In a nutshell:
My favourite from a decade back (Kolkata chapter) – Re-visited the Gurgaon restaurant after many years & Loved the food overall except one.
For seeing pics of food at this place, pls click here.
Address & other details: Mainland China
Meal for 2: Rs. 1200 onwards
Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:
Have been visiting Mainland China in Kolkata from when it opened about a decade back. That time I had just started earning & this was pretty expensive for me. My food experience was also limited at that time & neither had I visited so many Asian countries. Loved the food as it is at that time. Honestly I did not have an idea of how ‘good Chinese food’ was & hence this to me was the epitome of Chinese food.
Over the years I started visiting Asian Countries including interiors of China & having the real ‘Chinese food’ / ‘Oriental food’. My shift to Delhi NCR also widened my exposure to Chinese Restaurants in India – started differentiating Chinese from Chinjabi (Punjabified Chinese).
My current visit was thus with a ‘memory of the past’ + ‘expectation of the real thing’. The first thing I asked the guy waiting on us – Which ones r real & which r Chinjabi’. He said all are authentic. Our experience was nothing short of Great except one dish which turned out to be, if not fully, Chinjabi.
Must also mention that I have also enjoyed my Dinner at Mainland China, Dhaka Bangladesh.
Service at the Gurgaon Branch is good. Interiors r not like typical Chinese Restaurants but like normal multi cuisine restaurant.
Food as I mentioned, was enjoyable.
Detailed Description – In case u have the time to njoy reading:
For starters we ordered a non-vegetarian dimsum/suimai platter. It had 3 pieces each of chicken suimai, prawns suimai & crab cakes. Being usually disapproving of Chicken, I was a bit wary of the forced Chicken suimai.
As the food arrived, I thanked my luck that I was forced to accept chicken in the platter. It was simply awesome – unbelievably soft, super juicy, mild flavours & super duper tasty. Highly recommended.
The Prawn dimsums were excellent too. Once again, juicy, soft & very tasty. I was in disbelief as I still found the chicken suimai to be better than the prawn dimsum!!!!
The Crab cakes were good but way short of great. I am a diehard crab fan but this one was just about ok. It was a good food on its own but it miserably failed to convey the taste of good fresh crab. Crumb frying was surely not a good idea & the execution surely had a lot more to expect.
Post this we had Lettuce wrapped with water chestnuts & chicken. I had been eating this in China for many years & I think its just been a few years that this dish has appeared in Menu cards in India. Once again, the only option was chicken. I requested the server to request the Chef to give us seafood instead of Chicken. He just refused – did not even try asking the Chef. With utter disgust I accepted.
Once again, I was pleasantly surprised. I later thanked the server for insisting on eating the chicken option. It was outstanding.
This dish essentially was tiny juicy & tasty pieces if chicken with water chestnuts & other veggies that had to be wrapped inside fresh lettuce leaves & eaten. One can have it just as it is – without the lettuce.
I am not a fan of confusing my tastebuds with sauces – I like to have food just as it is. However, two sauces given with this dish were very interesting. I had the wraps on & off with the sauces.
Post this came Freshwater whole betki braised with Sichuan chilli sauce. I have been to Sichuan province in China & had the same dish. This was the first time in our dinner at Mainland China that I sensed Chinjabi in the sauce used. The real Sichuan sauce is usually obscenely hot, has a bit of bitter aftertaste & a different feel than any Flavor / taste that is related to tomato. A generous helping of the real Sichuan sauce sets the tongue on fire & lets out smoke from the ears.
The Sichuan sauce at Mainland China was nowhere near to that. It was too mild, maybe tomato sauce / puree was added & it by far lacked the real flavour. This was quite disappointing to me but my friend (co diner) who lacked an exposure to the real thing, liked it. The fish itself was very good though. It was served full (on the bone). It was tasty, fresh & juicy. Loved just the fish part sans the sauce.
The last item we had was Roast lamb in Mahlak sauce. This was slices of lamb in a dark Mahogany colored sauce & large mushrooms. Super soft meat & awesome to taste overall. No Chinjabi – this one.
I will surely keep going back to Mainland China. How about u?