(It was a long shot to find a Chinese restaurant in Chennai but we were wrong. This was indeed exclusive, the place that we went for good Chinese food)
Follow Part 1 onwards here
Our Chennai host has been too kind to us so we thought that it is only fair that we take them out for lunch in Chennai (dinner was ruled out as they had other plans for us).
We asked them on what they want to eat – we said that it can be anything but it cannot be Indian food (we had enough of idlis and thosais) and after a short discussion, our host said that they can take Chinese food. So, having Malaysians ordering Chinese food would like a fish taking a drink, so we thought.
After all, we take Chinese food on an almost daily basis when we are back home in Malaysia, so ordering the same in Chennai should not be a big problem, we told ourselves. We were proven wrong once we reached the restaurant in Chennai.
It was a short drive from the apartment to the premium looking Chinese restaurant in the centre of Chennai. We drove in a gutsy Suzuki Swift that took in about 6 of us (my brother in law took the bike as there was no more place in the car).
And on the way to the restaurant, we were taken around the residential area of the rich and famous (we could not get to see Trisha sunbathing though) but we managed to see some of the houses – said to worth about RM10 – RM25 million (similar looking houses in Malaysia probably only cost RM4 – 5 million). Land in the city of Chennai is way too costly.
(It looks simple but when need to pick the food for almost 9 people, some had never taken Chinese food before, the decision making can be very tricky indeed)
We reached the Chinese restaurant rather early for lunch – there only a couple in the restaurant when we walked in. We picked a cosy place and start looking at the menus – nothing on the menu looked very familiar. So we decided to try our luck (our host left us the tasks of picking the menu – they thought we know best about Chinese food).
We recognise some words on the menu and when it comes to “spiciness”, we decided to opt for both spicy and non-spicy dishes and that included fried rice. However, it was obvious that the menu in English is a direct translation from Chinese and some of the descriptions did not even make any sense. The management of the restaurant should consider putting some photos of the dishes on the menu for ease of picking the food.
(One of the best dish that I had when I was in Chennai, the “soup” was even better than the one I had in Malaysia)
Overall the food was great although there is plenty of “Indian” flavour to the dishes (after all, the chefs were Indians as well). There were pork dishes on the menu and we pick a couple to try out. The taste was not that “porky” – it tasted almost like chicken. If there is a complaint about having Chinese food in Chennai, it has to be this – there is no Chinese tea on the menu!
And we indeed were surprised when we asked for Chinese tea and the waiter looked at us rather blank. He offered us Indian tea but for us, it was not the right drink for the food in front of us. I had Chinese food in Africa and there is always Chinese tea on the side. India is nearer to China and yet they don’t have Chinese tea? We declined the offer rather politely.
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To be continued…