Ah, here I go again, on my journey of finding the Food to tantalize and satiate my taste buds. It’s a new day, a new world, a new experience. Been thinking of having some good Chinese food since last 2 days and landed at Shanghai Chef – 2, courtesy “His Royal Highness Rajesh Rawal
Heard a lot about Shanghai Chef from RR and a couple of other people. No way would I dump Wanton for Shanghai Chef and that’s true. I found Shanghai Chef to be more expensive than Wanton and less appealing in terms of taste too.
However, Shanghai Chef was a different experience altogether. As far as I am not footing the bill, I am Ok with the venue. If I am footing the bill then the amount I pay needs to be proportional to how much I enjoy the food. I enjoy the food at Wanton and would not mind footing a bill of 700/- for 2 as we would have had a good satisfying meal for sure. This was not the case with Shanghai Chef. We ordered 2 Starters and were more or less improvised versions of something we already had earlier. We ordered 2 Main Course Dishes to find both tasting more or less the same and tasted a lot like one of the starters ordered earlier.
I take a sojourn from my ranting and comparing and speaking about what if and what if not. Here’s what I personally felt about Shanghai Chef. Shanghai Chef
– A Stylized Variant of Chinese Eatery. Compared to Haiking, Alex Kitchen, Wanton, Aroma’s of China and etc, which shout out loud about Chinese, Shying Ming Ping, Lo Shun and stuff. The typical Chinese artifacts were missing in Shanghai Chef, like the Lanterns, Dragons, Chop Sticks, Chinese Fans, and Murals written like a couple of #’s thrown together.
The Dragon did not welcome me at the door, neither was I given Chop Sticks to do my traditional dandiya with, especially while waiting for the food to arrive. All I saw were a couple of red lights and Murals written like a couple of #’s thrown together. To each his own, what matters to me the most is how does the food taste like, but the ambience plays a vital role in ensuring that you enjoy the food in the correct ambience. For instance
, Ohri’s Guffaa at Basheer Bagh or Ohri’s Serengeti at Road No. 12, Banjara Hills. The main theme being a Jungle Theme, they’ve ensured that the interiors is done up to look like a jungle or a cave and the chirping of birds, the sounds of various animals playing continuously elevate the dining experience to the next level. These sounds play a vital role in the dining experience and in the same way do the other elements/objects placed. The ambience plays a vital role in the whole dining experience and you are only a role player, playing your role in the Role Playing Game called as Dining Experience.
Back to Shanghai Chef – 2
, how we landed at Shanghai Chef – 2.
A spontaneous plan to go to Over The Flames turned futile as they were renovating and getting some exhausts installed in their outlet. Due to this renovation work, their outlet was closed today afternoon. Depressed we were to return back to office, when I suggested Chinese at Shanghai Chef. It did not take long before the majority voted for Shanghai Chef. My Vote was already for Shanghai Chef and as soon as I said Shanghai Chef, the other vote also poured in. Within 4 seconds flat, we had voted and finalized to head to Shanghai Chef for our lunch. Shanghai Chef won 2/2 hands down as we did not think about any other option at all.
Reached Shanghai Chef to find it almost empty. With just 1 table occupied for a Corporate Farewell Party (The Bakra was being lauded about every now and then with “Sir, we will miss you. Sir, you were the best person to work with and stuff”. It was easy to make out that he was their manager and on the way out of company. These were those last minute feel good words you blurt out and then forget about it altogether),
we were the only other 2 people in the whole restaurant. We were treated like Royal Guest of Honors.
As we were still settling down, I had to quickly run a recap of what I read on RR’s post, the name of the chicken he suggested being spicy and good. Ahhhhh, Taipai Chicken it was. Placed the order with one of the suggestions from RR being Taipai Chicken. Appetizers Taipai Chicken, Spicy Fried Prawns Taipai Chicken:
When a Northie says Spicy, then please be assured that he means Bland as per Hydeez Foodie Guide. This was what I have experience till date and it stands true even now. Rajesh mentioned about it being a spicy variant, where as I felt it was more of a Sweet & Spicy. Loved the taste of the batter made out of honey mixed with roasted sesame seeds and chili flakes. I love eating the batter more than the main ingredient used; I enjoy deciphering the batter the most. The batter presents me with a challenge to make out what went into getting this thing done. I would surely love to have it again, given that I get it for free. On a lighter note, I found that Taipai Chicken without the batter was more or less like the Chicken Manchurian served at various outlets/thela. Spicy Fried Prawns:
What happens when, The Corporate Honcho’s a.k.a. Think Tanks come together and decide on a name for the about to be launched product. They ensure that the old wine gets sold in a new bottle. This was the same case with Spicy Fried Prawns. They could have simply written Golden Fried Prawns and that would have closed the case for ever and I would not have had to take the pains to writing an intro about those corporate honcho’s, think tanks, products and etc. They could have simply saved the 96 Words, I’ve just typed here. Nothing so great to write about it, except that they weren’t spicy as proclaimed. Had to make do with the Red Chili Sauce served with it, at least it was spicy. I am yet to make out the fetish of these Chinese Restaurant guys with Honey and Red Chilly. They mix these two and make a sauce out of it and expect us to devour it all and say WOW!!! I like it, but not when it further makes the spicy nature of my so called Spicy Friend Prawns subtle. Appetizers done and now, time for some Main Course Action. Bamboo Rice, Kun Pao Chicken and Stir Fried Prawns Bamboo Rice:
There are only two things with Bamboo Rice, either it is edible or it’s not. There isn’t a term called as “Ok Kind of Bamboo Rice
”. Have always been apprehensive about Bamboo Rice at various places due to the only reason being the type of Bamboo Shoot they use in the rice. The succulent delicate bamboo shoot, which adds a different and distinct flavor to the rice sometime isn’t good or isn’t fresh or is very hard. These things spoil the whole fun of having Bamboo Rice.
I’ve always loved Bamboo Rice at Wanton, Aroma’s of China and Mainland China for being exactly how I expect it to be. Shanghai Chef too gets added to the list of places, I would love to have Bamboo Rice. It was good and as per my expectations. As soon as Bamboo Rice is served, I search for the Bamboo Shoots and then try out a very small piece of it. If it turns out to be sour/hard/tangy, it means it isn’t fresh and not worth eating at all. It would surely spoil your mood.
Had my share of run-ins with the Near Fatal Yucky Bamboo Rice Experiences and hence I never take a chance with this. Some of the Hyderabad’s Best Known Authentic Chinese Outlets also disheartened me with their Bamboo Rice. This time, it wasn’t so. I thoroughly enjoyed the Bamboo Rice and shall surely go back for more. Kun Pao Chicken & Stir Fried Prawns:
Diced Chicken sautéed with burnt red chili, cashew nuts and celery shoots. I love the way they describe the dish. Sounds so tempting and yummy to read. Wish it was the same case with the taste. The gravy/batter of both Chicken and Prawns tasted the same. We were sure that they both were cooked in the same mix and served. The Prawns batter was a bit on the darker side of black and Chicken was on the lesser side of black. They first made the chicken and then added prawns to the same thing to serve as two different dishes.
You see the pics and decide for yourself if what I said is true.
Taste wise, prawns were better than chicken. The Chicken and Prawns tasted only of Soya Sauce; the flavor of Soya Sauce was predominant in both the dishes. Kun Pao Chicken Stir Fried Prawns How the food looked in my plate, I served it myself to capture the elements clearly Appetizers Done, Main Course Done, time for Deserts Date Pan Cake with Ice Cream
No can ever go wrong with Date Pan Cake with Ice Cream but I found Shanghai Chef to be on the verge of losing the game. I would have loved to see some more Date Filling in the Date Pan Cake; it would have made the whole desert a worthwhile thing. However, no qualm about it as it is still pretty livable and edible. The Raspberry Crush on the ice cream was something I loved the most. Overall Bill: