Celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival

As I have said earlier in many of my posts, when it comes to Chinese food, nothing beats the Golden Dragon restaurant at the Taj Krishna Hotel in Hyderabad. The menu keeps evolving with each food promotion and Chinese festival and Executive Chef Nitin Mathur ensures the quality stays consistently good.

This month, the restaurant is hosting the Dragon Boat Festival, locally known as the Duanwu Festival, till the 28th of June, It is a traditional festival which originated in ancient China and has certain dishes associated with it — as is the case with several Chinese celebrations.

A special menu that reflects the traditional cuisine of the Zhou dynasty has been crafted and in keeping with the traditions of the festival, the master chef in charge of the restaurant — Hung Fong Ng has recreated dishes like Zongzi — chicken or vegetable rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaf. Other dishes that we sampled include Wok tossed fish in chilli and sweet bean glaze, Stir fried prawns with sweet potato noodles and pickled chilli, Steamed fish with Morning glory and seasonal greens; Beijing style crispy chicken, Stir fried sliced chicken with Szechwan pepper corns, Stir fried silken tofu with straw and oyster mushrooms whole garlic dry red chilli, The reason this tofu is referred to as silken tofu is because the tofu was strained through silk cloth to give it a certain creamy and smooth texture. It is, Chef informs us, so soft that the tofu is not easy to cook at all. A delicious addition was the Crunchy water chestnuts lotus stems cooked in a sweet sauce. All these dishes were served with  Steamed wheat noodles with shitake bean sprouts and wild pepper  (chicken/ vegetarian), Chinese glutinous rice with vegetable / chicken as accompaniments.

Out of the lot, my favourites would be the Beijing Chicken, the Stir fried Tofu and the Crunchy water chestnuts and lotus stems. The zongzi though traditionally associated with the festival pales in comparison to the other, spicier dishes because of its bland texture.

Still, if you feel like a Chinese meal with a twist, this festival is worth checking out.

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