Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Food Week That Was. (Sorry, I have always wanted to say that.) This weeks eating out schedule featured a whole lot of Chinese food. One pan-Asian delivery joint operating out of Lower Parel, and another Bandra based QSR focussing on make your own woks. I was craving some dirty Chinese after my Lanka trip (read about Part One here) and both these places satiated my cravings. Read on to know more:
Tao 9 Delivery, Lower Parel
Tao 9, a take away and delivery joint, serving Chinese, Thai and a spattering of a few dishes from a few other Asian cuisines, launched a month ago. Purely operating from the Lower Parel – Mahalakshmi belt, I was lucky that they made an exception to get my meal sent all the way to Bandra. My meal got delivered on the promised time, and arrived warm even though it arrived all the way from their Lower Parel kitchen, in sturdy packaging. I did not even need to re-heat the boxes. Major plus points there!
Silken prawn green Thai curry with steamed rice (Rs. 259/-) started the meal off with a bang. Flavourful, with a lingering aroma of lemongrass and basil, and chunks of prawn floating in between – this makes for a hearty meal by itself. Must try! Both the Basil Wine Prawns (Rs. 219/-) and Black Pepper Fish (Rs. 189/-) were a delight, with robust desi Chinese flavours – garlic, pepper, bell peppers, Thai chilli – to name a few. I’m ignoring the fact that they used basa here, and two thumbs up to the portion sizes.
The Prawn Khow Suey (Rs. 259/-) tasted a bit like Thai curry to me and had the noodle-gravy ratio a bit skewed and was my least favorite. What impressed me majorly was the individual packaging of the khow swey condiments in tiny containers, right from crushed peanuts to fried onions to lime wedges. Their Chicken Coriander Dumplings (Rs. 149/-) were decent, and surprisingly the outer coating hadn’t got rubbery inspite of the distance they traveled. I’m always weary about ordering dimsums home, since they should be eaten freshly steamed. They also do wok boxes (well, who doesn’t?) and our Chicken Teriyaki rice was well tossed, moist, with loads of chicken chunks.
I sincerely hope that the people at Tao 9 keep up the good quality of food they’re offering. After all consistency is key. The Lower Parel – Mahalakshmi – Elphinstone Road bracket with lots of offices may prove to be a formidable target audience for them. And I’m hoping for a Bandra outlet soon. If wishes were horses….
K/7, Gandhi Nagar, Dainik Shivner Marg,
Behind Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel, Mumbai.
Call 022 30151316 for delivery
Follow @tao9delivery on Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram
Wok Express, Bandra
I was slightly devastated when I head the news of Pinkberry in Bandra shutting down. What made me cheer up a tad bit was to know that Wok Express – ‘a create your own wok’ restaurant was replacing it. Ticking my choices of base, gravy, meat, veggies and toppings off a list, and then tasting my creation brought me immense joy. I remember my first experience at the now shuttered All Stir Fry in Colaba and at Noodle Bar outlets, where a large amount of pocket money was spent.
DIY woks seem to be the latest trend, with a number of new restaurants offering the concept on their menus. Wok Express on Pali Hill, is a fairly large space, done up in a minimalistic way with community tables adorned with dipping sauces, and bar stools serving as seats. You can also see your wok being created through a glass paneled kitchen which makes for good meal time viewing.
On their limited menu you’ll find woks and dimsums. You can start off your meal with Bubble iced teas – tapioca balls which lay sunken to the bottom of our generic peach/ guava iced tea glass. The star of my meal were the dumplings. Thanks to my blogger privileges, I managed to get an assorted basket of three of my favorites – edamame truffle, prawn har gaw, and chicken coriander dumplings. Plump prawns sitting inside a pearly translucent coating – the har gaw was my favorite. The melt-in-your-mouth edamame dumplings topped with truffle oil came close.
There sadly was no paper to tick your choice from, the guy at the counter does it for you on the box size of your choice. We got a Chilli Basil Rice with Prawn and veggies to start off with. We had to request the server to add a pinch of salt to our rice to redeem it, and it tasted much better after that. (They will re-do your entire wok for you if you don’t seem to like what you’ve ordered.) Portion sizes are fairly decent, and two of us split a medium sized box comfortably. The Teriyaki Flat Wheat Noodles with chicken was definitely more flavorful and did not feel dry. Somehow I can’t seem to like flat wheat noodles, however Bee polished the entire box off.
Wok Express is a fun, casual place to grab a quick bite. Don’t go expecting gourmet fare, this is the dirty Chinese we all love eating. Makes for an interesting addition on the Pali Hill stretch, especially for those who have grown tired of Five Spice next door. They are running a #ChopChopContest too, where you can win free meals if the size of your chopstick measures up to a pre-decided length.
Shop 1-2, Dheeraj Swapna Building,
Pali Naka, Pali Hill, Bandra West, Mumbai.
Call 9833380808 for delivery
Follow @WokExpress on Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram