Article & Photos by : Zico Mendes, Official Team T3HM
“Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters?” – Confucius.
One such friend is Luo Jinhong, an expat chef from the Hunan Province, China who is dishing out authentic Chinese delicacies this week at OKO, Lalit Ashok Bangalore.
Chef Luo has been in this industry for the last 20 years, 4 of which have been spent in India. He is known for his signature dishes like Chong Qing Chicken, Crispy Vegetables in Plum Sauce, Vermicelli & Spinach Soup, Sliced Chicken in Shui Zhu Sauce, Wood-ear Mushroom and Black Bean Sauce and Cantonese-style Sticky Rice Ball.
T3HM was invited for an exclusMandarive peep into what OKO calls the Chinese Festival – Mandarin Calling!
We were welcomed with a Watermelon + Corriander Cooler and Asparagus + Corn Soup to get us started. We won’t be covering all the details of every dish as one was better than the other and we would like to call out the crowd favourites that you must try out before this fest comes to an end.
For starters, the vegetarian option was the Corn & Chesnut Dumpling while the non-vegeterian pick was the Crystal Prawn Dumpling. And both hit the sweet spot.
The crisp duo of corn and chestnuts served as the perfect foil for the soft exterior whereas the plump shrimps were a joy to eat with the slightly chewy crystal dumplings.
Being authentic renditions of Chinese classics, most of the dishes had the right balance of flavours and were light on the spice. However, there was one dish which made the best use of spice – the Spicy & Sour Cucumber Salad. Personally, I loved it as it added contrasting flavours on the menu. After all, who doesn’t like a little spice in their life? 😉
Next up, we had the Chong Qing Chicken with Onion & Dry Chilli, Tofu Chilli Black Bean in Hunan Style, Crispy Fried Lamb Beijing Style, Sliced Chicken in Shui Zhu Sauce and Chilli Black Bean Fried Noodles with Szechwan Pepper Oil. Together, all of the dishes took our taste buds on a satisfying trip around China.
The highlight of that trip was the King Prawn in Xiang La Sauce. And boy oh boy, did it live up to its name – with the King Prawns being one of the biggest and most flavoursome prawns I have eaten till date. All it meant was that our hands were up for a second helping and this time we teamed it up with the Olive Vegetable Fried Rice – which turned out to be a worthy companion.
A special mention goes to the Sizzling Eggplant in BBQ Sauce, which had a smoky yet smooth flavour because of the roasted eggplant; and Tofu with Leek Hunan – a delicious salad that was the true champion of simplicity. For drinks, we were served with an excellent Ice Tea Sangria made with lemon grass. It looked like the Sangria would take the title of ‘mocktail of the day’ until we were served the Apple & Cinnamon Mocktail, which was served along with a dessert – the Steamed Chocolate Bun with Honey Butter Sauce.
All in all, it’s safe to say that we left the place as fans of the Chinese cuisine.
If you fancy a shot at authentic Chinese recipes, rush to OKO at the Lalit Ashok Bangalore because the Chinese Festival wraps up by the 3rd of Sept. Go, Mandarin’s Callin’! Where are you?
Apart from the A la Carte menu OKO has also created a 4 Course Chef’s Choice Menu which comprises of Starter, Soup, Main Course & Dessert, priced at INR 1350++ 25, August 2017 until the 3rd September, 2017 and OKO will be open for Lunch & Dinner.
Address: OKO – The LaLiT Ashok Bangalore, Kumara Krupa High Grounds, Next to CM Guest House, Bengaluru.