Restaurant serves up a contemporary take on Hong Kong's typhoon shelter cuisine
A new bar and restaurant serves up a contemporary take on Hong Kong's traditional typhoon shelter cuisine
Typhoon 8 pomfret
When we meet Hong Kong-based chef Christian Yang, he tells us that he had a vegetarian lunch earlier in the day. As he scans our puzzled face, he reveals that it's because several Indians don't eat meat on Mondays, like Ramit Mittal, CEO, Gourmet Investments Pvt Ltd. Mittal brought down Yang to India to launch Typhoon Shelter, the all-new Chinese cuisine bar in Lower Parel.
Jasmine and basil ice tea
An unheard-of concept in India, typhoon shelter cuisine is an amalgamation of local cuisines of China that arrived in Hong Kong via the visiting vessels. The food mainly uses sea fare and ingredients such as scallions, garlic, white pepper, and basics like soy sauce that can be stored for long periods on boats, and consumed in case there is a typhoon in the shelter at Hong Kong's bay. The cooking techniques, frying, steaming and boiling, are simple, as not much can be done on a boat.
Yang presents this in a contemporary fashion. "Imagine vessels from all over China stuck at one place. And if they throw a party, this is what the party will look like," he explains. The interiors, by The Busride Design Studio, do a great job of presenting the humble theme in a laid-back cool style with the right amount of typical Chinese motifs. The ceiling, which projects different cloud formations, catches our eye, and reminds us of the enchanted ceiling at Hogwarts.
Tidal mist cocktail
Yang has concentrated on vegetarian options, which he tells us were not difficult to curate as China has numerous provinces to pick flavours from. "I did not want to take the same sauce to create a veg version of a meat dish. I feel Chinese food needs a reintroduction; even chefs in China never mix elements from different regions, but I got to experiment here," says Yang.
One such change is the typhoon 8 pomfret (Rs 1,395) that uses the signature ingredients of fried garlic and scallion, but with a local fish and sweetened soy with bird's eye chilli. Varun Sudhakar, who has designed the beverage menu, gives us a delicious jasmine and basil (Rs 295) iced tea, where fresh jasmine flowers are steeped in the tea for a pleasant aroma. We also try the great wall (Rs 245), a mocktail made with cold- pressed guava juice and five spice, served with a sprinkle of galangal for a refreshing aroma.
These complement the many dumplings we try - ruby dumpling (Rs 395) with beetroot juice infused skin covering crunchy corn and sugar snap; squid ink dumplings (Rs 725); and our favourite, succulent lamb crystal ball (Rs 445), which melt in the mouth. A bar is incomplete without small plates, and Yang recommends Yolanda's crispy prawns (Rs 595) and red braised pork belly spring rolls (Rs 525). If you aren't in the mood to experiment, try typical items such as kung pao prawns (Rs 745) or Typhoon Shelter baby eggplant (Rs 595).
Solanki Roy, who has worked with award-winning chef Gaggan Anand, has designed the dessert menu. On offer are curious, pricey offerings such as luna, mango sticky rice encased in a sugar ball (Rs 995); and zen, edible stones of caramel-vanilla, and hazelnut crunch (Rs 1,195).
A relaxed Oriental vibe and comfort food ensures this typhoon shelter will be facing no rough weather.
OPENS ON: May 10, 12 pm to 4 pm; 7 pm to 1 am
AT: High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel.
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