Recently-opened China Pavilion has an array of starters, mains and desserts to sample from. Though aimed to taste delicious, the meals are marred by a loose grip on technique
Food: Can do better
The culturists and gourmands have always oscillated between the two classes of foodies: street food junkies that hit it off with flavour instantaneously, and high-brow restaurants that make a fuss starting from their pronunciation to the food’s placement on the palates. Alas! There is the middle-class in restaurants too that serves fare to those who plan Sunday dinners in places that exude the ‘fine dine’ experience with chiming cutlery.
Prawns Butter Garlic went overboard with its flavours
In that aspirational bracket, comes China Pavilion that is neither too heavy nor light on the pocket. Named after the typical trope of Chinese architecture — the multi-storeyed pavilion, this restaurant offers a mezzanine floor only.
The interiors sport a Buddha sculpture hung on a wall, French windows, cheap-looking wallpaper and plastic tabletops that seemed granite from afar. Nevertheless, the restaurant is cosy and comforting complemented with an eager staff. Our first orders, Prawns Butter Garlic (Rs 390) and Vegetarian Country Style Dumplings (Rs 220) set us off on a bumpy ride of flavours. First to arrive, the dumplings in a bamboo steamer were stocked with crunchy carrots and cauliflowers, which when bitten into exposed the dough’s raw lining.
Vanilla Ice Cream with Honey Noodles pleased the palate. Pics/Abhishek Rane
Prawns on the other hand, were dripping with garlic-ey butter and doused the delicious seafood delicacy albeit a bit too much. Also, the prawns were tilting towards the overcooked end. Next up, was our server’s suggestion, Fish in Jade Sauce (Rs 350) with Vegetarian Fried Rice (Rs 210) after informing us that the lamb wasn’t fresh to be served.
Brownie points for honesty. The Jade Sauce was a mix of green chillies, capsicum and spinach that was a subtle and spicy sauce complementing the overcooked fish. The vegetable rice was flavoursome and was the standout, by itself. As the place retains its newness, it offered complementary scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream with Honey Noodles that were a sweet, creamy combination to conclude with.
China Pavilion needs a deft hand and sharp eye of an experienced cook to oversee its kitchen. With the right mentoring, we’re sure it can ease into a happy hunting ground.
At: Opposite Versova Police Station, DN Nagar, Andheri (W).
China Pavilion didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.