So another restaurant opens up on KNK road and this time as part of Chennai Food Guide, a bunch of us were there to test it out. After the usual hi and bye and everybody settling down, we waited for the first food to arrive which was the 8 treasure chicken soup! Before we get down to the food, this restaurant is part of the BJN group which has some fabulous ones all over India, but in Chennai it is a franchisee, the same one that owns Khansama right next door. A couple of weeks back, the food at Khansama was stunning and so this time I did go with some expectation. And needless to say, I was expecting Indo Chinese, but if they did try to throw some authentic Chinese, I was ready!
Back to the food, the soup was outright bad! It lacked flavour, my friend added tons of soy sauce, chilli and whatever was on the table to try and bring out some flavour, but personally I would like it if the chef inside did that for me. And no, his soup turned out to be a brown soy soup, but yeah, you get the picture. The dimsum and starters arrived one by one. The first one - a corn in garlic paste was pretty average! The crispy fried vegetables was equally average! The chilly chicken came out next and it tasted almost like the crispy vegetable but with chicken and this is something I would expect in a place like SAMCO, not in a place like Aromas of China. The next starter was the saving grace for all starters put together - Fish Fingers in Chinese BBQ sauce- a superbly flavoured fish. It was brilliant and a couple of us had three of four pieces each trying to make up for the other starters! Another starter, a crispy corn was blah! We had three types of dimsum and they were reasonably ok!!!! I don't think I have had dimsums that blew my mind anywhere, so.......
With a not so great start, we waited for the main course to arrive and the first one to come was the Chilly Butter Noodles - blah. A fried rice and one more dish came along - blah! Then two gravies saved the day - a TSING HOI CHICKEN and SLICED FISH IN PARSLEY SAUCE, both of which I ate without the rice/noodles and both tasted great!!!! Both were very nice Indo Chinese. The rest were all, yes, blah! I called the man in charge and asked if they were serving authentic Chinese. "Sir, you know, we cannot eat authentic Chinese, in India only the Indo Chinese will sell" was his answer. So no, they were not serving Chinese Chinese, but Indo Chinese and in general a pretty bad one at that! But some of the dishes were very nice, so my mind was confused!
You cannot go wrong with the desserts they served and they were nice. The darsan with ice cream was simple and nice, while the chocolate filled pastry was superb, we all ate atleast two or three!
So, I liked one fish starter, two gravies and the dessert very much. I could not eat the rest of the stuff! I am not sure if we were given the wrong choice in the menu to taste, but, this is the kind of food that you can get at most places in Chennai for almost half the price.
As we walked down, I met some of my school friends, a bunch of 6 and they asked me if I was coming from Khansama or Aromas. "Aromas, machan, awesome food no?" was the expression. I was at loss for words. When the evening was described, he suggested that they might have had an off day! So now what?????
I would love to go back and see if I missed something. But I would not pay so much for this food and even if someone was treating me, I would be tempted to jump next door and head to Khansama for some Royal Indian Treat!!!! But let's see!
Aromas of China is on KNK road, where the old Mocha building was with SOFA SO GOOD in the first floor. You can't miss it!