Tag Archives: oriental

An Oriental Treat: Mahjong

I had heard so much about Mahjong, Ramee Guestline Khar, but somehow never paid a visit. The excitement was thus doubled, as we entered. A warm welcome by Oscar Mendes the Manager, and we were seated on a nice corner table. The place was obviously popular, as it was buzzing with frenetic activity.

The fresh lime soda sweet, which is such a common drink was made to perfection. Just the way I like it. That immediately gave me a feeling of comfort.

The spicy soya coriander soup with chicken was delicious but strongly reminiscent of a hot n sour soup. The starters were an exercise in choices. The potato chilly mustard was unique. But what bowled me over completely was the crispy lotus root in sanso pepper. Crisp and crunchy, it was outstanding. Among Non vegetarian starters, grilled fish(rawas) in thai stye was good and the dumplings too were delectable. The chicken in soya chilly with bone was a dampner. No bones for me to pick!

CLAY POT RICE copy

The personalised and prompt service of the alert staff was pleasing, but not overbearing. Prawns in chilly coriander sauce in the main course were succulent, and a real treat and paired well with the fried rice. The Veg dan mein noodles were interesting though a trifle sweetish. The shredded Cantonese style chicken too was not the run-of-the-mill stuff. In fact nothing in the menu was.

Cream custard was passable but the darsan was a bit soggy instead of the usual crisp ones. Tasted fine with the dollop of ice cream though. The desserts could be more exciting.

Chef Rana is truly a wizard in creating unique but simple fare. His flavours are subtle yet, pronounced. Oriental food with great taste sans MSG added, speaks volumes for the chef’s ability, as far as I am concerned. A thoroughly enjoyable meal.

Priced @Rs 499 plus taxes, it is shockingly value for money. They have lunch buffets too which are affordably priced. It is a great place to visit with the family or friends. What’s more the menu changes daily, so you will not be treating your palate to the same food. I love Oriental food anyway, so am not grumbling.

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Lord of His Kitchen: Chef Kroongtana Nimnu

Chef Kroongtana Nimnu seems at ease in the Hotel kitchen, even though he has arrived recently.  As the new Chef De Cuisine at Ocean, Sahara Star, he is in command. Authentic Thai recipes and traditional Chinese dishes is what he has come armed with. He explains, “The menu focuses on Thai & Chinese and will have sprinkling of other Pan Asian Cuisines also. But you know, the two nations are inseparable. Thai cuisine blends the two cultures of China and India.”

 

Thai cuisine, according to him, encompasses, all flavours in one dish, sour, sweet, salty, spicy and bitter. Other cuisines salt their food with salt, but the Thai food is salty from fish sauce. He is aware that “most of our major customers are Indians. The new menu has many dishes which have a touch of Indian foods such as curry. Though, I would like to keep the original taste & flavour. However,  I am willing to meet guest preferences,” avers Chef Nimnu.

 Originally, from Thailand, he learnt cooking at an early age from his mother, owing to his keen interest in the kitchen.

 He is aware of the challenges of catering to Indians, especially Mumbaikars, who are foodies and have a discerning palate. With the variety he has introduced in the new menu, he promises his guests a gastronomical journey, like never before. 

He has seen a bit of Mumbai and the traffic intimidates him, yet eh loves the city and its people. Beneath that calm persona and quiet smile, is a confident chef, who deftly prepares food and wooes his guests.

His food struck me as very simple and authentic and yet, tuned to the Indian palate. He is obviously particular about his presentation, as each dish was uniquely and painstakingly presented.  The flavours were distinct and the aroma filled the nostrils even before one sampled the dish. Even a Thai green curry which I have been eating all my life tasted so different. Perhaps, the real one at last? Simply loved it. Am already yearning for more.