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Forever young

Friday, November 30, 2018

Oriental Blossom, which started over 0two decades ago, remains a connoisseur’s choice, says Anushka Shinde

With so many new restaurants coming up in the city, the established ones are always reinventing themselves. Oriental Blossom situated within Marine Plaza Hotel, is one of them. Chef Huang started this restaurant over two decades ago, and it has remained a connoisseur’s choice on the Mumbai food-lover’s circuit. This is one place that believes in the old- fashioned motto, ‘value for money’. They recently launched a BBQ menu, Grill-O-Mania,  that has a variety of vibrant dishes such as The Oriental Dragon, which consists of ocean fresh,tiger prawns marinated with exotic Sichuan spices, served with Chinese kimchi and peanut sauce.  BBQ Fiery Lobster is grilled on charcoal, to give it a special flavour.

This menu adds considerable ‘yum’ value to their already mouth-watering signature dishes such as the Cantonese-style steamed pomfret, Prosperity Soup which consists of wood-ear mushroom, fresh tofu and vegetables cooked in steamy broth. Their stuffed pomfret fish with mince meat, soya garlic chili bean sauce is also a tasty creation. Over the years, I have visited this place often; my all-time favourite has been the sea-food pot with fish, prawns and squid cooked in a piping hot, clay pot. The oriental garden is a combination of Oriental vegetables marinated with Sichuan spices grilled over charcoals. Buddha’s Favourite BBQ has stuffed mushrooms with tofu and bell peppers grilled over charcoal.

They also have a choice of vegetables dishes: Vegetable Mapo with tofu and unusual vegetables, like watercress and snow peas.  Mock Meat is a vegan preparation prepped with butter mushroom in black pepper sauce. Eight Treasure Vegetable with cashews in garlic sauce is also on the menu.

We all love dim sums and the restaurant serves a variety of them, crispy prawn, sea food, chicken and mushroom. “The dim sums are made with tapioca starch, potato starch and wheat starch. This mixture cost around `300 a kilo,” says Chef Huang. “When these dim sums are steamed, they come out with a nice glassy transparent look”. As we talk, Chef Huang emphasises, “I maintain the consistency and quality of the food by having a hands-on approach”.

They have selective desserts like Baked Cheese Cake, Pancake, Red Velvet Raspberry Caviar, many supplied from their hotel patisserie. Some traditional sweets are also in the menu and perhaps, they can add to these. One does get a little tired of  honey noodles!

“When the dishes go out to be served, I always give the final touch. If one is paying that much money, it should not be less in quantity or quality,” says Huang. “The produce is always fresh and  comes in every day,” he adds proudly. I ask him about the changing taste of Mumbaikars. “The audience understands what authenticity is, since they have travelled a lot around the world and have tasted different cuisines.  So we have to give them authentic dishes only,” says the chef. Adapting to the times keeps him forever young!

Oriental Blossom has a very friendly ambience with Chinese décor. You are immediately welcomed with cucumber and cabbage salad (Kimchi) and with complimentary jasmine tea. After dining, you are served with hot wash towels. I leave with a heavenly feeling taking a traditional fortune cookie with me. I am sure it has good tidings for me!

Anushka Shinde is afood blogger and food consultant.

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