The name brought back floods of memories. During the last of my school days, when the eating scene in Chennai wasn't as vibrant as it is now, few places stood out! And China Town was one among them. If the 'rich kid' was throwing a party, it was here. During early college, when one wanted to celebrate an 'occasion' it was here.
I was also starting to wonder why I forgot this place. There are times when we look around for a not-so-expensive Chinese eat out and recently, my brain hasn't been recalling China Town. I was glad that the invite came from the restaurant!!!!
The greatest part of the evening was Chef Ram of Benjarong! Wondering why the chef at Benjarong was here? I was too! Only then were we told that China Town is now pan Asian and serves a variety from Vietnamese and Malaysian and Singaporean while having a large Indo-Chinese selection too! And being from the same group, Chef Ram co-ordinates with Chef Lee, the chef at China Town and since the latter wasn't in town, Ram jumped!
Dinner started off with a pretty nice wanton, stir fried! While the soft wantons were nice as they were, the saucy stir fry add a zing to it. This was followed by a Beef Noodle Soup or they call the Vietname Pho. Apparently a meal by itself, we were served a very small portion and it was heavy!!!! The fantastic prawn wrapper completed the starters!
This was followed by the trademark conversation with Chef Ram, while the main courses were getting ready. While most of us now know that Manchurian is not Chinese and we boast this knowledge, did you ever think how and why that name cropped in? Like they say that every rumour has a whiff of truth, sometimes minuscule, but there, Manchurian has one too! So apparently the first set of Chinese settlers settled down near Calcutta, now Kolkatta! While they have moved on to another place, quite far away, apparently it is one of the few places in India where you can get an authentic Chinese breakfast, between 6 and 8 am!! Afterwards, this becomes a market leaving no traces of what happened before that!
Okay, back to Manchurian! So, these guys tried to fuse our gobi with whatever they could find that was close to the flavour back home and thus Manchurian was born! Of course, it was gone through various iterations and we have finally been told that it doesn't really exist, but it turns out that it does!!!! At least, it wasn't entirely done by Indians, but Chinese settlers in India, so there is a whiff of Chinese in Manchurian!!! I can sleep peacefully!
OK, back to the food fest! Four types of noodles were served with a Hunan chicken for company! I loved the spinach noodles, which they home make here. There was a Mee Goreng, a Malaysian style noodles with sea food, a fantastic Thai flat noodles with minced beef and a typical Vermicelli! We loved the fantastic flavour of the Spinach Noodles and being pure veg, I was surprised and amazed!!!
While there were three desserts, only one caught my attention, the Banana Wontons!!! While it was excellent, the others weren't!
It was a fun evening, reminding ourselves of the old times, remembering China Town again, catching up with Chef Ram and the nice dinner. The Noodles Festival is on till the 8th of March, but obviously China Town the restaurant will be there after that too!!! So glad that the brain now has another option when it comes comfort Indo-Chinese beyond Cascade!