My first memory of Sun-n Sand is attending a Wedding when I was about 8 or 9. Since then several of my visits have just been a blur to either meet a friend visiting or getting a quick bite in its sea-side Coffee shop – Aqua. Nothing remarkable!
But not this one; Haochi’s menu is designed to make an impact. Not surprising since its helmed by the celebrity chef Gautam Mehrishi.
Haochi, which means “simply delicious”, has a menu that has been inspired by the three distinct Chinese cooking styles of Hunan, Sichuan and Cantonese. Retaining the authenticity of these styles, Chef Gautum and his two Chefs specially brought in from China – Gao Fu Liang and Xiang Shi Hong, have created a fusion of these styles. The result is a delightful and unpredictable array of dishes to titillate the taste buds and suit Indian palates. The ingredients, sauces, meats and even rice are imported to maintain the overall feel of these dishes. The cocktail menu has specially been designed by a mixologist who designs cocktails for bars in London to suit the flavours that Haochi has to offer.
We started with a whiskey, Campari, chamomile tea, orange juice concoction “Op-yum” and Vodka based grapes, chamomile tea, apple juice cocktail “China Town”. Both were refreshing and complemented the food.
The Actors :
The stars of the menu were clearly the starters – ginger scallops with oyster sauce, tenderloin sautéed in black beans sauce and baby pork ribs. The scallops lightly cooked in simplicity coupled with ginger slivers and spring onions were fresh. The tenderloin cut in thin strips and sautéed to perfection were a feat in cooking meat. The baby ribs were tender and melt-in-your mouth.
The experienced old hand actors served as the main course. The chicken in black pepper sauce, Haochi Prawns and its simple but fragrant Garlic Butter rice infused with Jasmine tea supported these dishes ably. The chicken, prawns and rice provided the soul. The vegetarian option was five treasure vegetables and sautéed mushrooms.
The special appearance by the dimsum brigade was represented by steamed chicken, corn pineapple, prawn water-chestnut and pan friend vegetarian dimsums, specially prepared by dimsum specialist Chef Liang. The steamed prawn water-chestnut dimsum and vegetarian pan fried dimsums shone in their allure in their lightest and translucent wraps.
The character artistes, the chicken gem wrap, Haochi special soup, string beans in aromatic salts, sesame prawns, crispy chicken, sautéed asparagus, five spice vegetables played their part. However, the prawns were prone to overacting (extra salty) string beans and crispy chicken had loud dialogues (too much spices – almost like our Garam Masala).
The climax was the drum-beating fitting finale with the fat lady singing Mandarin crème brulee and almond yoghurt with exotic fresh fruits. We almost came near to tears with the brilliant perfection of the Aria!
The waiters and the staff were what make this a feel-good movie. Knowledgeable, friendly and enthusiastic – any brunt due to initial teething was taken away by the energy.
The censored version – the vegetarian fare, whatever we sampled, was good but found a trifle limiting.
THE BOX OFFICE
Recommend a visit and try the cocktails and the stars of the menu.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 3.5 | Ambiance: 2.5 | Service: 3.0 |Overall: 3.0
Meal for Two: Rs3000 | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Timings: 12Noon – 3PM, 7PM to Midnight
Address: Haochi, Hotel Sun-N-Sand, 39, Juhu Beach, Juhu, Mumbai | Phone: 022 26201811/66938888
– Jenifer Petigara Mistry