Chin Chin

On a nice Monday morning, as I checked mail, I was rather surprised to find one from a manager at THE RESIDENCY, inviting me to check out their Chinese Restaurant. Being the first time that I was invited by a hotel (most invites come from stand alone restaurant owners), I was naturally excited, and soon learnt that the article in the Times of India about the blog initiated this invite! The last time I went there was in Nov 2009 and at that time the meal was actually enjoyable - as I noted in my blog entry then!

So when I went for lunch with a friend, I found nothing new as far as the interiors were concerned. Everything remained the same. The chef greeted us and started talking (rather pompously) about his exploits in Hong Kong and the likes and when I asked him to suggest something from the menu he gave me the same answer that restaurants that do not have anything special gives you - "Everything is special in our menu". So we settled with our usual Indo Chinese favorites - I took the Lunch Combo which gives you a soup, a starter, a main course and a dessert, while my friend chose a chicken dim sum and a unique noodle called Yue Mein Noodles and Crispy corn. The choice within the lunch combo is awesome - I chose the Chicken Manchow soup, Phuket Fish as my starter, Crispy Noodles and Shredded Lamb in hot garlic sauce for the main course. The soup was pretty average and too watery to be a Manchow soup! The chicken dimsum was too dry for my liking and can be avoided.

And the average food ended there! The rest were rather super. The phuket fish was very very good and was sized for the combo! Excellent flavor and extremely well done. My crispy noodles were above average and the shredded lamb was another excellent dish. The crispy corn was brilliant and I actually enjoyed a veg dish in the company of so much of meat. My friend's Yue Mein noodles was rather different, he did not enjoy it as much, but I certainly did. I am not able to describe the dish, it was very different, a kind of noodles cooked in soy sauce and then dried and then somehow made a little wet - this is the best description I can come up with.  And then came the kicker of a dish - The chef complained about how people order the same dish over and over again and that they don't try new dishes at all and how he has some fantastic dishes! I smiled to myself and asked him why he did not even suggest those dishes and stuck to a pompous "Everything is tasty in my restaurant" answer. He then brought out one of his specialty - a lotus stem cooked in some familiar fashion -and I would give up eating meat for the rest of my life if I can have that lotus stem cooked the way it was - UNBELIEVABLE!!!!! The manager who invited me - she seemed to have enjoyed the dish and said that it was the first time she was having lotus stem!

I did the usual date pancake for dessert and it was great - I learnt that they do not fry but bake the pancake, so it had almost no oil, while my friend had another new dish called Coconut Tossa - a wonton like dish stuffed with coconut - it was pretty dry, but tasted good. The combo is priced at Rs 450 and other dishes from Rs 150 onwards. A decent meal for two should cost you around Rs 750! Can't judge the service in such a setting, so no comments on that front.

Don't miss the lotus stem and do let us all know if it was great because we were invited or if you really liked it! The chef mentioned another specialty - some brinjal dish, wish they tell us these things when we ask them for it!

Food 8/10
Price 8/10
Ambiance 7/10

Chin Chin is the Chinese restaurant at THE RESIDENCY on G N Chetty Road, T. Nagar.