Review: China Doll

Just as I had gone raving about the amazing food and nightlife scene that has come up in Delhi since I moved back with food being up to international standards, no more Indianization of meal, giving Mumbai stiff competition etc etc I got an invitation to visit a new Chinese Restaurant called China Doll. In Delhi, Chinese is almost always Indianized; with too much garlic and red sauce and for someone like me that is an absolute nightmare. In fact, there is a huge difference even if the same branch exists in Delhi and Mumbai, so I took my own sweet time before setting up a visit, I wanted to hold on to the remanent of the good meals I had the last few weeks, plus the PR person had sent me an email which said it was owned by the same people who own Moti Mahal in South Ex which is one of the oldest and best Indian food restaurants. Thus, in my head I was expecting a completely Indianized Chinese meal. Well. I am happy to report my fears were unfounded and the food is definitely one of the best Chinese meals I have had in a long time.

Situated very conveniently in the main South extension market the decor of the place is very Chic.The restaurant area flaunts of elegantly carved wooden furniture, richly upholstered in hues of imperial gold, surrounded by water bodies. There is copious amounts of natural light that spills into the space through the glass walls and the retractable ceiling which is usually left open during the night. The bar near the entrance of the restaurant stretches towards a generously appointed ‘step-out’, edged with an end-to end water fountain and complete with a sit out. The Terrace Lounge is a new addition to the city’s night life. It showcases a circular laser lit feature bar, complemented by a L-shaped seating arrangement, consisting of comfortably sized wooden couches. The break between each seat-setting is provided by uniformly proportioned water bodies that are up-lit. The Terrace Lounge integrates chic contemporary stylized elements with an exhaustive array of beverages.

In terms of food- it was delish and I ended up over-eating. It is the first Hunan style chinese restaurant to open in the capital and they have shown a lot of restraint from making it too Indianized which is all thanks to Chef Zhu Can’s penchant for quality. We started our meal with a Chicken Manchow soup and then moved on to Vodka based cocktails, crispy spinach and Chicken Dry Red Chilli. The chicken was out of this world, and being one of my favourite dishes I was really worried they will get it wrong. The menu is vast and you really need to spend time devouring each bit. We then moved on to the main course where we had normal steamed rice with Kung Pao chicken, Fish water boiled which is supposed to be their speciality, steamed lamb with black bean sauce and steamed pork Hunan style. The food was really amazing but my favourite was surprisingly the pork as I am not much of a pork eater. The fish was a little bland for me, that is the style but doesn’t work on me I guess. We ended the meal with lychee and Ice-cream mostly cause we could not take another bite. I completely recommend this to all Chinese food lovers, unless you like the Indianized Chinese, then I feel sorry for you!

Recipes

Crispy Fish garlic sauce 
Fried river sole fish tossed with red, green & yellow capsicum in garlic sauce. Garnished with finely chopped spring onion

Ingredients
River sole – 200 Gms
Red, green and yellow capsicum – 15gms each
Fish stock- 50ml
Seasoning (salt and pepper) – to taste
Chopped garlic – 5-8 Gms
Chopped ginger – 2 Gms

Method
Dust corn flour on the sole & fry the sliced river sole
Blanch the capsicum
Add veg oil – allow the oil to heat up, add  diced onion, chopped spring onion, ginger and garlic  add the capsicum
Add fish stock, corn flour to thicken the dish
Add seasoning to taste
Serve in dish and for garnish, add chopped coriander and chopped spring onion leaves

Baby corn, broccoli and black mushroom in oyster sauce
Stir fried Baby corn, broccoli and black mushroom cooked with chopped garlic in oyster sauce. Garnished with chopped spring onions.

Ingredients
Baby corn 80 gms
Broccoli 100 gms
Black mushroom 40 gms
Seasoning (salt ) – to taste
Chopped garlic – 5-8 Gms
Oyster sauce – 1/ 4 th (bottle) to cook

Method
Blanch all the vegetables
Take vegetable oil in the wok , add chopped garlic and chopped onions
Add the blanched vegetables, add mushroom oyster sauce
Add seasoning to taste
Dish out in serving platter and is ready to serve.

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