Oko’s new chef hosts a Chinese food festival with authentic dishes 

Taste delicacies from Chef Luo Jinhong's native province of Hunan

Anagha M Published :  18th August 2017 06:00 AM   |   Published :   |  18th August 2017 06:00 AM



CHEF Luo Jinhong hails from Hunan in China, an area synonymous with one of the most beloved and popular cuisines of the world. As the newly appointed Chef De Cuisine at the Lalit Ashok, his first task has been to host a Chinese Food Festival at their Asian restaurant, Oko. He hosted us for a lunch on a quiet Monday afternoon to sample the menu. 

Since the hotel is not serving liquor, we started with a Virgin Watermelon Mojito, the hint of ginger in it made it a very refreshing drink. The meal began with the Black Fungus and Mushroom Salad —  a winner because of the spicy dressing and the bite in the black fungus, also known as cloud ear mushrooms. The Vermicelli Spinach Soup was a clear broth and the perfect accompaniment for this rainy weather.  

We started with Chongqing Chicken from the appetiser section. Served topped with crackling red chilies, this was a fiery number. The Har Gow (prawn dumplings) were delicate and the prawns were cooked to perfection. Next, we sampled the Crispy Vegetables in Chilli Plum Sauce, crunchy, as the name promised, these bite-sized nibbles were moreish thanks to the sweet and sour sauce. The Sliced Chicken on Shui Zhu sauce was, on a similar note, sweet and spicy. 

Wok this way
Moving on to main course, we recommend the King Prawns in Fukien Shacha Sauce. The sauce, made with dried shrimp, has a unique fermented flavour. We also tried the Stir Fried Chinese Mixed Greens. While this dish might sound like what is commonly found in any Chinese restaurant, the Chengdu Pickled Chilli Sauce lent a deep smoky and charred flavour to the dish and made it our favourite on the table. Other options for mains include Roast Duck in Xiang La Sauce, Wok Fried Pork with Five Spice Flavour and Cumin Spicy lamb with Coriander. 

For dessert, they have on offer Steamed Chocolate Bun with Honey Butter sauce and the Cantonese Sticky Rice Ball. We, for nostalgia’s sake, opted for the classic Date Pancake, served with Seasonal Mango Ice Cream. Crunchy and syrupy, this one was a hit. The festival is a must try to experience Chinese food, but not the way you know it in India. 

Rs. 3,000 for two. At Lalit Ashok, Kumara Krupa High Grounds. Details: 30527777