Memories of China is hosting the Dragon Boat Festival celebrating the festive flavors of traditional China. Chef Lai Hin Tong William and his culinary team bring to life this festive extravaganza from June 1 – 14 at Vivanta by Taj – MG Road, drawing inspiration from various aspects of this ancient tradition. We were invited for a meal last weekend to experience this promotional menu. It was a Saturday lunch, and the restaurant was fully occupied with families and children all around. We were ushered in, seated and handed their festival menu. The menu was quite exhaustive, featuring not only the traditional dishes, but also several interesting feasts specials.
To start our meal, we got the Roast Peking Duck – well half of a duck since we were the two of us. This got served as a duck, which was then carved out at our table, and served with sweet chilly and vinegar sauce and pancakes – divine! The Deep Fried Seafood Spring Rolls and Chinese Pok Choy & Water Chestnut dumplings are perfect small bites, paired nicely with sauces. I asked for the traditional Zongzi as well, but we were told that since it’s very filling, best to have it as a main course. What came instead was the Cripsy Roast Sesame Chicken – this was half a chicken roasted with skin, generously topped with sesame seeds and served with a sweet chilli sauce, very different, and quite delicious!
Our mains were Chicken Zongzi and Sautéed Lobster with Egg White. The Zongzi is basically a sticky rice dumpling with meat or vegetarian fillings, put inside 2-3 bamboo leaves (traditionally) and then steamed. Here the rice and chicken also had a bit of beans, and it was steamed in Lotus Leaves, and served as is. The taste, well, is different. There is a whole lot of flavor going on there, from the leaf wrap, to the cooked meat, takes a while getting used to. The Lobster in the creamy egg white base on the other hand, is irresistible right from the first bite! Simple and yet so well blended in, loved this dish!
While the festival does feature several variety of desserts to entice all kinds of sweet cravings, we were way too full to actually have any! The Alphonso Tiramisu and Coffee Bean Chocolate coins, Date Pancake, Black Rice Ice Cream and more, we ‘settled’ for the delicious and delectable coconut ice cream. And while a lot of us have had tender coconut ice creams, this was creamy and exquisite! Go check out the festive promotion until 14th June, to experience this tradition of China!