The Terracotta Army has landed in Hyderabad after successfully conquering the hearts of the Mumbai folk with their exquisite Chinese fare. China Bistro has at last planted a flag in Hyderabad too, much to the delight of the Hyderabadis.
Disclaimer : The meal was on the house as it was a Bloggers meet.
Ever since I saw the installation of the two huge terracotta soldier figures outside the main doors of this establishment, I couldn’t wait to check out their interiors. And once I got to go in, I wasn’t disappointed. They seemed to be going in for the classy Asian look, with interesting art work on the walls, where one wall was covered with a huge jade colored Chinese military horse, to the sculpture of a Chinese priest (I’m guessing) right at the start of the stairs.
They have two levels, where they serve a lunch buffet in the ground floor. We were seated on the top floor and were served with their signature dishes and Mocktails.
We were a large group, so I got try a whole bunch of drinks. My favorites were the Basil and Apple martini, which was excellent; and the Wasabi and Cucumber cooler which I was skeptical about trying, but when I did…I was floored. The wasabi hit is not too strong, yet you can make out the flavour of it. I have always loved wasabi on sushi…now I love it in a drink as well! 😊
Once we were comfortable with our drinks…the never ending array of dishes started pouring out from their kitchen.
First a Turnip Cake, which sounded off…because I was like..Turnip?? Cake?? But I was so wrong. This was an excellent dish. You wouldn’t even know it was turnip unless told so. It’s square batter fried fritters made of turnip and people couldn’t get enough of it.
Then a BBQ bao, which I was looking forward to, as I love baos. The taste was spot on, but just the baos felt a bit too flat and not as fluffy as I am used to having. The chicken satay was good, but I like my peanut sauce to be more spicy. The steamed fish in banana leaf was just melt in the mouth! The flavours were bang on without over shadowing the natural taste of the fish. There was a hint of chilli to it, that went so well with the mild flavour of the fish. We gobbled that up as soon as it was served.
The only vegetarian guy at our table was sulking because he was feeling left out, so they especially brought out more versions of the veg dishes to compensate for him not being able to have the non veg versions of it. It is this attention of the staff that I really liked.
We were served veg and non-veg dumplings in two varieties. One a chicken dumpling, that was incredibly tasty. The filling was so good, that I didn’t need a sauce or dip to accompany it. The veg version of it was nice, but I’m partial to the non-veg version of it.
The other dumpling sort of a dish we were served was called Prawns Cheong Fun, which was fun (pun intended) to eat; because you are taught how to eat it by the staff. With this dish, you feel like eating a momo, yet when you bite into it, you realize it’s like tempura shrimp. I absolutely loved this dish! A definite must have!
With all the starters I was almost full, when they brought out the soups. This was a 8 treasure soup, that was super thick and we were told that it was made purely of corn milk and no corn flour was used in it whatsoever. After so many starters..I might have liked a lighter soup maybe.
Now the best part of the meal. The palette cleanser! If you are wondering why I’m calling it the best part of the meal, you must try their lime flavored sorbet that is incredibly smooth and fashioned like a Popsicle served in mini….wait for it…buckets!! These colorful buckets were incredibly cute and the Popsicle totally took us back to our childhood days of having Chuski after school. Now who doesn’t like to be taken back in time?
Now that our palettes were cleansed in such a joyful fashion, we were ready for the main dishes. That is when I noticed what was written behind the chopstick cover, and that made for nice chuckle.
We were served again a long list of dishes. So I am listing them out below with my comments on them. Here goes…
- Exotic veg chilli basil sauce – good flavors.
- Veg in Thai Red Curry – this looked more like a yellow curry, but the flavors were nonetheless amazing. Loved it.
- Hot pot chicken with Shitake Mushroom – for those who do not know, Shitake mushroom has a strong flavor and is a delicacy in most parts of the world. I have had in soups earlier, but this time in a curry, it added to the flavor and was an interesting combination with the chicken.
- Fish in Chilli basil sauce – was again good, but would love the basil flavor to stand out even more.
These curries were accompanied with
- Rice steamed in Lotus leaves, which had a subtle flavor;
- Mee goreng that was incredible and I felt it needed no curries to accompany, also
- A dish made of fusilli which was good too, but I forget it’s name.
After all this, can you believe we still had space for desserts? Well we are hardcore foodies, so expect nothing less of us. 😉
We were served a steamed coconut dumpling with butter honey sauce, which had an interesting taste, almost like a coconut ladoo that is steamed.
The next dessert was a work of art called Chocolate Tsunami. It’s basically a chocolate mousse, which is topped with a disc. Hot chocolate sauce is poured onto it causing the disc to melt revealing the choco mousse with a well of hot choco sauce. This is a choco lovers delight!!
The service is quick and attentive. The staff made sure we understand every dish we were having and was ever ready to answer our barrage of questions.
The food was really good. I would definitely go back for the Prawn Cheong fun, Turnip cake and not to forget…the sorbet served in the mini buckets! 😉
Quality – 4.5/5
Quantity – 4/5
Ambiance – 4/5
Pricing – NA
Service – 4/5