Back home, I grew up eating lovely Chinese food in the restaurants of Park Street and Tangra. The secret to good Chinese food is to balance spice and sauce yet not lose authenticity with local tastes. I must admit that’s not the kind that I ate back home, and when I had went to Hong Kong (it’s just called food there, not Chinese food!) the food tastes are very different. Delectable, sometime just simple stir fries, at times just sautéed, with focus on the ingredients and not overwhelmed with spiced up flavors. Yes, not an easy cuisine to get used to. Hunan in Koramangala is an elegant oriental restaurant that has been serving some excellent Pan Asian cuisine, specializing in Chinese food for many years now. Last week, during the crazy rains in Bangalore, we were invited there for a tasting of their ongoing Soup & Dim sum festival.
Our meal was soups interleaved with dim sums, starting with the Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup. This was a typical Asian styled soup with coconut milk spiced with curry paste, the tingling spices giving this quite the zest. The dim sums selection features ten varieties with ample choices for vegetarians as well as the meat eaters. The Bok Choy and Mushroom dim sums were cute in their money pouch presentation – and tasted quite fresh and delicious with oyster mushroom & bok choy fillings. Then followed Edamame Dumplings with truffle scented fresh soya mixture fillings in wheat starch skin – quite different, and took me a while to get used to. The Vegan Vietnamese Spring Rolls were a welcome change to the palate, fresh vegetable wrapped in rice paper rolls. This was served in spicy hoisin peanut sauce – not a common blend in sauces, though quite nicely executed.
The Sweet and Sour Tofu Soup with Crabmeat was delicious, and possibly our favorite of the evening. Fresh crabmeat, tofu, bamboo shoot, peas and baby corn in a supreme broth that was hearty and invigorating. Among the other dim sums we tried, the Sesame Chicken Potstickers were quite well made, pan fried crispy dumplings stuffed with chicken and scallion. I quite enjoyed this with the soy sauce. The Chicken Meatballs with Wonton Soup was very light and simple, a healthy clear meatballs broth with prawn wontons, loved this. The Pork Flower Dumplings however, missed the mark – the wrapper was too thick, and the flavor of the pork was lost in it. The next dish is one I would recommend is the Hunan variant of spring rolls – Cocktail Rolls with Chicken and Prawns savored quite well, crunchy on the outside encasing the delicate meat.
The Chicken Drumstick with Noodle soup was also a different concept that I experienced here – chicken legs, veggies in a flavorful broth – very appetizing. The menu also features Khao Suey with Vegetables or Chicken. With the meal, I tried and enjoyed several mocktails from the menu, sadly I do not recollect the names. A kiwi and watermelon concoction was nice – fruity and fresh. There was another bubble creamy drink with sparkling water and vanilla which packed quite a spritzer punch albeit without the wine. The meal was an enjoyable one, with Mr.Jagadish Menda from Hunan explaining the dishes and concepts to us, and being a very kind host. The dim sum and soup festival is on until the 31st August 2016, and while you’re there, don’t miss out on their signature dishes – Roast Duck and Pork Spare Ribs!