Tangra isn't just another Chinese joint around the corner. It serves up competent Chinese fare keeping the palate preference of the typical Indian diner in mind
A few weeks ago, we reviewed Sofraah, one of the three restaurants at Eden Park in Jayanagar. An errand took us back to that part of town on Tuesday evening and made us take a spur of the moment decision to dine at Tangra, the Chinese restaurant at Eden Park.
If you have lived half your life in Calcutta, Tangra, evokes many emotions. As the only china town in the country and a haven for Hakka style Chinese food that suit the Indian palate wonderfully, it brings back memories of a narrow, dingy lane dotted with the best Chinese restaurants this side of the equator, that have existed there for ages.
Tangra, the upscale restaurant in Jayanagar, attributes its moniker to the china town in Calcutta on the first page of its menu card. And the food here is much like the soya sauce heavy Indian Chinese that one gets to sample in the non descript bylane that we spoke about.
The d �cor of this 11-month old restaurant, of course, is chic, unlike the no-frills restaurants in Tangra, Calcutta. But then again, it resembles any other fine dining spot in town.
Wooden furniture, orange upholstery and the mandatory golden Budhha at the entrance met our eyes as we made our way to a corner table.
The Chilli Fried Prawns (Rs 400) was the appetizer of our choice and we decided to wash it down with an impeccably made Virgin Mojito (Rs 175). As for the prawns, it's a good option if you want a break from the ubiquitous Golden Fried Prawns.
Six robust pieces of prawns in a red chilli sauce is not a bad idea for a starter. The Tangra Baby Corn(Rs 175) with a tomato base and garlic was the vegetarian's choice and proved to be rather unexceptional.
Most of us in the urban spaces have been exposed to Chinese fare for as long as we have been exposed to our regional cuisine.
And most restaurants tend to go overboard with the Schezwan and Manchurian sauces. We wanted to steer clear of those two and ordered the Hupak Chicken with rice wine and pickled onion(Rs 250) instead for the mains.
The light white sauce with just the right amount of chilli flakes and diced chicken with bell pepper was perfect.
Although they primarily do Chinese, the menu has a few Thai and one Japanese item.
We decided to order the sole Japanese dish, the Tepan Soba noodles(it's actually Teppan Soba, after the Japanese method of grilling called teppanyaki, but is spelt wrongly in the menu), just to bring in variety to our dining experience. Well, we also wanted to test if the chefs know their Japanese as well as their Chinese.
The Teppan Soba (Rs 200) comes on a hot plate. The buttered noodles is placed on a cabbage leaf and is a blander version of any Chinese noodle. Hence a spice-heavy side dish is highly recommended with it as it's the kind of dish that requires a taste booster. Else, it may seriously fall flat as it did when paired with the Hupak Chicken.
From the dessert menu, we had already marked the Fried Ice Cream (Rs 140) and the Chocolate Ice Cream(Rs 90) right at the beginning of the meal. And neither disappointed us.
What did however was an annoying incident post the meal. Our debit card was swiped twice and despite bringing the mini statement from the bank that clearly showed two transactions, the restaurant did nothing to remedy it blaming it on a technical snag.
It's not the kind of blooper one expects from a restaurant of this scale and the management should immediately take corrective measures if it wants to retain its customer base. Until then, paying cash is the best option if you are dining here.
WHERE 722/2, 36th Cross, 10th 'A' Main, Jayanagar 4th Block
For Rs 1700 for a meal for two
Tangra didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals.