Chinese and Thai

It gets the prize for the most adaptable cuisine in the whole world. It’s a crowd pleasing chameleon. It takes on the flavours, spices, textures of the region it settles in. No prizes for guessing : it’s Chinese cuisine. There’s American-Chinese, British-Chinese, Gujrati-Chinese, Punjabi-Chinese, Jain-Chinese and even Chinese-Chinese etc etc. For the longest time, whenever in Kolkatta, Id make it a point to dine in Tangra  where the earliest Chinese settlers set up leather tanneries and restaurants. I even filmed my TV show there. Robust lashings of Sichuan spices and some authentic Cantonese marked the Tangra fare. In Mumbai (been tracking it’s restaurantscape over three decades) this kind of fare continued to be hugely popular. Kamling, the oldest surviving (sadly it recently  shut down) restaurant set up by 36 Chinese weldsmen ruled the roost. This old world Chinese (Chin-dian) is still served in a few restaurants all over the city. Many have shut or added sushi and baos and what nots. 


We tracked down this hugely popular “Tangra” “old world Chinese” in Navi Mumbai. Its revamped and rocking. I met my Foodie blind there, Yash Kolhatkar An engineer (oil and natural gas) turned chef who’s now in huge demand for his Keto diet meals.This Keto Coach for weightloss also cooks up regular cuisines and was the perfect guest as he not only tasted every dish but made detailed notes of his opinion too.A confirmed foodie and patisseur Rani Sharma’s Eggless desserts and Confectioneries (also gluten free ones) alongwith Dips and Snacks are hugely popular. We were joined by a mysterious good looking foodie who prefers to be anonymous.


Kenny G’s music  oozes from the speakers and fills the sprawling restaurant with it’s predictable Chinese motifs, Buddhas, Dragons,  and red color. It is hugely packed..  Attentive service as Minty Ram from Jharkand bustles around.


We ordered from across the menu.  And plenty of spicy, red garlicky laced dishes arrive on our table. Tasty no doubt. 

 Be it the succulent lamb or chicken. Interestingly the fish was the rarely used Bekti, it came up tops for it’s freshness and flavour. Mountain Chilli prawns were not only large and juicy but also just right on the spice. Hugely popular Bocai  butter spinach noodles worth trying . Chocolate momos made an interesting sweet finale.


The Thai dishes did not pass muster. The green curry was not only lacklustre but also too thick. In the Chinese menu, many a dish slipped under a heavy blanket of bright red spicy sauce. In some dishes the bright red spicy sauce didn’t draw out or frame the flavour of the main ingredient  but rather masked it.

 like the barbecue chicken and was avoidable. The usually mild and mellow Cantonese Bamboo rice, was overflowing with spicy red sauce. 


Call it “Old world Chinese” “Tangra Chinese” or even “Chindian” it roughly boils down to robust, moist, lustily spiced fare. When I was in Peru, they very proudly took me to their version of Chinese cuisine…”Chifa cuisine” an equivalent of our “chindian”

Shaolin Temple’s Arnab Bose is from Kolkatta and serves up his version of tasty Tangra. Adds a Thai menu too, but that’s on a weak wicket and avoidable. If it comforting tasty Tangra fare you crave and live in the Navi Mumbai vicinity, then Shaolin is your temple. Its comforting, well aircondiitoned has a full bar, is moderately priced…and oh yes! the full menu is served all day noon to midnight. Shaolin Temple strikes a pose that’s familiar, and nostalgic.

Mahavir Icon Building.,  Palm Beach Road, Sector 15, Cbd Belapur, Navi Mumbai

 12:00 - 23:45

ph  65000151

Meal for two Rs 1500


© 2019 by Rashmi Uday Singh

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