All Stir Fry, Andheri East: Capturing the Spirit of the Street Kitchens of the Orient

IMG_8836When asked whether I’d like to review All Stir Fry, Andheri, which opened mid November, I said a yes with no hesitation whatsoever as I had been visiting the one at Colaba for years together now and had even celebrated many personal milestones there. My review buddy was my 21 year old son, a young man with a keen sense of taste; I of course was simply glad he had agreed to come along…all credit to the fondness for the name All Stir Fry.

We made our way to the Waterstones Hotel, Andheri, which is not too far from the International Airport. A subtle sign on the main road was the only pointer to the restaurant. Sitting on a quiet road is the hotel and the thought that crossed my mind is “this is so different from the bustling location of the All Stir Fry at Gordon House, Colaba.” Well, as we made our way indoors and upstairs, it did occur to me that the restaurant could be a little difficult to find if one doesn’t know exactly where it is located.

IMG_8837First glance at the ceiling and I liked the colourful wok-clad look. Rather spacious and leading to an open area which one can into through a door, it gave a clean uncluttered look. A community table to seat about 16 people was placed in the centre. And there were smaller tables all around – looked neat and contemporary. What caught my attention was that most of the tables were occupied. A glass partition allowed a viewing of rapid action at the woks; made a mental note to try out a wok for the mains.

IMG_8782We were served a nice fragrant Jasmine Tea as went through the menu and our host explained the concept. Our drinks, mine was a Lychee and Jalapeno Margarita (INR 500) and my dinner buddy’s, a Night Glory (INR 450). arrived without delay. The margarita was not too sweet and had the jalapeno adding little a hint of sharpness with each sip – nice! The Night Glory which was a white rum base to which espresso had been added; a nice addition of star anise syrup – subtle but there, very smooth indeed.

IMG_8778I chose the the Thai Style Tom Yum Phak.(INR 220)..moderately spicy with mushrooms and tofu with a sprinkling of spring onion; pretty good. My son’s Lemon Coriander Soup (INR 200) had a very strong lemon grass taste and was thick with the addition of coconut milk; not bad, but being loaded with vegetables made it rather filling; would have worked better if it was a tad lighter and had less vegetables in it.

IMG_8787Our starters were Crackling Chicken (INR 350) which didn’t work very well for me as the chicken seemed overcooked thus rendering it dry with no distinct taste, apart from the rather overpowering taste of chilly with lingers despite the honey laced coating. Couldn’t find taste the shredded spinach which had been added to the dish. The starter which won hands down was the Chin Win Chicken (INR 350) – the chicken was cooked deliciously perfect; the sauce, despite being a bit sweeter than expected, tasted good! I ate more of it than I should have and hoped I still would have room for the wok. The Crackling Spinach (INR 300) was lots of sesame added to it which I liked,but I found the sugar to be a bit in excess which has a lingering taste; the sweetness is a matter of personal preference of course.

IMG_8823Then it was time for the Wok (INR 730)…the speciality of All Stir Fry. We were handed bowls with red rims which is meant for non-vegetarians; the vegetarians get black rimmed ones. A wide array of vegetables and vegetarian garnish had been placed at one end of long wok station, in the centre were a variety of noodles and rice, and on the other side were non vegetarian options. Here’s how it works – one can have as many refills as they want, so its best if one doesn’t load up the bowls too much at one go. Instructions on the sequence to put the ingredients in the bowl are clearly written and one puts in whatever catches one’s fancy in the bowl, hands it over to the chef, choose a sauce from the range of mild, spicy and hot sauces, request add on condiments like garlic, crushed pepper and voila! There’s a wok one created oneself! If it doesn’t taste wonderful after all the effort, one can go right back and start all over again – and again. Its worth noting that the woks in which the vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is cooked are never ever mixed up. I chose a Mongolian sauce with my prawns and vegetables and flat noodles; didn’t work that great. So went back again and this time had a chicken, pok choi, sun dried tomatoes, jalapeno, broccoli, bell pepper noodle wok done with extra crushed garlic in a Pepper Sauce, wonderful! My son chose his favourite Kung Pao sauce and declared that his wok of roasted lamb, pork sausage and an assortment of vegetables was delicious. His next experiment was a fishy combination of prawns, squid, egg strips with some vegetables in BBQ sauce – not a good combination and he was disappointed with his creation. Unlike the one at Colaba, All Stir Fry at Andheri does not have suggestions about which sauce to use with which combination, would be very helpful if the suggestions are put up here as well.

IMG_8806The Kiddie Wok (INR 350) is a thoughtful addition for families with young children.

After all this experimentation, I was stuffed and opted out of dessert and chose to have a coffee instead, although my eyes lingered longingly over the dessert section in the menu with its Darsaan (crisp honey noodles with ice-cream; INR 250), Ebony and Ivory (homemade warm brownie with vanilla ice cream; INR 275) among others.

As far as comparisons go, All Stir Fry at Andheri has a long way to go before it catches up with the one at Colaba in terms of ambience. And yet it brings to the suburbs the wok which has been relished by “townies”since 2001. Interestingly, All Sir Fry, Andheri is open for standard breakfast from 6 30 am, a useful add-on service since its close to the airport.

Ratings out of 5

Food: 3.5 | Ambiance: 3.5 | Service: 4 | Overall: 3.5

Meal for Two without Alcohol: Rs. 1800 Approximately plus taxes | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes|

Timing: 12 00 noon – 3 pm & 7 pm – 11 30 pm | Wheelchair access : Yes

Address: All Stir Fry, Waterstones Hotel, Sahar Elevated Access Rd, Andheri East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400059

Telephone : 022 4090 6633

Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.