Archive for Chinese Food

Shanghai Chef

Place: Shanghai Chef
Location: Madhapur Main Road, Next to Hyderabad House
Cuisine: Chinese, Thai
Meal: Dinner

Last weekend, met some guys from couchsurfing and we then decided to eat Chinese at Mainland China. On the way, we changed plans and instead dropped in at Shanghai Chef in Madhapur. The place had nice interiors, and the ambiance was pretty neat. It was quite crowded, but we (a group of five), found a table without having to wait.

Once seated, it took forever for the waiter to attend to us. After a long wait, he was ready to take our order. We were doing individual orders; I had a Virgin Pina Colada (coconut milk and Pineapple juice) to drink and Vegetable Dim sums to start with. I wanted to have their Basil Fried rice, but after 15 minutes of placing the order, the guy comes out and tells me that they had no Basil. So went for the Pad Thai Noodles.

The Pina Colada was good, but very sweet for my taste.

The Dim Sums were boring. They were well cooked (steamed), but tasted bland. We asked for some Chilly Garlic sauce, but all we got was Coconut Mint chutney.

After another long wait, the Noodles were served. Thankfully, they tasted good. The noodles were well cooked and the veggies had nice flavor to them, a bit spicy, yet perfect. The quantity served was also good.

Overall, it was a decent meal, but the service was horrible. Initially, it was understandable for the place was full, but even after it got empty, it was the same. The pricing was decent, and so was the quantity, but for the horrendous service, I might not be coming back to this place for a long time.

Food: 8/10
Service: 4/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Meal for 5: Rs.  1540/-

Verdict: 6.5/10

Chopsticks

Place: Chopsticks
Location: Srinagar Colony Main Road
Cuisine: Chinese
Meal: Dinner

About 8 months ago, I stated Chopsticks as one of my favorite Chinese restaurants in the Nanking review. I’ve been to this place quite often since then, but never got a chance to write a review. So this time around, I visited this place exclusively for the review.

Chopsticks is a small place on the Srinagar Colony Main road, towards Panjagutta. It used to be a bandi type place in a shop long ago, but now is extended. Its difficult to tag it as a restaurant. The place is pretty cramped up and not really well maintained. It has an open kitchen, so the smoke fills the room when stuff’s being cooked. So I mostly avoid sitting and eating here, and usually go for take-away. Though the place has no great ambiance, it is always packed. During the peak hours, especially during the weekend, the wait time, be it for parcel or at the table, could be one hour.

I usually order a Veg. Manchuria and Noodles to go, but today wanted to try something different, and so ordered Veg. 65, Singapore Noodles and Shanghai Fried Rice. It took about 40 minutes before I was on my way home with the food.

The major problem with Chopsticks is the quantity of the food. Since there is so much rush, everything is made so fast that they don’t pay attention to how much they are packing. Thanks to the rush and the hurry, there is also a possiblity (more of my fear) that you might get what you didn’t order for, though thankfully it has never happened so far with me.

Quantity of the Singapore Noodles was alright (they used to serve a lot more before). It tasted yum. There are times when it is are made too spicy, but today it was just perfect. Only problem was that there were bunch of unseparated noodles, and the Singapore masala was not well mixed. But otherwise, I loved it.

Veg. 65 looked and tasted more like Veg. Manchuria, but still it tasted good. There was lots of green chilly which gave the dish a nice flavor. The dumplings were well cooked well, though there were a couple of hard ones. Neverthless, happy again.

I’ve never liked these guy’s Fried Rice. I think it tastes too bland. So, decided to try something different, the Shanghai Fried Rice. It was more of the regular Friend Rice, with some red chillies, chilli paste and some extra pre-cooked veggies. The chilli paste gave it a nice flavor and made it tasty.

Overall, an excellent meal. Everything tasted delicious, and for the price I paid, I was very happy. The quantity is still on the good side, for I was able to have two sumptuous meal (dinner and lunch the next day). Apart from what I had today, their Sweet-Corn Soup is something I love. They also serve some good non-veg dishes. I wouldn’t suggest you having a meal sitting at the restaurant, but if you are patient enough to wait for a while, go get yourself some yummy Chinese food.

Food: 9/10
Service: NA
Ambiance: NA
Meal for 1: Rs. 180/-

Verdict: 9/10

Liu’s Chinese Restaurant

Place: Liu’s Chinese Restaurant
Location: S.D Road, in the lane behind Nanking, Secnderabad
Cuisine: Chinese
Meal: Dinner (with a couple of friends)

On a Saturday night, we decided to go hog at Nanking (listed as of my favorite Chinese restaurants in town). Since it was packed, my friend pulled us to its sister restaurant, which apparently shares the same kitchen. Liu’s is a small little place, interiors very similar to Nanking, a little brighter, and with a table available right away since not many people are aware of its existence.. I was kinda pissed the moment I entered, for when we asked if we could occupy an empty table with a reserved board on it, the manager rudely asked us if we couldn’t read the sign. Anyways, we sat at another table ignoring what just happened.

The moment we sat down, the waiter was behind us to place the order. They have the same menu as Nanking. My non-veg eating friend ordered for Chicken Drumsticks and Ginger Chicken. Me and my other vegetarian friend asked him to suggest a starter other than what the menu had to offer, and we zeroed on Chilly Mushroom. Later on, we again asked him to help us with some kinda Noodles for the main course, and he suggested Soft Noodles with Vegetables, Mushrooms and Bamboo Shoots. We also ordered a Vegetable American Chopsuey.

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Both the Chicken items were served in about 10 minutes, and it took another 5 minutes for the Mushrooms. Firstly, the quantity looked quite less when compared to either of the Chicken items. Next off, they tasted horrendous. There was too much sauce, and the mushrooms tasted very very bitter. We expected it to be spicy, for it was Chilly Mushroom, but it turned out to be fiery spicy.

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After a disastrous start, I was hoping for a turn around with the main course. The noodles with Mushrooms looked yummy to look at. Once we dug in, the noodles were under-cooked, and were dripping with oil. Except for the flavor for the Shiitake, the curry was pretty much bland., and I could barely find any bamboo shoots. Again disappointment.

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The worst though was yet to come: American Chopsuey, which I happened to like the last time around (it was at Nanking though). The noodles were crunchy, and the vegetables well cooked, okay, but the curry was so bloody sweet that I couldn’t eat more than one serving. I know American Chopsuey’s are sweet, but I never tasted anything this sweet. It was as if the chef added all the left over sugar into this. Horrible!!

The only part of the meal we vegetarian guys were happy with was our Coke!! The Chicken was  apparently good, but whats the use when I don’t eat it. As if the terrible food wasn’t enough, a bunch of waiters suddenly appeared at our table, trying to rush us out while we were struggling to eat through what we ordered. I really started to doubt my choice of Nanking as one of my favorites after this pathetic experience. I’m never ever coming back to this place, even if it means that I have to wait for an hour at Nanking (which I might never come back to as well).

Food: 3/10 (Vegetarian only)
Ambiance: 7/10
Service: 4/10
Meal for 3: Rs. 786/- (Veg – Rs. 400/-)

Verdict: 3.5/10

Thai Express

Place: Thai Express
Location: Above Qmart, Road No. 3, Banjara Hills
Cuisine: Thai (and Chinese)
Meal: Dinner (with mom and dad)

After a really long time, here I was trying out a new restaurant. Wanted to try Thai Express, which was right next to my house for a really long time. Called in advance and made reservation for three, but when I walked in, the place was pretty empty. It had good ambiance, and the decors were pretty decent. We were promptly seated at a table for 6.

Though the place was empty, it took a while for the waiter to attend to us. We ordered the Tom Kha soup and Golden Money Rolls for starters. I wanted to have Basil fried rice really bad, for I loved the one they served at Thai restaurants in the US. They had Basil curry served with white Rice, but no Basil Fried Rice. So instead went for their special (recommended) Tom Yum Fried Rice, along with Veg Drunken Fire Noodles. I wanted to order another vegetable dish, and when I asked the waiter, he suggested Phat Thai Vegetables with gravy.

It kinda took forever for the soup to be served, and further long for the rolls. The soup looked yummy, but it wasn’t as good as it looked. It was very thin, and was made of watery coconut milk. The vegetables, were a little raw as well. Flavor was alright, but overall, disappointment.

The rolls, thankfully were awesome. Crispy, perfectly baked, and the stuffing was spicy and tasty. The sweet chilli sauce (mix of duck sauce and chilli sauce) was yummy.

After a long long long wait, rest of the food was served. The food was presented very well, and I really was hoping that it would be as good as the rolls if not the soup. The Drunken Fire Noodles with Vegetables was excellent, and was the best of the lot. It was spicy, and perfect. There was a slight lemon touch, which made it taste delicious. I wish he’d given more of the crushed peanuts.

The Phat Thai Vegetables was served with white rice. Though the curry tasted alright, the rice was of bad quality, and a little over cooked. For a recommended dish, I honestly expected something better than this.

The worst of the lot though was the Thai Express Special Tom Yum Fried Rice! It was fiery spicy, and had no flavor to it. I asked the guy to modify it by adding a little salt, but that made no difference. He infact made it more spicy. Again, the quality of the rice was bad. Pathetic!!

Overall, a big disappointment. Except for the Golden Money Rolls and Drunken Fire Noodles, the rest of the food was bad, if not pathetic. The quantity of the Noodles and the curry was good, but the amount of rice was really less. For such exorbitant prices, I’d expect better quantity. Added to that was the horrible service. I had to keep asking the waiter to fill my water glass every time it got empty. The best part was when I asked him to fill my glass, he did, but didn’t bother to fill either dad’s nor mom’s glasses which were both empty as well!!

I am definitely not going back to this place for a really really long time. Visit at your own risk, but if you do, do try their rolls and noodles.

Food: 6.5/10
Ambiance: 9/10
Service:4/10
Meal for 3: Rs. 1080/-

Verdict: 5/10

Alex Kitchen

Place: Alex Kitchen
Location: Liberty Circle, Opp. TTD Kalyanamandapam
Cuisine: Chinese
Meal: Dinner

Alex Kitchen is one of the oldest and famous Chinese restaurants in town. It’s a small place right next to Universal Bakery, a little inside the building, is little cramped, but has decent decor. I remember my brother bringing me here along with his friends while he was doing his Hotel Management. They knew the Chef back then, and used to get into the kitchen. Over years, Chefs have kept changing, and the standard kept falling. But still, hoping for some miracle, me along with a couple of friends dropped by on a Friday evening. And to my surprise, it was packed even after all these years.

It took about 10 minutes for us to be seated at our table. Once seated, it took forever for the waiter to serve us water and take our order. We almost had to struggle to get his attention. We ordered Noodle Soup, Spring Rolls, American Chopsuey, Soft Noodles and Manchuria (all Veg.).

The soup was served first. The quantity was pretty good, but it tasted bland and had no flavor to it. Even adding tons of chilly sauce, salt and pepper dint make any difference. Next came the Spring Rolls. I remember them being really good, and for once I wasn’t disappointed. They were in fact excellent. Crispy, fried to perfection. Yummy!

After a long wait came the Chopsuey, Noodles and Manchuria. The Chopsuey was very very sweet, and I’ve never tasted an American Chopsuey so sweet. It had some crunchy noodles in between, but not a lot.

Thankfully, the Noodles and Manchuria weren’t sweet. The Noodles was alright, nothing great. Manchuria was good. The sauce was thick and tangy, and the balls were well cooked.

We somehow finished everything but just weren’t satisfied. We had definitely hoped for a better meal, but I atleast was disappointed. The quantity of food served was good, but what is the use if it doesn’t taste good? The service was pathetic. I had to ask 3 people to get some water. This place is the best example to show how bad a restaurant can get if the standards are not maintained. Except for the Spring Rolls, rest of the food was forgettable.

Food: 7/10
Ambiance: 7/10
Service: 4/10
Meal for 3: Rs. 500/- (Approx)

Verdict: 6/10

Southern Food Corner (SFC)

Place: Southern Food Corner
Location: Road No. 10, Banjara Hills, next to City Center
Cuisine: Indian and Chinese
Meal: Lunch (3 consecutive days)

 

I was at project management workshop on Rd. No. 10 for the last 4 days, and happened to lunch out everyday. The first day I chose McDonalds, for a McVeggie Combo. I dont think I need to write a review on that, so skipping it. The next 3 days, I happened to visit this small restaurant called SFC, which is right next to City Center.

 

It looked like a pretty decent place from outside, with both self service and seated service options. The self service section looked a little crowded with chairs and tables placed in a haphazard manner. It dint look so clean either. But having walked in, decided to give it a try.

 

On a Friday, the place was jam packed, full of office crowd. I opted for the self service section. They had quite a huge menu – South Indian, Chinese and North Indian. Their South Indian food was selling like hot cakes, but being me, I ordered a Chole Batura. It was out in about 5 minutes. It was a little oily to look at, and I thought he gave very little Chole for such huge Batura. The Chole tasted a little sour, but was good. The Batura too was light. I had to get some extra Chole to finish it off. On the whole, decent food.

 

On the second day, I was kinda forced to return to the place, as I was with a bunch of people. We happened to sit on the first floor, the service section. This looked much better than the self service on the ground floor. They had Air-Conditions, but they weren’t turned on. People around me ordered Masala Dosa and Lemon Rice. The Dosa was huge, looked really crispy and tempting. My mouth was infact watering. I again ordered something different, Veg. Soft Noodles.

 

It took a while for it to be served, by which every one around me were done with their meal. But it was worth the wait. A huge bowl full of Noodles was placed in front of me, with Hot Garlic sauce. I normally dont tend to order only Noodles for the reason that I like to eat it with an accompaniment. But seeing the Hot Garlic sauce made me really happy. The noodles was yummy good. It was properly cooked, the vegetables in it were crunchy, and it wasnt too spicy either. The Hot Garlic sauce added extra taste, and was tangy. Impressed!!

 

I wanted to come back to this palce after my last meal, but no so early, the very next day. This time it was a much bigger gathering, and we again took to the first floor. Everyone today ordered MLA Pesarattu. I happened to have the same last night at Chutneys (review), so this time ordered American Chopsuey.

 

Again, it took a while. The MLA Pesarattu looked really good. Everyone around me were going gaga about it while I waited on my food. Again, large quantity of food was served. The Fried Noodles and the Sauce were served separately. Adding the noodles into the sauce, it tasted delicious. It was actually as good as the American Chopsuey I had at Nanking about a month ago (review). Serving the Fried noodles separately helped them remain crispy. The sauce was not so sweet, and the vegetables were very very crunchy. Excellent food this time around. I happened to empty the dish in about 10 minutes and everyone around me were actually surprised to see me eat so much.

 

Overall, a good find. Though I wasnt impressed initially, the Noodles served with the Hot Garlic sauce, in a slightly better ambiance on the first floor got me to write this review. The South Indian food looked really good, and people were saying good things, so am assuming that it was actually good. For a food place at Banjara Hills, the prices were very very reasonable as well. Also, the quantity of food served (on all 3 days) was excellent. I would definitely come back to this place. Its Certified!!

 

Food: 9/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Service: 8/10
Meal for 1: Rs. 60/-
Meal for 6: Rs. 300/-
Meal for 11: Rs. 600/-

 

Verdict: 8.5/10

Nanking

Place: Nanking
Location: Parklane, Secunderabad
Cuisine: Chinese
Meal: Dinner

The other day, a friend of mine dropped by, and took me to Nanking. I’ve heard quite a lot about this place (my best friend used to go gaga over this place), but visited it only once before. They have the main restaurant and an extension right next to each other, strangely, with separate kitchens. Both were packed for a weekday and we had to wait about 10 minutes to get a table at the Extension.

The vegetarian menu was not so long. Spring rolls, Egg rolls and Manchuria were the only veg starters they had. The non-vegetarian menu was quite long though. The prices seemed very reasonable for a place of such magnitude.

We ordered a vegetable Hot and Sour soup, Spring Rolls for myself and Chicken drumsticks for my friend. The soup was tasty and tangy. Spring rolls were good, but I’ve had better ones. 16 pieces was quite a lot. The rolls were out right away, but it took forever for the drumsticks. I was almost done with the rolls when they arrived. My friend loved them though. This guy owns a restaurant himself, and was telling me that it was quite impossible to serve 10 drumsticks for the given price.

Both of us were almost full with the starters, so we decided to go light on the main course. We ordered a vegetable American Chopsuey. I was having one after really long and loved it. The fried noodles were crunchy and the vegetables very well cooked. The quantity again was sumptuous.

Looks like I have a new favorite Chinese restaurant other than Chopsticks. For their prices and quantity, this place is a winner!! Only if they had better variety on the vegetarian side of things. I saw the guy at the next table struggling to finish the fried rice he ordered. A nice family restaurant, and a bargain for my non-vegetarian friends. On the downside, the place was a little to loud. Also, the cutlery they used was quite old. The main restaurant has better interiors than the extension, but is cramped for space.

I would definitely recommend this place for anyone wanting to eat good Chinese food!!

Food: 8.5/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Service: 7/10
Meal for 2: Rs. 440/-

Verdict: 8.5/10

PS: I like Chinese food, but it’s not my favorite. I somehow prefer the 50 bucks road side bandi food over a restaurant when it comes to Chinese. That is why an 8.5 even though I listed it as my favorite.