Food Review: Bengaluru restaurant Shao curates special menu for Chinese New Year
We dropped by the restaurant for dinner on Sunday. Here's how it went
Cosmopolitan in the truest sense, Bengaluru is one of those cities that celebrate festivals of cultures from across the globe. One such occasion is the Chinese (lunar) New Year, which was celebrated in India on Sunday. Taking cues, pan-Asian restaurant Shao at Radisson Blu Outer Ring Road has curated a special menu with Chinese delicacies, to be available for lunch and dinner till Tuesday. We dropped by the restaurant for dinner on Sunday.
As soon as we took our seats, we were welcomed with a steaming cup of Jasmine Tea, which was rejuvenating after the long drive. We then perused through the new menu that had five categories – soups, dim sums, starters, main course, and dessert. Letting our hosts decide the dishes for us, we waited while munching on a platter — with boiled peanuts, pickled vegetables, and sweet chilli sauce — served to us.
Soup and Dim Sums
The first dish to arrive at our table was Taiwanese Sesame Oil Chicken Soup. With overpowering notes of sesame, the light broth was appetising and comforting. The use of roasted spices like cinnamon sticks and coriander made it wholesome while the use of sesame oil added a tinge of bitterness that accentuated the other flavours. The chunks of chicken and shiitake mushrooms were also very tender.
Next, we were served Water Chestnut And Pok Choi Dim Sum and Chicken And Chinese Cabbage Dim Sum. The Water Chestnut And Pok Choi Dim Sum was a bit dry but refreshing while the Chicken And Chinese Cabbage Dim Sum was juicy and savoury.
For starters, we sampled Salt And Pepper Squid and Shanghai Chicken. With strong hints of pepper, Shanghai Chicken was delectable. But our best pick was Salt And Pepper Squid. The squid was coated with corn flour dusting, fried, and tossed with veggies and spices like chilli flakes, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds. The dish was spicy; but it was the kind of spicy that even diners with a low spice tolerance level would enjoy. We washed it down with a cocktail from the regular menu – Kiwi Envy.
We were served four dishes for the main course – XO Fried Rice, Dan Dan Noodles, Napa Cabbage, and Five Spices Chicken. Napa Cabbage, a dish made from Chinese cabbage, would make a good option for vegetarian diners and the classic Five Spices Chicken had the perfect blend of flavours But, for us, Dan Dan Noodles and XO Fried Rice stole the show. Loaded with fried shrimps, XO Fried Rice consisted of rice tossed in dried shrimp paste. Cooked to perfection, the rice was so delectable that we did not even feel the need of a side dish to have with it.
Traditionally, Dan Dan Noodles are handcrafted in China, which makes them soft. The flat noodles, along with crunchy vegetables like baby corns and carrots, were tossed in dark soy- and oyster sauce. With mild notes of garlic, the noodles were so sumptuous that we helped ourselves to several servings of it.
Catch a glimpse of how it went:
Putting a sweet end to our dinner, we tried the Sesame Seed Dessert Balls. The mildly sweet dessert presented a contrast of flavours and textures, and tasted very different from most other desserts we had ever had. Served on a bed of caramelised nut crumble, the dessert was a glutinous rice ball with a sweet bean paste filling, and was topped with blackberry and honey. The soft and chewy rice ball was complemented well by the crunchy caramelised nut crumble. It left a fruity and tangy aftertaste, thanks to the addition of blackberry and honey.
We highly recommend it, specially for diners with low sugar tolerance; the ones who want to end their meals with something sweet yet are never able to finish off the desserts they order.
So, if you are a person who loves Chinese cuisine or are just in the mood for a comforting meal to beat your weekday blues, this particular food pop-up is a must-visit.
₹1,500 ++ per person. Ongoing till January 24. At Outer Ring Road. Details: 9731477816