Sunday, 20 March 2016
Mainland China, Ghatkopar West, Mumbai
If it is Chinese, it must be at Mainland China. This is what my best friend in college had told me, a fellow foodie of course. Those days I used to be just at the point where even the poverty line in India feels ashamed of itself,so of course I never had enough to actually go feast at Mainland China. I was also under the impression that they are exorbitantly priced. It took me a long time to do both-realize that Mainland China is not actually exorbitant and also earn enough to proudly get a reservation at good dining places for excellent dining experiences :) Oh, but this experience here is special-it is also the first time I dined alone. Yeah, first time dining at Mainland China. Doing so Alone. :D
Actually I was supposed to be here with a friend. We went to RCity Mall, Ghatkopar West on Friday morning to catch a really early movie and then go to Mainland China. But halfway through the movie she got a call from her home, some kind of medical emergency for someone in her family. Now I sat through the rest of the movie alone because that is not weird,right? I have seen plenty of movies alone and I think it is actually pretty commonplace in megacities like Mumbai, especially going to multiplexes. But then the movie ended and I was hungry. Ofcourse there was the option of going to the food court in the mall where I have seen plenty of people sitting and eating alone. BUT I just really wanted to eat at Mainland China. I had been saving for that. And I needed good Chinese food in my growling tummy. But there is this kind of taboo doing some things alone, like sitting in a really good restaurant eating alone. So,the very next moment,I was calling another friend who lives nearby in Godrej colony to plead with him to meet me for lunch. And he said,he was in office,but he could swing by in about an hour. Cool!
'You are not alone. Your friend will be here soon. Nobody will stare at you. Nobody will laugh at you. And so what if you are sitting alone on a table? Plenty of people do that. Eat alone. Watch movies alone. Do stuff alone. This is the 21st century. Alone is not sad'. I went ahead and walked in Mainland China while all this was going through my head. Turns out,everything was unnecessary. I was taken care of. And I don't mean in the 'They pity me because I am eating alone' way, but in a 'You are our esteemed guest and we are going to do our best to make this the best dining experience of your life' way :D
Beautiful ambiance. Brilliant service. Outstanding staff. Delectable food. This is all you need to know.
It does not look or feel like a dining outlet in a mall. Perfect fine dine ambiance. Staff made me feel at ease from the moment I walked in. Never hovering over my table but always there to clear away my plates the moment I finished. Never had to wait an extra second for water to be refilled. Absolute top notch 5 star service. I went through the menu and yes,it is a bit on the expensive side if one goes a la carte, but portions are enough for 1 dish to be enough for 2 people. Anyway, I went for the lunch buffet. Absolute value for money as I paid just about Rs. 550 for vegetarian option. And boy oh boy,what a delectable spread it was.
None of that 100 dishes in the buffet spread where we cannot even taste everything. Here,the buffet has limited dishes but each one of them is perfect in terms of taste. Not over-oily or doused in sauces or garnishes like Indianized Chinese food is. It has just the right amount of salt and seasonings that makes every dish taste amazing on its own. Maybe a bit bland for those who are absolutely hooked to over-spicy and oily Chinese food available on our street corners. But for those who appreciate good food,subtle flavors,Mainland China never disappoints. Besides, they give dips, sauces to add extra zing to every dish too.
Loved every single dish in the buffet menu. Burnt my tongue by gobbling in the hot soup without blowing on it first :P I don't think I have ever had soup in my life without burning my tongue. Ever! I should just stop having soup :D But thankfully, I could still appreciate the taste of everything else. Dimsums were the best. Steamed to perfection with the crunchiest of veggies as the filling, I had trouble convincing myself to stop having them so I could have some space for other dishes in my tummy :D
Main course had Hakka Noodles, Sweet & Sour Vegetables, Crunchy Noodles, Veg Dumplings in Soya Chilli Sauce, Fried Rice. Cannot really add to anything other than everything tasted fresh and the care with which they were prepared was evident. Veg Dumplings were the softest,most beautiful piece of culinary heaven I have had in a long time. Went perfectly with fried rice.
Dessert had Honey Noodles with Ice Cream, Tiramisu, Fruits, Chocolate Pastry. Again, not an imperfect note anywhere. The Honey Noodles are THE must-have item. I had to keep repeating 'Diabetes,I am prone to Diabetes, my family has a history of Diabetes' to get myself to stop at 2 servings or else I would have gone back to finish off every last piece of honey noodle they had in the kitchen :P Oh, the moment I started attacking the dessert counter is also when my friend finally showed up but as I said, the staff had already taken such good care of me (and the food had so enchanted me!) that I did not even realize I was eating all alone till then :D He was not happy to hear that somehow,I think :P
Will I recommend Mainland China? 100%, everyone must go there!
Will I go back? I am already counting the days till I do!
Is it worth it? Worth every penny AND more!
Now I completely understand why my college best friend was such a big fan of Mainland China :) 5 stars for this perennial winner!