Oriental blossom (Optus Sarovar Premiere, 43-47, City Centre, Sector 29, Gurgaon)


In a nutshell:

An understated presence of the restaurant (from outside), a cheap looking colored hoarding outside the building contrasts with a stunningly beautiful interior. Great place for enjoying some good Oriental food in a nice ambience.

The logo
The logo

Address & other details: Oriental Blossom

Meal for 2: Rs. 1200 onwards

Cuisine type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.

Inside the restaurant
Inside the restaurant

Short Description – In case u r in a Hurry:

When my best friend suggested that we go here to spend a foodie evening, I was not very confident. I wud have drove past Sarovar Premier hundreds of time but never imagined that there cud b such a beautiful restaurant inside. Nor did I have the idea that I might get ‘close to authentic’ oriental food here. After weighing several options, we finally decided to visit this place – in retrospect that was an excellent decision.

Fish in ginger & preserved chilli sauce
Fish in ginger & preserved chilli sauce

A Hoarding outside Sarovar Premier that announces the presence of a restaurant, has two problems – It is badly printed & looks cheap + most of the time it talks about deals & offers etc. I wud never expect a good restaurant to have such basic branding issues.

Flat noodles with orange reduction , date pie & vanilla ice cream
Flat noodles with orange reduction , date pie & vanilla ice cream

Once inside the restaurant, we were stunned. Ambience is really very nice. The ceiling had intricately designed inverted semi spheres. The walls were beautifully done. Two Oriental style images are located right at the center of the Dining Hall. Some people were sitting close up to the statues & images & hence I cud not click pics as desired – to avoid offending people sitting close to those works of art.
The staff members were nice to talk to & had good knowledge of product.

Beautiful Ceiling Hangings
Beautiful Ceiling Hangings

I have been to China many times in the last decade & have eaten food at restaurants, shacks, streetfood, bus stops & also at factory canteens. So every time I eat Chinese food in India, I tend to compare mentally – most places do not serve authentic or even close to authentic Chinese fare in India. Even the ones who claim they do not serve Chinjabi (Punjabi inspired Chinese food), end up serving something different than the real thing – either knowingly or unknowingly.

Tiger prawn & veggies in ‘inhouse made’ crabmeat sauce
Tiger prawn & veggies in ‘inhouse made’ crabmeat sauce

Food at Oriental Blossom was really good & pretty close to authentic & it exceeded my expectations. I was wondering that if the marketing team wud have been as good as the Chef & his team, this cud have been a real popular restaurant.

Detailed Description – In case u have the time to njoy reading:

We started the evening with a starter ‘Fish in ginger & preserved chilli sauce’. Simply marvellous to taste, the dish was simply & effortlessly made. It was a batter fried fish fillet, sautéed with onions, thin slices of long pieces of ginger, star anise, cinnamon & some others. All the spices were in full sizes, non broken, non powdered. We just ended up biting some of these. & of course there were Tomatoes & pickled chillies. The pickled chillies had a nice fermented feel to it. They were pretty hot & I cud not chew all the chilly pieces.

Fish in ginger & preserved chilli sauce
Fish in ginger & preserved chilli sauce

Overall it was a dish with strong taste & flavours. I cud relate to the Sichuan food in China that I tried on numerous occasions – this was as close as it cud get. The only difference was that in China, in most cases, the fish / seafood slices wud not be batter fried but just sautéed.

The dish gets a straight 4.5/5 for its ‘almost there’ authenticity & good taste. Let me tell u this – The taste was so strong that to prepare my mouth for the next dish, I had to drink 1 full glass of fresh lime soda as a palate cleanser!!!!!

Post this we ordered Tiger prawn & veggies in ‘inhouse made’ crabmeat sauce. We were warned by the waiting staff that the Crabmeat sauce dish was super bland. We said as long as it tastes good & close to authentic, we do not mind ‘bland’.

Tiger prawn & veggies in ‘inhouse made’ crabmeat sauce
Tiger prawn & veggies in ‘inhouse made’ crabmeat sauce

The dish turned out to be authentic to a large extent – I wud say approx 70% authentic. The center of attraction was huge jumbo prawns & we got 4 of them. Unbelievable coz most restaurants serve 2-3 in a dish. The prawns were soft, somewhat juicy & good to taste. What was irritating was the coating atop the prawns – an element of starch cud b felt at every point of the eating experience.I wud give the prawns 3/5 due to the coating.

Tiger prawn & veggies in ‘inhouse made’ crabmeat sauce
Tiger prawn & veggies in ‘inhouse made’ crabmeat sauce

There were a whole lot of veggies in the dish – Snow peas, broccoli, mushroom, asparagus, baby corn, zucchini. The good part is that each & every piece of vegetable was optimally crunchy & perfect in terms of texture. Of course they tasted good. I wud give 4/5 to the veggies.

I cud not get the feel of crabmeat in the ‘crabmeat’ sauce much maybe coz my tastebuds were still influenced by the pickled chillies. The sauce tasted good irrespective. I wud rate this 3/5.

Overall rating for this dish adds up to 3.33/5.

The next item in main course was ‘Ma po tofu’ – it was minced pork meat & bean curd (tofu) in spicy hot bean sauce. I had recently had this dish for lunch in a factory canteen in Vietnam. This was as close as it cud get – silky textured soft tofu cut into small cubes cooked with minced pork. The minced meat part of the curry was quite spicy & the tofu was acting as a balsancing factor. Excellent I wud say & rate this at 4.5/5.

Ma po tofu
Ma po tofu

We enjoyed these dishes with sticky rice.

As we waited for our dessert, The Chef walked in & asked us about the food – I told him exactly what I have written about above. He had something to say on the coating of fish that I must share with u – In China seafood is fresh & eaten soon after. In landlocked Delhi seafood is flown in & undergoes storage at different stages. So seafood / fish do not taste as fresh as in China & hence he had coated them with batter / corn. I asked him if he has worked in China & he was honest & humble enough to say that he has never been to China. I said ‘If this is what u make without being to China, I can imagine what u will come up if u go to China.’ Wow – that was a great feat.

Ma po tofu
Ma po tofu served on the plate

I hope the Management of the Restaurant reads this & sends the Chef to the Oriental countries so that he can create even more magic on the plate back home. Loved the sudden unplanned interaction with the chef (since we went on anonymity) & look forward to more informal human to human (not customer to Chef) chats with him sometime somewhere.

For dessert we had Date & raisin pancake – It had a thin crispy, layery, khasta outer layer & a dry, mildly sweet date filling within. Very very good I wud say. This came with a vanilla ice cream in a food bowl. I wud give this dish a 4/5.

Date & raisin pancake
Triangle shaped Date & raisin pancake in the foreground

Flat noodles with orange reduction was the last item that we had at Oriental Blossom & this floored us – This was not a true blue traditional Chinese dessert but it was as good as a ‘Chinese inspired’ dessert cud get. Wondering why is that? Coz in traditional Chinese meal, eating a dessert is not compulsory. On so many occasions I have seen a meal end with meat dishes / veggie dishes.

Flat noodles with orange reduction
Flat noodles with orange reduction

The noodles were crispy fried & then dunked into an outstanding orange reduction. The texture was perfectly perfect & the balance in taste is worth mentioning. The overall effect was mindblowing good. Loved this experience – worth remembering.

I wud rate this a 4.5/5

Overall the rating of food at this restaurant adds up to 4.16/5 (simple average).

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