Sun-N-Sand in its heyday used to be THE hangout for popular Bollywood celebrities. Today, it finds solace in being a quiet offering in a quaint, almost elapsed era of Juhu. Haochi, Sun-N-Sand’s latest offering, is classy. It’s aesthetically pleasing interiors feature dark wood tables, undemanding seating and oriental lotus murals. Haochi has a long list of cocktails, dim sums and starters. There aren’t any real ‘gravy’ dishes and the selection of mains is small.
We start with the Mongolian Chicken Satay (Rs 385), which includes marinated strips of chicken breast on skewers. There’s satay, and then there’s Mongolian Chicken Satay! If you’ve never had the real stuff, then you will fall in love with the succulent taste of this Haochi version which is as good as it gets. One bite, and we were sold. The peanut sauce served with it was just perfect.
Next, the Schezwan Soup (Rs 325) was served. Both hot and sour, this traditional Chinese soup was a unique balance and contrast of flavour: the crisp texture of vegetables, the smoothness of the mushrooms and the sourness of vinegar made for a heady combination. We would have liked it to be a tad spicier and served as a hot soup though. This is slightly milder than what you are used to in the city. Could chalk it down to authenticity, though. It won’t blow you away but won’t bore you either.
Loving the lamb
Next, the Chilly Lamb (Rs 625) came drilled with homemade batter, salt and chilly. The rich colour from the chillies with the spark of what seemed to be green onion garnish only enhanced its visual appeal. This made for a great supper dish. The lamb gives it a lighter, sweeter taste than the more traditional beef. This was our main course and, as mentioned earlier, isn’t the gravy dish that you’d expect but semi-dry. Wait -- there’s a kicker.
Ga-ga over the garlic
The piece de resistance was the Garlic Butter Rice (Rs 450). Usually, garlic is used around the world to add pungency to rice, as a seasoning or condiment. But this garlic rice tasted unique. Buttery enough to give the semi-dry chicken the gravy feel, and spicy enough to be eaten separately. This is the best Butter Garlic Rice, I’ve eaten in a long time. Enough said.