|My amazing team – Roshan, Zoran and Sayalee
It was indeed a fun and eventful session as we made our own, “personalized” versions of dimsums along with the traditional ones. What I guess most of us were excited about, was to taste the dimsums we made with our very own hands. Yes, although it’s a wonderful feeling to cook for others, I think it’s so important to savour the food that’s prepared by you. A little self appreciation can go a long way… and it did. We loved every bit of the dimsums we cooked together and were encouraged enough to try it at home as well. 🙂
Once we were done, Rutavi and the others escorted us to The Oriental Blossom – Hotel Marine Plaza’s Cantonese restaurant. We settled into our seats at a round table by the window that was set up for us. An extensively set menu was rolled up like a scroll and that’s when we knew it was bound to be an oriental fest that we absolutely did look forward to!
The menu consisted of so many vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian options. Although I pretty much enjoyed everything we tasted, here are some of my favourites of the afternoon.
Among the vegetarian appetizers, I personally loved the Crispy Aubergine in Coriander and Chilli Sauce and the Steam Jade Rolls topped with Hot Garlic Sauce. Both of them were individualistically unusual in their own right. The use of aubergine (brinjal) in Cantonese food was a first for me and I quite enjoyed it!
The non-vegetarian appetizers consisted of Pork Spare Ribs in BBQ Sauce and the Chicken Wrapped Prawns in Schezwan Sauce and they were both outstanding! The pork ribs were perfectly juicy while the chicken wrapped prawns were undoubtedly delicious! Some beautiful flavours were experienced with each of these appetizers, making it hard to stop at just one piece.
Up next and although I’m not a soup person, we checked out the Vegetable as well as the Chicken Chimney Soups. These were clear soups that had plentiful piquancy with a smoky touch, making them enjoyable despite their simplicity.
It was time for main course. As we chatted up an appetite for the same, the food that kept arriving at our table didn’t seem to end. For once, I felt intimidated by the amount of dishes that were finally laid. Here’s a list of pretty much everything we got a taste of…
Roast Cantonese Chicken – Although it was quite dry for my liking, a little extra sauce or gravy on the side would have enhanced this otherwise simple preparation. The chicken was well cooked but the flavours fell flat due to the lack of enough gravy.
Kung Pao Lamb – One of my favourites of the afternoon, the lamb was succulent enough while the kung pao gravy made it only better. An ideal choice to go with hot, steam rice.
Sauteed Prawns in Chilli Oyster Sauce
– Another favourite, also because I am extremely biased towards all things prawns, this gravy wasn’t as predictable to taste as I expected it to be and I wasn’t disappointed. PS. The prawns were fresh and that’s a major plus point.
The vegetarians had quite a variety too and that’s always a welcome change, because most of them I know, usually end up feeling sort of deprived when it comes to choices.
The Wok Tossed Oriental Vegetables with Burnt Garlic in Superior Soya Sauce was quite delectable too. The assorted vegetables in this easy-to-love gravy is something all the vegetarians are bound to enjoy!
The Stir-Fry Water Chestnuts with Red and Green Pell Peppers, Baby Corn and Snow Peas in Chilli Black Sauce had a nice, individualistic taste that went well with the Assorted Mushrooms in Preserved Vegetable Clay Pot Rice. The elaborated flavours were savoured by everyone.
If you’re looking to trying out something that’s out of the box yet strongly Cantonese by nature, the Wok Grilled Stuffed Aubergine in Cantonese Sauce is your go-to vegetarian treat. Although I’m not a big fan of brinjal except in the form of baingan bhartaa, this was something new and quite exclusive to The Oriental Blossom, since I’ve never tasted it elsewhere.
All the gravies were thoroughly enjoyed with some Wok Tossed Vegetable Hakka Noodles that was simple and flavoursome in it’s own way.
The afternoon of course had to end on a sweet note – not just because I was with some of the sweetest people around, but also since we still managed to keep some room in our tummies for desserts! I wasn’t expecting anything unusual since Chinese restaurants don’t experiment much with the same. But here, they had some hot and freshly fried and Crispy Date Pancakes that was served with a scoop of classic Vanilla Ice-cream. I would have to say it’s an acquired taste. I wasn’t kicked about it in the first bite but then it grew on me and the ice cream balanced out the excessive sweetness to the dates. Brownie points to the chef for making an attempt at something unique for patrons with an experimental sweet tooth. 🙂
All in all, this Saturday afternoon was a splendid one with some of my favourite people. With lots of insightful learning, new culinary experiences, fun-filled conversations and of course, very good food… there’s no reason why this wouldn’t be picture-perfect in every sense. 🙂
I’d never been to The Oriental Blossom before and I have to say the food, space and service definitely left a wonderful impression on me. If Chinese fine dine is your preference of the day or evening, then don’t think twice… I have a good feeling about this place! 🙂
Address: 29, Marine Drive, Churchgate, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400020
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Until next time…
The Potpourri Girl