You better believe this ! There are over 3000 Chinese eateries in Mumbai City ! from small tuck in Joints to huge impressive decor and hugely expensive restaurants in 5 star Hotels
Have Tried 5 Spices, Flamboyante , Nankings, Chopsticks,Golden Dragon at Hotel Taj Mahal,Shanghai at ITC Grand Central in Parel,Main Mainland China in Andheri,Sampan at Hotel Novotel ,CG’s 83 at Kemps Corner ( earlier the Famous China Garden of Nelson Wang)and many others in Mumbai & Pune ~ even at all the leading Clubs in Mumbai and Pune ~ Mings at Colaba was my fav for the Buddhas Delight,the Pot Soup that served six and the lovely Pepper in Oil accompaniment ~ alas it shut down !
It’s a Myth that Big is Better or that More Expensive is Better Food !
As a Foodie,I’m always looking out for Quality Food, made with Quality Hygiene,Quality and Fresh Ingredients, by Quality Chefs at Quality Prices !
A Friend Owns the Popular Order In Chain of ‘Mr Chows’ and has been asking me to try it ~ says to just call him and he will plan the Feast ~ Planning to take him up on this soon
If any of you out there recommend I try some Chinese Restaurant in Mumbai or Pune for awesome Vegetarian ,then do let me know and also what Dish should I try there specifically ! ~ and if I like it and do not experience any stomach ache unless of course I love it and overeat ! then I may just reward you with a scrip recommendation that will cure your Aching Portfolio ! ~ Cheers !
I begin by offering Some Advice as to how to Order your Chinese meal and also stating my Menu Preferences before I list my Top 10 Chinese Restaurants in Mumbai (Eight) and Pune(One) and Bengaluru(One)
Some advice to add Value to Your Chinese Veg Meal and so you Order well and enjoy your Meal:
- Ask the Steward taking your Order to instruct the Kitchen and the Chef to avoid the standard Chinese ingredient, Ajino Moto Salt or if they use it,to do so very mildly
- Rice or Noodles are staple with the Main Course ~ Check around the table who prefers what and order accordingly ~ look for menu variety in these staples
- Always inquire with the Steward on the Size of Helpings and order accordingly ~ if unsure it’s prudent to order a single helping before deciding to order a second ~ this will avoid carrying Doggy bags back home as Chinese Food is best enjoyed Fresh~ in fact,as a policy, many good restaurants will not pack a Doggy Bag for you for the leftovers as the quality of Food may deteriorate if preserved too long,even if refrigerated,and not consumed fresh and at the right temperature
- Request the Steward to suggest Some Dishes,even off the Menu, that the Restaurant may be famous for and prepare for regular patrons ~ like White Buns and a French Beans Special by CGs
- Tell the Steward how you like your Soup or Main Course and he will suggest accordingly ~ For instance if you like a Thick Soup Like I do,then don’t order a Light or Clear Soup ~ Inquire off the Steward if unsure of the Nature and Type of the Dish on the Menu ~ However ensure you’re not tricked into ordering the most expensive dish on the menu! ~you will experience such psychological manipulation by Stewards at many restaurants ! ~ they are trained for this so don’t grudge them the effort !
- Be Sure of the Sauce you want the Dish to be made in ~ safer to stay with a light non spicy or less spicy sauce as the Black Beans or Sczhewan may be too spicy and will ruin your Dish ~ Be gracious but don’t be too accommodating even to someone with you who enjoys spicy Szchewan ~ Once I had to down a full litre of water to calm my tongue !
- Be Adventurous ! ~ Try at least one Dish you have never tried before ! ~ you may just discover something special
- Sharing Dishes would make it Cheaper and don’t feel embarrassed or awkward to instruct the Steward to make the Soup 1 by 2 ~ that’s one order of Soup being shared by Two and therefore served in two separate Bowls ~ The Soup Helping at Noodle Bar is quite Large and can easily be shared by Two rather than ordering two Separate Helpings of the Same Soup
- Return the Dish ,without making a Fuss,if you find it too salty,or spicy or stale or undercooked or smelling of or containing Non Vegetarian Ingredients ~ often the kitchen area is not separate for cooking Veg and Non Veg Food and so Stirring Ladles and Frying Woks could be common to cook both ~ Once a leading Restaurant served me a Sea Food Soup and the Manager insisted they were Mushrooms and not Sea Food pieces ! ~ Walked out for their attitude~ other Tables too sympathised ~ it really was seafood !
- Avoid eating of Chinese Food Carts that are all over the town ~ Food may look and be tasty and cheap ~ but the preparation and cleaning hygiene is poor and you may encounter a bout of food poisoning ~ I’ve seen how they cut cabbage and carrots and spring onions on the road and the water they use to clean these and how used bowls and plates and spoons and forks are simply immersed in a bucket of water once or twice and quickly pulled out and wiped to serve another ! ~ a survey had revealed that nine out of ten such Chinese Food Carts there was some intensity of food poisoning involved ~ mostly semolina due to the quality of noodles used ~ this does not mean you may never get food poisoning at a good restaurant !
Soup ~ I Prefer Thick Soups rather than Clear Light Soups ~When I was a kid,loved Sweet Corn Plain,migrated to Sweet Corn Vegetable ~occasionally yet have them~ then the Manchow and Hot and Pepper ~ now love the Veg Lung Fung Soup ~ alas can find it well made now only by Smoking Lees, just like Nelson Wang of China Garden Fame made it ~ If I was Sick this was one taste that could cure and revive me ! ~ most use cubes that have non veg stock to make this soup,but not Smoking Lees ~ a well made Veg Clear Soup,Lemon Coriander Soup or a Pepper Soup ( Noodles Bar) too is quite delightful….
Starters ~Freshly baked Soft White Buns, Crackling Spinach,Cripy Corn,Corn Cream,Old Time fav Spring Rolls,Steamed and Pan Fried Wontons , Dim Sums , K P Chow ( no one can match Nelson Wang of China Garden Fame for this one ! ~ it’s deep fried vegetables in spicy soya sauce ),Hakka Mushroom with Spring Onions,Hakka or Chilli Paneer,Garlic Chilli or Straw Potatoes…..
Main Course ~ Potato & Okra in a light spicy sauce,Buddhas Delight with all Exotic Vegetables in Hunan Sauce,Pan Fried Noodles,Moon Fan Rice,Shitake Mushrooms,Stir Fried Chinese Greens,Old Fav Staple and Authentic and well made Hakka Noodles and well made Manchurian with Gravy,Shitake Mushroom with Brocolli & Water Chestnuts in a Light Sauce,Mixed Vegetables in Black Bean Sauce ~ A Popular South Indian Food Chain,that also serves Fast Food,North Indian and Chinese and even trying their hand at Italian and Mexican,uses thick and fat and soft noodles to make Hakka Noodles ! ~ ruins the Dish !~ sadly many Mumbaikars are growing up thinking this is the Authentic Hakka Noodles ! ~ they justify or defend this as Chinese being made to suit the Indian palate !
Dessert ~ Fresh Litchi (Canned will do) with Vanilla Ice cream,Fried Noodles dripping with Honey ~ Both are Heaven !
I avoid the light,not very aromatic Chinese Tea that I’m told serves as a good Digestive ! ~ as I’m addicted to ‘ kadak fudina’ Indian Tea made with a generous helping of aromatic Tea Leaves or lemon grass ~ Chinese Tea is served in a Thumb size,pardon my exaggeration, small cup and I wonder how many guests really enjoy it or sip it only because it’s fashionable to do so and be seen as a well heeled and experienced patron of Chinese Food ! ~ Upper Crust, if you will !
My Top 10 Chinese Restaurants in Mumbai (Eight) & Pune (One) & Bengaluru (One),not in order of any ranking or preference~ Being a Grass eater I can only vouch for the Vegetarian Fare
- Mainland China in Pune~ One of my Most Memorable Chinese Lunches ~Awesome & Authentic ~ Try the Lavish Emperor Feast for min 4 Guests ~ we were 4 of us and had driven down from Mumbai for the weekend ~ we entered at @ 2.30 pm and left at 4.30 pm ! ~simply could not finish the Feast and they politely refused to parcel ! ~ We had before us Three or Four of Each ~ Soup,Starters,Main Course and Dessert ! ! ! which we were allowed to decide on from even the main menu Choices and were guided by a superb Steward ~ a Corn Starter was like we have never had anywhere before !
- Lings Pavilion just behind Regal Cinema and adjacent to Taj Mahal Hotel and a stones throw from All Stir Fry~ Personal Service and try the Jade Rolls ~ tell them to go easy on the Spice on this !
- Oriental Blossom at Hotel Marine Plaza on Marine Drive,South Mumbai~ Wow ! Skip the a-la-carte and attack the two choices ,one has a wider choice, of Veg Delights of your Choice from Starters to Dessert ~ need a min no of Guests for this though ~ and tell them when you make reservations that you are planning this Choice from the menu
- Asia 7 at the Palladium,High Street Phoenix,Lower Parel~ Discovered this delightful place at the Palladium ~ Polite and Friendly Service and Chef can rustle up something you like that’s not on the Menu
- Dynasty on S V Road at Santa Cruz~ This is simply good Value for Money ~ the Stewards are knowledgable and quite friendly ~ may have to wait an hour for a table though even on week nights ! ~ try the Coriander Soup or the Rainbow Soup ~ ask even if it’s not on the menu !
- All Stir Fry at Gordon Hotel ,near Regal Cinema and Taj Mahal Hotel ~ We love the Unlimited Wok ~but have seen pices go up from Rs 250 levels to over Rs 450 now ! ~ even the a la carte is good ~ try the Pan Fried Noodles ~ and try sitting on proper chairs instead of the benches ~ can be noisy as is dominated by youth most nights
- Noodle Bar at Skyzone,Phoenix,Lower Parel ~ good Chinese Sizzlers and a great Soup Too that can be easily shared by two
- Smoking Lees ~ Largely Order In from Neapean Sea Road,off Warden Road Outlet ~ Lovely Veg Lung Fung Soup with Tofu Cubes that can be shared by two ~and they are not Miserly on the Broccoli,Baby Corn and Zucchini when you order their Exotic Vegetables in Hunan Sauce ~ they serve Value for Money Meal for One and Two and make good Hakka Noodles and a tasty Soft Paneer Gravy Dish too ~ was very good value for Money but have increased prices quite a bit now
- Royal China at Multiplex Sterling Cinema near CST,Fort~ Authentic ,Import many Ingredients,therefore Expensive ~ never rush your meal here ~ go only if you are majorly celebrating and have at least two hours to enjoy leisurely and deep pockets ~ Convey what you like and how and Let the Steward gently guide you ~ they have an awesome Dimsum Lunch for preferred patrons on one or two days of the week and to which I had a standing invitation by the Commercial Vice Counsel of a Far East Nation,which to my loss I was unable to accept before he was transfered back !
- Aromas of China in Bengaluru~ Was staying with a Friend in his City abode (he’s normally at his Farm @ 20 kms away from City) on a Business Trip and late one Night was literally drawn by the Aromas of Chinese Food from across the Street and dropped into Aromas ~ learnt it was a popular Chain ~was pleasantly surprised on the Simply Lovely fare ~ wonder how I had never tried Aromas in Mumbai before !~good creative dishes on the menu ~ I loved the Dish of the Combination of Three types of Mushroom,Shitake,Oyster and Common Field Variety,not the Button though simply stir fried in a light soya sauce as instructed , and as well as the lovely and tasty Crispy Corn starter