Mainland China is probably the most famous among the very small group of authentic Chinese restaurants in the country. With more than 30 outlets in over 15 cities of the country it has carved a name for itself in providing the best Chinese food. By authentic Chinese I mean serving the same kind of vegetables, spices, sauces etc. which are done in China. This is totally different from Indian Chinese which as the name sounds has been Indianised like any other dish be it burger served by Mcdonalds, Burger King and KFC or Pizza served by Pizza Hut.
Having heard about Mainland China from various people, I finally made my 1st visit to this place in Pune (Senapati Bapat Road branch) on 1st Jan. The ambience and setting has been well designed and maintained. I was surprised seeing two menu cards. Later on I realised that one was for the food while the other for the drinks. The first thing that strikes a first time visitor is the names of the dishes which are served here –
Dry Cooked Shanghai Beans With Mushrooms
Okra, Black Mushrooms And Bamboo Shoots With Fermented Black Beans
Sapo Tofu With Exotic Vegetables
Four Treasure Vegetables In A Spicy Hunan Sauce
Broccoli, Corn And Water Chestnuts In Chilli Garlic Sauce
Quick Fried Snowpeas With Garlic Pearls
* The list is indicative
I have put the names of a few vegetarian dishes here because I had only vegetarian. I am sure 99 out of 100 people who haven’t been there would understand what each dish looks like. That was my condition – all confused after looking at the menu card. And I had to finally call the manager to ask the best dishes for vegetarians.
We finally ordered “Sapo Tofu With Exotic Vegetables” and “Singapore Rice Noodles“. The quantity seemed enough for at least three people which could increase to four depending on the diet of the person. Therefore the two of us ended up wasting some of it. The noodles were very thin while the main course dish sauces were different – some good and some bad.
The service and speed of delivery of food was really good. The staff was more than willing to help us in selecting the right kind of dish since we were first timers. While leaving we picked up two small white and brown strips from a bowl near the entrance wondering what it was. Later on we realised that it was ginger. Didn’t know that ginger could be used in place of after mint too :P.
All in all it was a different kind of experience since I haven’t ever had authentic Chinese before.
Positives – Ambience, One of the best and only restaurants for Authentic Chinese, Upscale, Service, Quantity
Negatives – Names of the dishes weird for people who are first timers, Relatively expensive (Rs 776 for the two of us including taxes)