An impeccable restaurant’s service is almost an exception in the city. A bizarre fact, really, if one considers the countless eateries that mushroom daily to feed hungry working mouths across Mumbai. We dropped by China Bistro’s Worli Naka outpost just an hour post noon to sate our cravings for qualitative Chinese chomp. Despite being shut, they welcomingly opened the back entrance to let us experience a whiff of flavours that stirred our palates to water with anticipation.
The place is ideal for dinner till the first week of December after which one can be spoilt for choice at any time of the day in its multiple dining spaces — an al fresco dining garden, a tastefully-lit bar area and inner dining spaces that were interspersed with lattice screens in stone. The ambiance of the luxuriously spaced restaurant is an invitation for the casual diner, a luxury we could not avail of, sadly. Roll calling Steamed Chicken Wontons with Burnt Garlic (Rs 235), Yellow Pumpkin Flour Dumpling (Rs 215), Barbeque Chinese Vegetables (Rs 255), Kaffir Lime Prawn with Coconut (R395) and Steamed Rice (Rs 200); we sped to work in the vicinity. Sensing our time shortage, our attendant promised a delivery instead.
We relished this fact as our hot steaming boxes arrived in 45 minutes — not an easy task for a kitchen that is half shut. Steamed Chicken, the entrée was the weakest start one could hope for a place like China Bistro. The dough was clammy and the drowned dumpling failed to nuance the garlic and chicken in any decipherable fashion. A China Bistro special — the Yellow Pumpkin Flour Dumpling — could not have been more different. Innovative, crunchy, full of zest and a light toss in the mouth: an absolute recommend.
Barbeque Chinese Vegetables also have a Jain option available, and were a chef recommend. The spiciness of the stir-fried vegetables evoked its street companion but hardly in a garish way. The fluffy rice was cooped on our plates and both mains saw us take second helpings. Kung Pao Vegetables tasted fresh and was diced well, to make any vegetarian happy. The preparation rivalled Kaffir Lime Prawn that offered the perfect blend of tang, milky-ness and a sweet-sour fusion. Maybe it’s the critic in us, but the menu was systematically broken down into clean headlines and sub-heads that made for a convenient order. With desserts like Coconut Caramel Custard and Chocolate Spring Roll available — a separate menu — that we had to skip, encourages a definite future of water chestnut and white fungus cream melting in our mouths on our next visit.
At Shop nos 26-30, building no 1, 358, Municipal Tenements, KAG Khan Road, Worli.
Call 24920022 / 24920033 / 24920055
China Bistro didn’t know we were there. The GUIDE reviews anonymously and pays for meals.