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Chinese New Year event @ Wangs Kitchen, Chetpet

Wangs Kitchen has always been one of the most affordable yet authentic Chinese chain of restaurants in our city and though I’ve tried almost every one of them, I was certainly intrigued when I was invited for their Chinese New Year 2016 event. Only when I was thinking if there was a dish that I hadn’t ordered from Wangs menu, I was told that they have a special menu for this event. If that wasn’t surprising enough, they’ve selected dishes from different provinces to give an experience of China in just one dinner. A couple of foodie friends and I were invited and given below is my take on this event.

The Chinese New Year 2016 event was hosted at Wangs Kitchen’s Chetpet branch. This is the branch in Harrington road, opposite to Costa Coffee and Ox & Tomato. Just like most of it’s other properties, this Wangs shares it’s building space with French Loaf. This actually makes the entrance to Wangs a bit awkward as one would have to pass through French Loaf to get into Wangs. Ambience is the usual one would find in any Wangs Kitchen. Red cushions in dark coloured furnitures with cream coloured walls gives it a simple look. For this new year event, they’ve adorned the place with a couple of balloons and other decorations. The head chef was present to welcome us and we had a lengthy chat with him to know more about the festival and dishes he had planned to cook for us. Post the discussions, we were served a number of dishes from the special menu and here is the list of items we tried.

SOUPS:-

  • Chicken Red Sky Soup:- This is a thick soup from the Fujian province with sliced Chicken and Shitake Mushrooms with fried onions and bread cubes to top it up. Loved it’s soothing flavour.
  • Chilly Lemon Fish Ball Soup:- From the Hunan province, this clear soup is a deceptive looking one. Though it looked bland, it was power packed with spices and a lemony tang. The fish balls were good too.

APPETIZERS:-

  • Creamy Fujian:- This was our first insipid dish of the day. Thinly sliced chicken strips, fried in peppery butter sauce and served with creamy butter sauce. Crispy chicken was cooked perfectly but the sauce could’ve been a bit spicier.
  • Shanghai Crispy:- From one of the most famous and largest city of China, comes this flavourful appetizer. Sweet and sour spicy star anise flavoured and topped with uncooked chef’s special sauce, we tried both the Chicken and Fish variant. It was out of this world and we loved it.

MAIN COURSE:-

  • Ton Ton Canton Mein:- Thin soft noodles sautéed with chicken and served with cooked eggs. Though the salt content was considerably less, it went well with the sides.
  • Hokkien Pineapple Rice:- One dish that made me say ‘You gotta be kidding me’. I was expecting this dish to be sweet but surprisingly it wasn’t sweet and it tasted well with accompaniments.
  • Hunan Rice in Thai Roasted Chilli:- Probably the best rice dish of the day, this one has Thai roasted chilli and the strong flavour of fish sauce. This was our favourite.
  • Black Bean Chilli Noodles:- Yet another dish that could’ve tasted brilliant if it wasn’t for the shortage of salt in it. But, as a fan of black bean and chilli Hunan sauce, I liked it.
  • Sichuan Fried Noodles:- And this one was the winner among the noodles. Ginger’s strong aroma and peanuts that were liberally sprinkled made it an earthy dish.

ACCOMPANIMENTS:-

  • Shandong Surprise:- From the Shandong province, this chicken based dish had celery and a dash of wine. It lacked the right amount of salt but was pretty yummy.
  • Spicy Peanut Sauce:- Peanut flavoured dish with Shrimp paste, this fish based accompaniment went really well with the noodles.
  • Royal Jinan:- My favourite from this section, this is chicken cooked in Nam Prik sauce and coconut milk. The spiciness makes it a beautiful side for any dish.
  • Cantonese Pineapple and Pepper:- This pineapple and sweet n sour sauce based dish was served with prawns and it was just amazing. I finished the majority of this dish thanks to the fact that it went amazingly well with the Hunan rice.

DESSERTS:-

  • Fried Ice Cream:- This is one dish I always get in any Chinese restaurant and I must say, the ones from Wangs are one of my favourites. Crispy fried outer with soft and yummy ice cream inside and topped with broken nuts, it’s a dessert no one can resist.
  • Coconut Dumplings with Ice Cream:- This was something new and tasted somewhat similar to a couple of Indian sweets. Shredded coconut in dumplings, served with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream. Nevertheless, it was delicious and I loved it.

Service was a bit on the slower end and I guess it must be because of the fact that the restaurant was busy. The chef was kind enough to spend a considerable amount of time with us and explain the dishes apart from getting our feedbacks. Overall, it was a wonderful experience and this special menu redefined the little knowledge I had of Chinese cuisine by many folds.

The Chinese New Year festival is on till the 28th of February 2016. If you’re a fan of Chinese food, this is a spot that shouldn’t be missed.

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