As with all cultures, the Chinese New Year implies lots of celebrations and food. For us non-Chinese folks, it meant an invitation to sample the special dishes Executive Chef Nitin Mathur and his team, especially masterchef Hung Fong Ng and his associates made for this occasion.
The Golden Dragon, a signature restaurant at the Taj Krishna Hotel here in Hyderabad is in my opinion the only decent Chinese restaurant in town. Never mind what the locals tell you about the popular Indian Chinese ones, I swear by this one. For the food festival held to commemorate the Year of the Goat, the dishes were a delicious medley of aromas, flavours, spices and textures.
The starters were plenty and they kept coming. Chicken Jiaozi, Spicy Chinsui Prawns, Golden fried fish nuggets sweet Chilli, Crunchy Water Chestnut and Baby corn with lemon pepper and Whole Mushrooms in spicy gulin chilli sauce. Needless to say the starters themselves had me stuffed but each of them were so different that I couldn’t stop. The Chinsui Prawns were the unanimous favourite and I liked the crunchy water chestnut starter too for its delicate hint of pepper underlined with the lemon. A refreshing and rather unusual taste.
I skipped the soup and opted for the mains though the Seafood Seaweed Soup served got the thumbs up from those who had it. The mains followed and again, Chef and his team had created dishes that were not part of the regular menu hence different from what one usually considers Chinese food. Steamed, sliced fish in spicy chilli coriander sauce, the Spicy Malha sliced chicken with shitake and leeks and Stir fried bean sprouts and spinach in spicy garlic sauce [which was for me the most interesting dish in the whole meal] along with the Crispy Noodles made their impact on my palate though I was quite full.
The dessert — Nian Gao– a traditional rice cake made during the Chinese New Year was an apt finish to a long meal that was delicious from start to finish