Uncle Beeren or some prefer to call him Beeren Sadhu (Hermit) was actually not related to our family but had been a co-worker of my father thus had been a frequent visitor to our house. His appearance was somewhat like a cartoon character with a height of around five feet and a very thin and frail body structure. Strings of loose beard floated below his chin and paired with a smile made his face look real funny. Being from a rural village in south Bengal he had very less knowledge about the outside world and his every trip to the city was a big eye opener for him.
It was around the late 1980’s and we had recently shifted to Bangalore (Bengaluru) and uncle Beeren had come to Bangalore to assist my father in some work that he had been planning for a long time. He would come and always have lunch with us prepared by our mother. Once such day we had prepared noodles or Chow Mein for lunch and for uncle Beeren this was a strange food. Initially, he assumed the strings of noodles to be large worms and after much convincing, he agreed to try some. After a couple of spoons, he decided he had it enough and requested some rice which we had assumed he would eat along with some gravy but surprisingly what he did next left us speechless. He mixed noodles with rice just like a gravy and had them for lunch.
Fast forwarding to now Chow Mein or Noodles is a common food that is consumed all across the country as a snack and very popular amongst children. I too like noodles but have been recently left disappointed with the quality and the style of cooking that are available in the restaurants these days. Authentic Chinese noodles is a myth and what we get in the streets and just an Indian version of a very popular Chinese dish which has been modified to suit the taste buds of the local population.
My search for good Chinese food took me to a small outlet in a place which is not well known as a food destination. I was recommended to try this place by a friend who knew the owner of the restaurant and vouched for its taste. After getting the location of the place I decided to check it out along with my family for an impromptu lunch.
If you are expecting a big restaurant setup then this place will surely disappoint you, this is more sort of a place with a kitchen and a home delivery counter and the mezzanine floor has been converted into a small seating area with around four tables. It’s a comfortable place for a small family dinner or perhaps a small gathering with friends.
Before ordering I had the opportunity to speak to the owner of the joint Alex Li a young man of our age who had inherited the place from his father who used to run this place and Alex himself used to stay in Bangalore and used to work as a chef in a prominent restaurant out there. He somehow wanted to get back to the city and saw an opportunity in completely renovating his father’s small restaurant and introducing a completely new menu which would attract a wider range of clientele. With his educational background in hospitality, he managed to read the psyche of the people of the city and add items in the menu which were a key to its success.
We started with the Wonton Soup which was just amazing, I am a big wonton lover but having them in the soup was something for the first for me. For my eight-year-old daughter, this was perfect as it was light with very less spicy and was just the perfect comfort food.
For a change the noodles that we had ordered were not over saturated with gravy but were plain and simple, noticeably the noodles were thick and had been served with minimum condiments keeping the original taste of noodles.
The pork dishes were the crowning glory for me, it was a simple dish yet packed the punch and together with the noodles were something I wish to try again.
The fried rice was also similar to that of noodles which were simple and not overcrowded with spices.
I am a big Chop Suey fan since my childhood and I was sure my daughter would love them too since these are very crispy and along with the sweet and sour gravy was perfect for her.
For me, a meal isn’t complete without a dessert service and we were served Dates Money Bag with Honey and Sesame Seed followed by Stuffed Chocolate Rolls Drizzled with Chocolate Sauce. This was the best way to end the meal for me. Among the two desserts my favourite was the first one, just dip those crispy date bags in the honey and pop them in your mouth, the sweetness of the honey and the dates were a perfect pair.
The best part about having food here is the cost versus the quantity factor which I think makes the food very reasonable and to tell you the truth this was just not the only visit to this place, I have frequented this place quite a few number of times after this whenever I feel like having some good Chinese food.
p.s. Have a word with Alex first before ordering your food, take his recommendations and additionally you can ask to tweak the spice level depending on your preference.
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