SOY, the Dubai based Pan-Asian chain opened its restaurant at Khan Market a year ago. I have been invited to a tasting session of their new menu with a few other food writer friends. I enter through a steep staircase, something quite common in Khan Market, is a rude reminder of my level of fitness. The interiors of the restaurant are combination of wood, marble and glass, with a distinctly oriental aura. I am greeted by Nitin Luthra, the CEO of the chain. As we settle in, I ask Nitin what makes SOY so different from the neighbouring Side Wok and Mamagoto both of whom are also popular Pan Asian restaurants over a refreshing glass of watermelon juice cocktail.
Nitin has obviously been thinking about it, given the speed of his response. “Our menu goes beyond the clichéd “lamb, chicken and veg” options. We now feature Australian pork and tenderloin, lobster, John Dory and many other ingredients. We get the same ingredients that our outlets in Dubai get from suppliers all over the world. Also we don’t use corn flour or MSG in our preparations. It is our taste that brings our customers back.” And I believe him looking at the full restaurant on a Navaratri Tuesday lunch.
We now start the tasting session which is quite extensive, though I will focus on the dishes I found remarkable.
We start with Tao duck dumpling, which are essentially Peking duck in a dumpling format, and quite enjoyable. Chiang Mai curry noodle soup is a popular street food item in Thailand, and is a cousin of Khow Suey – something like a cross between chopsuey and Khao Suey. The soup is a meal in itself, and most addictive. Prawn hargow is a perfectly created juicy dim sum, though the magic is slightly marred by an excess of salt.
Spare ribs in barbecue sauce are a juicy delight. The pork is of excellent quality, and the cooking makes it soft enough to fall off the bone. They make for a delightful bite. Ginger and water chestnut fried rice is flavourful with crispy water chestnuts adding to the texture. Vegetable hakka noodles are enjoyable with freshly made noodles.
The new menu at SOY with a lot more variety is a welcome addition to the rich repertoire of dishes at the restaurant. Many of the dishes are enjoyable, and the prices are reasonable, making it a good option to dine at Khan Market.
Restaurant Ratings (out of 5):
Food: 3.5 | Ambience: 4.0 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0
Meal for two: Rs. 1200 | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Home Delivery: No