Waste not, wonton
A new eatery in Andheri hits the spot if you're looking for greasy Chindian food
The seeds were sown in Kolkata, but the roots have spread across the country. Chindian cuisine has become so ubiquitous in our neck of the woods with time that it's like overgrowth that's taken over an undisturbed jungle. It picked up in the Tangra neighbourhood in Kolkata in the 1970s. But before you could say "ni hao", it spread to places like the highway dhabas leading up to Ludhiana, and gave the denizens of even Surat a break from their khandvis in the form of gobi Manchurian. Mumbai, too, has had a long-standing love affair with this hybrid cuisine, thanks mainly to the efforts of people like Nelson Wong who upped and left Tangra to set up a culinary empire in this city. And his legacy is still going strong, with Chindian restaurants continuing to pop up here like advertisements on a music streaming platform that you haven't paid for yet.
One such place that has mushroomed in the recent past is Fat Stomach in Andheri West. A quick look at the menu is enough to reveal its antecedents. It's got all the usual suspects that you'd expect from an eatery of this nature. So, we decide to pay homage to our Kolkata roots with three dishes that were almost as much a part of our childhood while eating out as maachh-bhaat was while dining at home. These are chicken fried wonton (Rs 270), chicken chilli (Rs 259) and veg hakka noodles (Rs 199), though, if truth be told, we ordered the vegetarian version of the noodles simply because we would be sharing the meal with a vegan friend.
Our main concern about the wonton was this: will it still be crispy upon arrival? A soggy wonton is as miserable as a cat getting wet in the rain. But thankfully, the ones we try still retain the crunch that this fried dumpling starter is supposed to have, with additional points for the hygienic packaging. The only complaint is that the pieces have been fried a tad too much. Wontons are supposed to be golden in colour. But these are almost tan brown.
Veg hakka noodles
There are no complaints about the chicken chilli, though, which sticks to the memo of glazed strips of the meat sharing space with spicy pieces of capsicum. Similarly, the veg hakka noodles are so authentically Chindian that our friend almost starts writing paeans about its greasy goodness. This is a no-frills dinner that's as cheap as chips. What's more? The place is open till 2 am. So, give Fat Stomach a shot the next time you have late-night pangs in the area. It might not be the healthiest option around. But your taste buds will still write you a thank-you note for it.
From 11 am to 2 am
At Okaz Shopping Centre, Oshiwara, Andheri West.
4/4 EXCEPTIONAL, 3/4 EXCELLENT, 2/4 VERY GOOD, 1/4 GOOD, 0.5/4 AVERAGE
Stomach didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals
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