The Legacy of China Garden
I recently visited one of the finest Oriental Fine Diners in India, China Garden. The legacy of China Garden is as interesting as the taste of the dishes served here. How would it feel to dine at a place that popularized the whole Indo-Chinese culinary culture in the nation? Well, the answer is a straightforward word, ‘Spectacular’.
Started by Mr. Nelson Wang, a son of a Chinese Immigrant, in 1983. His experiments clubbing Indian ingredients with corn starch and soya sauce gave birth to the legendary and extremely popular ‘Chicken Manchuria’ as we know it today.
After so many years, the name ‘China Garden’ has become synonymous with gourmet and palatable Chinese/Oriental Fine Dining, and with a gourmet experience involving extremely flavorful dishes tailor made with the spices we Indians love.
We Delhi-ites are blessed to have not one but two outlets of China Garden. We recently visited the CP outlet and boy, we’re still going Ga-Ga (at least, our taste buds are).
Food at China Garden, Connaught Place
First of all, we were served the signature dips including the chilly oil (an out and out fiery delight). What next came our way? Well, the bamboo round boxes we usually see the dimsums served in. However, these carried the steamed fish instead. Very subtle and smooth, this dish was wonderful, especially with the very fresh taste of the fish (we were actually able to taste the steam). The fish it self was steamed with some Jalapenos, black beans and summac. The addition of chilly oil created a wonderful symphony of subtle and spicy flavors.
Next up were the chilly pork ribs. The best part about this spicy and tangy delight was the extremely well cooked pork meat. I didn’t have to struggle get the tender meat off the ribs. Aah, the flavor of this dish lingered for long. A highly recommended experience.
Two Prawns’ Dishes were served at the table that day. First one, the Smoked Chilly Garlic Prawn. Served on a hot plate with burning centerpiece coal, giving that smokiness to the dish. The crispy frief prawns were served on a bed of dried fiery hot chillies. The fumes are evident with this one, fumes you wouldn’t mind because, the flavors are nevertheless wonderful.
The other one was my personal favorite, the Korean Butter Garlic Prawns. Now these flavor bombs were addictive. The crispy crust of the fresh prawns went well with all the collective aroma and the controlled pungency of chopped garlic , tossed in butter.
Apart from the delicious oriental essentials like the Noodles and Tossed veggies, there was one dish that definitely won the show. This was the Gin Chicken. Now we all know how good Gin and Tonic tastes, however, I never imagined that the combination of Gin and Chicken would so wonderful. Not even a hint of bitterness, these spheres of chicken had a very slight hint of the liquor, that in the dip they were served with. Chef and the courteous staff at the China Garden suggest that we ate these by breaking them from the middle and then fill the space with half a spoon of the gin infused dipping sauce. We followed these instructions and enjoyed one of the best chicken dishes of all time, juiciness of the chicken with the piping hot, rough textured outer crust and succulent chicken on the inside.
All in all, we were served a quite a few of the wonderful dishes from the China Garden, however, we’ve carefully handpicked the few that are absolutely worth ordering. Also remember to add a dish called the Fish in Black Bean Sauce. This was another fish delicacy served for the main course. A lightly grilled fish preparation cooked in a delicious and flavorful black bean sauce.
For desserts, we tried the classic Chocolate Mousse with Vanilla Ice cream. Now you need to reach the greatest heights of dessert connoisseur-ism and expertise to critique the dishes served at the China Garden. For a common Delhi boy looking to explore wonderful places to eat in India, this place indeed served delicious oriental food, well-suited to his North Indian spice craving palate. An experience #FOODelhi definitely Recommends.