A Bong’s tryst with Chinese food dates back centuries. Even when the world outside bhaat-daal-maachh (rice-lentils-fish) looked bleak to him, a wholesome plate of fried rice/noodles and chilli chicken brought in a breath of fresh air for this gastronomically indulgent community. Bongs till date get excited by the mere prospect of Chinese food — be it the roadside eatery which serves oil-soaked “chow” or the latest fine dine that has boutique cuisine on offer. The Wall, the bastion of Pan-Asian food in south Calcutta has decided to pander to this sentiment and launch their special Cantonese menu to celebrate the Chinese New Year (the year of the sheep).
The feast began with Crispy Chicken Chilli Honey Sauce (crispy fried chicken with dry chilli & honey). Priced at 335 INR, this hot and sweet chicken delicacy sure did live upto its name. Next in tow came Vegetable Spring Rolls with a Sweet Chilli Sauce. I am a huge fan of condiments and ended up having an extra spring roll so that I could have a little bit more of the sauce!
For mains we were served Chicken and Prawn Noodles, an item that does not fall within the purview of the specially crafted menu but something that you can always get at The Wall. Accompanying the noodles were Fish with Black Pepper and Capsicum, Fish in Schezuan Sauce and Sliced Chicken in a Crabmeat Sauce. The fish items were regular affairs, delicious nonetheless, but what blew my mind was the mild and subtle flavour of the chicken. For someone who likes her food hot and bursting with flavours, this chicken dish was a welcome variation that I enjoyed to the hilt.
If you thought this was all, then brace yourselves because there is much much more to choose from. Whether you are a hardcore non-vegetarian or prefer your greens to your meat, there are enough in the spread for you to choose from: Prawn Chilli Basil Sauce, Crispy Duck Five Spice, Roasted Drums with dry chilli sauce, Tofu with Sesame, Stir-fried Shrimp with Water Spinach, Whole Steamed fish in Black Bean (bhetki), Duck with Pepper Sauce, Shredded Chicken with Mustard & Asparagus, Only Green with Ginger & Butter, Steamed Broccoli with Straw Mushroom among others. You can wrap up your meal with the traditional Red Bean Roll or Steamed Banana Cake.
“Chinese food varies from region to region and we have highlighted the Cantonese element this time. We have played around with duck, seafood, tofu in exotic sauces like Mahlak, ginger, oyster sauce and others to give the people of Calcutta a true taste of China,” said Chef Sushanta Sengupta, than man responsible for curating this special menu.
This festival is on from February 19-March 5 and is open for lunch (noon to 3.30pm) and for dinner (7.30 to 10.30 pm). A meal for two is likely to cost you 1,500 INR + taxes. The Chinese food lover in me says, Don’t give it a miss!