Looking for a comfortable place for our evening meal, we came across Taste of China. Our main criteria was that it should be close to New Delhi Railway station and it did satisfy that condition.[singlepic id=358 w=320 h=240 float=left]Located on the first floor, just above Blues, Taste of China has a fairly large, sparsely done, low ceilinged dining room. For some reason, it has a noisy television with noisy pictures hung on the wall, not playing anything specific. The service is desi… rustic, non refined but friendly and efficient. The kind of place where you would pop in for a quick meal, definitely not take your out of town friends… that is if sophistication is what you’re looking for. The ambience is closer to a college canteen than a restaurant. Most diners seemed to be people who’ve just left their workplaces and have dropped in for a beer and ‘Drums of Heaven’. The music, if you can hear it, is low and local.
Surprisingly, Taste of China was 70% full on a Wednesday evening, which I believe speaks volumes.
The Taste of China menu is pleasantly full of variety and I was able to find dishes I liked without difficulty. Most menus don’t really have me looking forward to the meal – all of them are quite predictable, right from the Sweet Corn Chicken Soup to the Shredded Lamb in Hot Garlic Sauce. Not so at Taste of China. Their menu has enough choices for even the most die hard foodie. I’m not saying the flavors are completely new or even that the food is authentic. No sir, I’m not. What I’m saying is that they have so many combinations that you’ll look forward to the meal. Having waxed eloquent on their menu, we didn’t get too adventurous.
We ordered Sechuan Double Fried Pork, Mongolian Lamb, Braised Mushroom Bamboo Shoots & Greens, Vegetable Sweet and Sour, Vegetables with Almonds, Vegetable Rice and Vegetable Noodles. As you may have guessed, my friends were vegetarians. We ended up with another portion of Vegetable Noodles and 3 bottles of beer.
The food was nice. The double fried pork was especially good and the Vegetables with Almonds were quite well done with the vegetables done just crunchy. Nothing exceeded our expectations and at the same time, nothing went below par either. What perhaps may have exceeded our expectations was finding the food to be quite palatable, without a single exception. I *will* be going there again when next in that part of town.
The other surprise was our bill – a scant INR 1,600! Though they’re not probably vying for the same customers, I’d say places like Mandarin Trail need to watch out. While Taste of China doesn’t hold a candle to the finesse (food and service) at Mandarin Trail, they definitely do provide a very affordable alternative.
PS: All photos were taken with my phone.