Tales and Travels From Asia Bar and Sichuan House in Mumbai
In the plethora of both casual dining and fine dining restaurants at Phoenix Market City in Kurla, Asia Bar and Sichuan House are fairly new. Side by side, patrons are invited to first have a drink at Asia Bar, with lounge seating, dim lighting and upbeat music and then move on to Sichuan House for a more formal sit down dinner.
Best of Both Worlds
We had a chat with Chef Paul Kinny, the man behind the menu at Asia bar and Sichuan House. He told us of the concept beind the menu, elaborating on how he want to tap into authentic Chinese fare, while still remaining accessible to Indian, and more specifically Kurla customers. The restaurant’s offerings, therefore, are a mash between familiar flavours and more authentic, exotic ones.
This approach is seen in the drinks menu at Asia Bar as well. While we noted the presence of classic cocktails and both domestic and international alcohols, there was also a separate menu with some fun Asian cocktails. We went for a Peach Blossom and a Thai Mojito.
Personally, I preferred the Peach Blossom, which was sweet, tangy and smooth. My dining companion argued for the Thai Mojito, which was stronger, with mint and lemon grass adding zest. Along with our drinks, we had plateful after plateful of appetisers.
Kung Pao Potato
Kung Pao style dishes are generally a favourite across India when it comes to appetisers. This one was no different – the potatoes were coated in a spicy red sauce that appeased our taste buds.
Black Pepper Garlic Prawns
Fat, juicy prawns were fried with just the right amount of black pepper to give them volumes of flavour.
Chicken Hakka Dry Red Chilli
We do love our spices, so this dish ticked off all the right boxes with a hefty dose of chilli. That said, the chilli didn’t overpower the chicken which was beautifully tender.
Lemon Coriander Soup
We called for a chicken and prawn version of this soup. Both proteins were present in generous amounts in the soup, and we have to say this our new favourite soup for battling those monsoon induced sore throats!
We then picked up the remnants of our drinks (very little to speak off) and headed to the adjoining Sichuan House. The first thing that struck us was the ambience; it’s spacious, beautifully decorated with bamboo screens and has lovely, soothing music that was a nice change from the hip hop beats next door.
Here’s what we had:
Hakka Style Chicken Supreme
Once again, we noted a dish with classic Chinese flavours that would also appeal to the Indian palate. If you want to eat out, but don’t want to completely give up your flavour comforts opt for this dish.
Mandarin Style Fish in Bamboo Shoot & Black Mushroom
If, on the other hand, you’re exited to try out different flavours, call for this dish. We fell in love with it at the first spoonful.
We also had a wok tossed Broccoli, Baby corn and Waterchestnut dish, which we weren’t able to get a photographs of as it was rapidly demolished. That itself should tell you something about the taste. We then moved on to dessert, which we were able to photograph, after firmly telling our dining companions to wait patiently.
Litchi and Date Wontons
We do love the person who invented fried desserts. The wontons were perfectly crisp, stuffed to the brim with dates. However, we wish the litchi flavours had been a little more distinct.
Light, yet decadent, creamy yet firm. We’re describing the perfect tiramisu and it was you. No, not you – we’re talking to that photograph above.
We’d visit Sichuan House again purely for the tiramisu. And that fish. And the cocktails. We’d suggest you do to. Head to Phoenix Market City in Kurla, where it is on the ground floor. Call 022 33715923 to make a booking in advance!