In a nutshell:
Run by a Chinese Family, this restaurant serves some very authentic, ‘not often served in Delhi’ dishes and some also Chinjabi stuff to meet the needs of the local clientele. Our tastebuds had a roller coaster ride here during those 2 hours spent at the restaurant.
Address & other details: Canton Spice Company
Meal for 2: Rs. 1500 onwards
Cuisine type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
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I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
Ever since the Cyber Hub opened up, we have been going there on each weekend to explore the place. While we passed by Canton Spice, we were wondering how authentic the Chinese wud b & it was then that we met a foodie friend of ours. He told us that these guys have pretty authentic stuff. So we went.
The interiors r pretty simple but nice. There is an area with high stools & a long table, the kinds that I have seen many times in Guanzhou. Rest of the seating was usual table surrounded by chairs. The overall look of the place is raw. It has open A/C ducts etc.
A part of the restaurant had a raw brick wall. The lamp shades were pretty different. Intensity of lights were adjustable according to the light outside & the mood of the crowd.
The Owner’s family members (they looked like) were on the floor all the while, monitoring & interacting with Guests. The staff members were polite & nice but not warm. They were very transactional , efficient & stiff.
Food was a roller coaster. Loved all the authentic dishes. Hated the Chinjabi ones. Though I fully understand that some customers prefer Chinjabi , the restaurant shud find a way to communicate that, either on the menu card or thru the waiting staff. Reason – Chinjabi lovers will find authentic ones very strange & bland & hardcore connoisseurs wud hate Chinjabi. The Chinese in Connaught Place had 2 menu cards to separate the two kinds of needs.
Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:
We started our lunch with Seafood dumpling – steamed crab and prawn dumpling. It had a slimy, super soft & sticky outer layer that allowed the filling to express itself well. It had a superb filling of crab & prawns. Not overdone, just right. Chinjabi lovers beware, this is too authentic. Loved it & rate it 4.5/5
Post a wonderful experience, we moved on to Crispy duck rolls – shredded duck in plum sauce & with scallions. Very average,non memorable rolls. It was however in the right direction. The wrap cud have been softer & warmer. Flavors were good. The scallions were nice.
But overall the dish cud not tingle the taste buds properly & came out to b average. This dish was authentic but it had major executional issues – maybe that does not happen always. I rate it 2/5 based on my experience that day.
Next dish we had was Steamed pearl balls pork inside sticky rice. Superb. Served in soup spoon, there was a bit of thin soup at the base & on top of that was a meatball wrapped with rice around. Excellent. It again reminded me of my china days. Rate this dish 4.5/5.
‘Sugarcane prawn minced crispy croutons’ was a disaster dish. I used to love this in China – A 15mm thick juicy sugarcane stick wrapped with a lump of crab / prawn meat & steamed. We wud eat the lump & then chew the sugarcane as well.
For some reason Canton Spice Co decided to put bread croutons around the lump and then they deep fried it. The sugarcane was too thin and too dry. Result – the taste of bread was overpowering . It totally covered the taste and flavor of prawns. We cud see the prawn but cud not taste it inspite of being able to see it. It was a good fried bread item but miserably failed to b a prawn one. I rate it 1/5.
Dry Szechuan tenderloin was again a disappointment. Corn starch or something like that was put before finally cooking the tenderloin mini steaks. Taste got quite hampered due to the add on. Marination was good. I wud give the taste of this dish 2/5. Texture was Perfect – soft and juicy. Cud not get better. I wud rate the texture 4.5/5. Overall rating of the dish averages out to 3.25/5
By the law of Roller coaster, the next dish was the one to remember. It was Taosee pork with fermented black beans & red chilly. The black beans were fermented & the effect spread to the overall dish. The preparation was a dry one. The pork was soft, juicy & too tasty. Red chilly added zing to the dish. Loved it & rate it 4.5/5.
The next dish defied the law of Roller coaster. It was Stewed tenderloin grandma’s special with radish. Yes, u got it right – Radish chunks in a meat curry!!!! & that is real. That is authentic. The gravy was thick without a thickener. It was intense in taste & flavors – from meat, radish & also sauces. The meat pieces were super soft melt in the mouth. The radish pieces were like radish pieces – a bit bitter towards the end. Super loved this dish & rate it 4.5/5.
We enjoyed the above two dishes with ‘Bacon and prawn clay pot rice a special canton spice company rice preparation’. While the special preparation was good, I cud not mentally accept that the dish was prepared with basmati instead of Chinese Sticky rice. I am sure the current offering wud b surely more widely acceptable by people at large. However connoisseurs wud b disappointed. I rate this dish 3/5.
Rating of food at Canton Spice Company averages out to 3.4/5.
I wud keep going back to try more & more of the authentic stuff. Will hv to figure out a way to get that info from the staff during ordering.