This new Chinese outfit invites you to dine over a koi pond
By Sabrina Rajan | Published: 17th August 2018 04:38 PM |
“Less is more,” says serial restaurateur, Sandesh Reddy of his new venture Yummcha in Alwarpet. With nearly a dozen food brands under his belt, he further adds that this Chinese eatery is not part of the now common Pan Asian boom. “Our focus is on honest flavours — expect a simple menu of straightforward Sichuan signatures,” he says. However, those who know this passionate gourmand will also know that while Sandy (as he is popularly known) is the most unassuming and modest chef — when it comes to his culinary expressions, theatre is on the cards.
The moment we enter the tastefully (read no typical reds) done up 48-seater, we realise that we are standing on a glass floor that covers a deep walled koi pond. If you thought that this was drama — wait till the food hits your palate! With raindrops sliding off the many glass walls at this multi-level outlet, we start our tasting session with a warm and comfy bowl of aromatic veggie broth.
Slow and steady
Soon we realise that their yum cha section (the Chinese equivalent for tapas) is about perfectly balanced, simple and familiar flavours. The offering of dimsums has us impressed: from the triangular, mild, chicken and water chestnut dumplings to the stronger flavoured spicy chicken, basil and leek stuffing. The slow-cooked lamb bao is juicy with buns as soft as cotton. The popular fried spinach is wafer-like with a garnish of puffed rice, striking just the right sweet-salt balance. From the starters, it is the delicately flavoured and melt-in-the-mouth tenderloin (in oyster sauce with Chinese greens) that will find us coming back here again. And again.
Dan Dan delish
Besides the irresistible pricing that starts at Rs 250, we find that each main dish is a complete meal for one person. So, expect some jasmine rice with the sweet and sour fish or Hakka noodles with the black bean gravies. We dig into forkfuls of the Dan Dan noodles in chilli oil – a Sichuan signature; it is sprinkled with minced chicken and deliciously seasoned with fermented red chillies and soya beans. The Kung Pao chicken gravy finds us smitten by the moist and flavoursome butter garlic rice accompaniment, that is speckled with soft scrambled eggs.
Toast & Batter
The Crispy Maple Noodles with ice cream is an apt dessert for a Chinese restaurant. But when I see that Sandesh has strayed from the Asian path with some original creations — my happiness knew no bounds. After all, he is the one who got us excited with the likes of OMG dessert, a bucket of decadence — way back in 2009. Now, it is the milk toast that wins our hearts. Dripping with childhood nostalgia, the buttery slice of bread is crunchy with sugar that is caramelised at the table with a flashy blowtorch and is accompanied with a dollop of condensed milk ice cream that is creamy, sweet and old-school. “This is from our range of handcrafted ice-creams from our new venture / brand — Batter — that also opens today, down St Mary’s Road,” says Sandesh, clearly amused by my reverential consideration of the dessert. Guess you know where I am headed next!
Opens today, for lunch and dinner, meal for two at about Rs 1,000.