Ling’s pavilion (19/21, Mahakavi Bhushan Marg, Behind Regal Cinema, Colaba, Mumbai)


To read the history of ling’s pavilion, pls click here: GQ article

In a nutshell:

A treasure box of great authentic Chinese food, run by a Chinese origin family, this restaurant is a foodies’s paradise, only if u know how to avoid the Chinjabi dishes & end up ordering the original stuff. Food here reminded me of my days in China …………….

near the entrance
near the entrance

Address & other details:  Ling’s Pavilion

Meal for 2: 500 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.

receipt 1 - proof of payment
receipt 1 – proof of payment
receipt 2 - proof of payment
receipt 2 – proof of payment

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.

receipt 3 - proof of payment
receipt 3 – proof of payment
receipt 4 - proof of payment
receipt 4 – proof of payment

Short description – in case u r in a hurry:

I don’t know why but we behaved very differently while eating out at this restaurant. We usually identify a restaurant, go there, eat a lot of things over 2-3 hours , return and write back about it. Unless something is really good, we don’t end up at the same place in 2-3 years.

our spread
our spread

In case of ling’s it was different. The first day we went we were (unusually) not in a mood to click pics. We went back several times and loved it.

Our friend who runs a nice social media foodie group called Sabor, had a lot to contribute to this amazing experience as she has been eating here much more regularly. The best experience was when she requested the owner Mr ling to recommend authentic Chinese dishes.

crunchy kimchi
crunchy kimchi

The menu card here has many options. The waiting staff tend to recommend the indianized Chinese stuff the moment they see brown people like us – I guess they do not do the same with the Asian guests. It is extremely difficult to make them believe that Indians like us can also appreciate true blue Chinese food the way the Chinese have it.

prawns
prawns

Even after saying ‘we want to eat exactly what the Chinese people come here and eat’, they wud say ‘ but they r not spicy, very bland, not deep fried, only braised / steamed’ etc. Once we successfully said no to all the discouragement they wud with a horrified face, take down the orders and serve us. With great apprehension they wud come and ask ‘how was the food’ and on hearing ‘excellent’ they wud b in utter shock and joy at the same time!!!! All this is interpretations by me by reading their facial expressions.

beans stirfried
beans stirfried

The food I have tasted here is mostly close to authentic Chinese and I have loved it. I say this coz I have travelled to China multiple times and have eaten at roadside shops, factory workers canteens, Family cooperative eateries and also fancy restaurants.

porkbelly mushrooms
porkbelly mushrooms

Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:

Since we were here several times, this is a snapshot of different occasions.

Day n ( Mr ling’s grand mother’s home recipes)

Seafood fire pot soup was too good. It was a thin watery soup served piping hot. There were crabs, prawns, squids and fish in the soup, in addition to bokchoy. The flavours of seafood were very well present in the soup. The soup was very refreshing. Fresh seafood ensured that the soup was excellent. Super loved it and rate it 4.5/5

Seafood fire pot soup
Seafood fire pot soup

Stew pork mushroom was a very good dish with super soft, great mushroom, and chunky boneless pork pieces. The pork pieces were full of flavours, were a mouthful of joy and soft and a bit chewy. Mushrooms were excellent. The ratio of pork to mushroom was a tad more in favour of mushrooms. Nevertheless rate it 4.5/5

Stew pork mushroom
Stew pork mushroom

Prawn garlic had very fresh and good prawns stir fried with garlic and onion greens. Rate it 4.25/5

Prawn garlic
Prawn garlic
Prawn garlic
Prawn garlic

Egg bitter gourd was a very interesting dish. The egg was scrambled with a layered creamy feel to it and it had bitter gourds ( karela) in it. I have not had this before. The beauty of the dish was in the way the eg was cooked to such a lovely texture. Rate it 4.25/5

Egg bitter gourd
Egg bitter gourd

French bean sautéed was very nice. Garlic made its presence felt and so did soy. Rate it 4.25/5

French bean sautéed
French bean sautéed

Beef spinach was outstanding. Chewy but soft and juicy beef pieces in spinach – the spinach had a slight natural bitterness in it. The liquid at the bottom of the plate resulting from the cooking of spinach and beef together was too good. Felt like drinking it to the last drop. Rate it 4.5/5

Beef spinach
Beef spinach

Kung pao chicken was the only dish that was bordering indianized Chinese food. The chicken pieces were soft and juicy. Taste was quite ‘chatpata’ for lack of a better word to describe. Rate it 3/5

Kung pao chicken
Kung pao chicken

Day n-1

 

Prawn suimai was rather ok. The prawn flavours were less felt and it seemed like a good general seafood suimai. Rate it 3/5

Prawn suimai
Prawn suimai
Prawn suimai
Prawn suimai

Steamed red snapper with onion greens was nice. The juice from the fish at the ottos of the plate was too good. The fish was flaky, flavourful and very good. Loved this fish and rate it 4.25/5

Steamed red snapper with onion greens
Steamed red snapper with onion greens

Day n-2

Chinese soup radish and lamb was just so good. A super thin watery , piping hot soup with big chunks of radish and lamb in it. The flavours of both radish and lamb made their presence felt very well. Intense to taste and very refreshing. Rate it 4.5/5

Chinese soup radish and lamb
Chinese soup radish and lamb
Chinese soup radish and lamb
Chinese soup radish and lamb

Juicy pork dumpling served with juliennes of ginger – this dumpling had soup inside. So one had to pop the whole dumpling in the mouth and on biting the soup trapped inside the dimsum wud burst out. Intense, super juicy and YUMM – great to have as it is as well as with the ginger. Rate it 4.5/5

Juicy pork dumpling
Juicy pork dumpling

Beef potato stew was again very very good. The ingredients seemed to be cooked together in low fire for a long time. So the flavours of the meat were very well felt in the stew.

Beef potato stew
Beef potato stew

The meat pieces were super soft and YUMM. A memorable dish, among many Chinese dishes I have had in india. Rate it 4.75/5

Beef potato stew
Beef potato stew
Beef potato stew
Beef potato stew

Prawn ginger garlic had peanuts and onion greens in it. Very fresh prawns , tasty and if the perfect texture. Juicy as well. Rate it 4.25/5

Prawn ginger garlic
Prawn ginger garlic

Day n-4

Seafood chimney soup – we were used to eating this at eau chew, KolkatA, one of india’s oldest Chinese restaurants. So we decided to try it here as well.

Seafood chimney soup
Seafood chimney soup

For the uninitiated, chimney soup is served in the upper compartment of a 2 compartment container. The middle part of the lower compartment extends to the upper and burning charcoal is kept in the lower compartment. This ensures that the soup is hot till the last drop.

Loved the liquid part of the soup, the refreshing broth full of seafood flavours, the bokchoy, the seafood. However the glass noodles at the bottom were quite a pain. Rate the chimney soup 4/5.

Overall rating of food at ling’s pavilion averages out to 4.2/5, which is a super score considering it has been arrived at by averaging so many dishes.

Many more visits to this place are pending, to explore the width of offering.

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