indian heart with its heat and depth of flavours.
Next to come is the Zhacai Tang chicken soup (Rs 350), a mild yet intense broth floating with julienned Sichuan vegetables and perfectly poached chicken sets the mood for the mains. Unlike the Indo-Chinese soups we are used to, this soup is light, without any corn flour thickening and tickles the palate.
The main course starts with Cong Pa Ya (Peking Style Braised Duck with Spring Onion Sauce; Rs 1395). For the first time in my life, I get to taste a perfectly yielding duck which melts in the mouth and is made more succulent by the accompanying sauce. It is a great dish. Equally delightful is the Cuanwei Siji Dou (Long Beans in Chili Garlic Sauce; Rs 695) with its clear crisp taste. Cujiao Yu (Steamed Fish Fillet with Pepper Vinegar Sauce; Rs 1050) has a perfectly poached fish in an intense sauce. This dish is thrown off balance because of an over salty taste, preventing us from enjoying it fully. Jiang You Fan (Fried Rice with Vegetables and Light Soy Sauce; Rs 495) is ordinary, but the Zajiang Mian Noodles (Beijing style noodles with cucumber juliennes and sweet flour sauce; Rs 495) are interestingly different.
The dessert is a great surprise. Ice cream spring rolls (Rs 295) have a freshly fried ice cream with lychee encased inside a spring roll casing. Though not from Beijing, this dish is a culinary adventure both in its cooking and eating. It has to be cooked at the right temperature to ensure a crisp exterior and a firm ice cream inside. I put a whole piece of it in my mouth and savour the interplay of crisp with cold of the ice cream and the creamy softness of the lychee. It is awesome.
Try the food here for a lighter and exciting experience in Chinese cooking, Beijing style.
Beijing Food Promotion on from August 23, 2013 –September 1, 2013
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 4.0 | Ambience: 4.0 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0
Meal for two: Rs. 3000| Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Timings: 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM to 11:30 PM
Address: Radisson Blu Hotel Noida, L-2, Sector 18, Noida, 201 301| Telephone: +91 1204300000