Tuesday 12 March 2019

Hilton 100th Anniversary Celebrations | Imperial China Hilton International Airport Mumbai | Food Review | Restaurant Review

Hilton was celebrating its 100 years last week and I was invited to its beautiful Imperial China, to share their happiness. A specially curated menu by the very humble and talented Chef Thomas Kai Lai (Chinese by birth and Indian by heart) was simply lip-smacking. His preparations included the perfect balance of herbs and spices in all vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies, with full-bodied flavors, which won my heart. 

The ambiance is one of 19th century Singapore meets Old-England palace – really peaceful, elegant, classy and royal. The chandelier, the furniture, the wall carvings, the candles and the traditional ceiling-bamboo fans! Really mesmerizing - made me wonder if Sherlock Holmes would feel right at home if he was solving a murder mystery in the vicinity!

Coming to the food now, these are what I had: 


1. Tom Kha Soup – Perfect blend of sweet and spicy, with exotic veggies

2. Spinach and Cabbage Dim Sums – flavourful and melt-in-mouth

3. Vegetable Spring Rolls – One of the best, crunchy and fresh in every bite

4. Cottage Cheese Tshng Hai – slightly on the spicier side to pleasure Indian taste buds. Pretty good.


1. Wok Tossed Baby Aubergines – STAR OF THE NIGHT for my sister!! She loooooves aubergines and this was just oh-so-good. They were perfectly chopped, crispy yet soft and flavour was on the sweetish-spicy side. Just the way she likes it!

2. Tofu Claypot – Velvety gravy with tofu, broccoli, mushrooms and other exotic veggies. Smooth and tangy-ish in taste and less on the spicy side, LOVED. 

3. Pan-Fried Noodles – Clear gravy and pan-fried noodles with loads and loads of veggies. Another favourite of mine from the menu.


Honey-fried sesame noodles with vanilla ice-cream – Delicious – this was out of the menu but they offered this to us, but I would have liked to try the item on menu too, not sure why that didn’t come to us.


1. Jasmine Tea with Honey – I had a sore throat on the day and this tea felt very soothing before all the food.

2. Lounge Special cocktail, vodka based – this is something my sister had and said it was very smooth, not too alcohol-ly, which is how she prefers it.

Coming to Service. Everything was great. The staff was courteous and items didn’t take too long to come to our table either. UNTIL they forgot to serve our dessert for over 40 minutes. Yup, after our main course, we placed order for our dessert immediately because they sounded so yummy on the menu and we couldn’t wait to try them, but when it didn’t arrive for 40 minutes, we asked them about it and turned out that they forgot about it! We get it that it was a Friday night and the place was actually 90% full by 9 pm, but forgetting dessert – sorry, not a good feeling for the one waiting for it. 

And then afterwards, they offered honey-sesame noodles instead of ones on the menu – not sure if it was because they ran out of menu-desserts or if they were trying to make up for the fact that our dessert reached us 50 minutes after we finished out main course. This was really a point of irritation for my sister especially who is very, very British when it comes to punctuality. 

In summary, a GREAT experience in terms of food and ambiance.

But the wait for dessert, oh well….

BUT, definitely go for the food. Chef Thomas’ food will leave you licking your spoons, forks and plates clean. Bon Appetit.