Close on the heels of Cantan on Lavelle Road, ITC Welcomhotel is now home to another Chinese restaurant, Mahjong. Located In the heart of the city in Victoria Layout on the quiet stretch towards Trinity Circle, the place scores highly on location.
The hotel positions this restaurant as “fine-dining food at neighbourhood-friendly prices”. To wit, the prices are affordable. An average meal for two costs Rs.1,600/- plus taxes with alcohol.
The menu is curated from different parts of China like Szechuan and Hunan, but, inescapably, the food is cooked to “suit the Indian palate”.
The appetizers include Crispy Lotus Stem, served with sesame, an untypical starter, Tiger Prawns coated in golden crisp batter, deep fried and served with a sweet chili sauce, Vegetable Crystal Dumplings and the Shrimp Hargao (a dumpling “served in dim sum” they say is hard to make. So here’s a video on how to make it: https://youtu.be/m1fpglXwO7g.)
While we don’t question the competence of the chef (nor business decisions to Indianize the food), The Seafood Soup and the Chili Garlic Noodles was hard on the palate. Not only because the presence of a lot of ingredients made it hard to appreciate any attempt to nuance the taste, but also because it was strongly peppery (Sichuan peppers give it a hit.)
And then, defeating any notion that the food might not be spicy enough for the Indian palate, the Hot and Spicy Hunan Prawns sported fiery and bold colours.
The Stir Fried Chinese Greens with Minced Garlic and the Mushroom and Corn Fried Rice melded well.
Pratham Shray, the ITC Welcomhotel’s Food and Beverage Manager, told Explocity that the hotel has plans of installing Mahjong tiles on every table. (Mahjong is played with a set of 144 tiles based on Chinese characters and symbols, which diners can study uncomprehendingly until the food arrives.)
Dessert was great. To submit to the sticky Chocolate Chip Cookie, topped with Dark Chocolate Ice cream, S’mores and the in-house Choco Fills was to submit to western decadence.
Also tempting was Passion Coconut Lime Shortcake with Coconut Macaroons topped with Tender Coconut and Passion Fruit Ice cream, a Tropical Sauce, a dry Apricot Compote, a Sour Lime Drizzle and Nuts. It had familiar flavours with its light and fairy tale fruity hues.