Full Kee: Dining in DC #2

Chinatown in DC: as authentic as...

This October, the Giant Vacuum Cleaner had to take his 10th grade board exams. The Spouse felt it would be a great idea to whisk me away as far as possible in order to prevent mother-son meltdown. We ended up spending a couple of days in my favorite American city – Washington, DC. Despite having lived in the area for several years, we had never ventured into the District’s Chinatown neighborhood, other than to drive through it on our way to someplace else. Despite knowing that DC’s Chinatown is kitschy and about as authentic as an Elvis impersonator, I thought it would be fun to make like a tourist and eat Chinese food in a Chinatown restaurant. … Keep reading

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Cantonese Cuisine: At Home

Gavin struts his stuff

I enjoy “Indian Chinese” food. I even enjoy “American Chinese” food. That said, I have often wondered what the good people of China think of perversions like “Gobi Manchurian” and “General Tso’s Chicken”. A random tweet, from Gautam John of Pratham Books, bemoaning the lack of authentic Chinese food in Bangalore, sparked an idea.

Gavin Mak, who belongs to one of Bangalore’s oldest ethnic Chinese families, has been catering at our home for years. While Mak Hospitality, his catering company, dishes out some very good Indian, kinda-European, and desi-Chinese cuisine, Gavin  never serves authentic Chinese food, because he believes that “no one will eat or appreciate it”. I made a deal with Gavin: If I could find 10 people who would enjoy the “bland” flavors of true Cantonese cuisine, he would have to come and cook it himself.

Keep reading…

The Great Wall

The Great Wall

The Great Wall of China... now in Indiranagar

As of end 2008, this restaurant is closed.

After years of making do with far-from-satisfactory Chinese cuisine in cramped, eat-and-go chain restaurants, Indiranagar finally has reason to rejoice. The Great Wall, located right at the base of the Indiranagar-Airport Road flyover, offers an upscale Oriental dining experience with enough variety to satisfy even the most jaded palate. Chef Sukesh Srinivasan (remember Shanghai, Bangalore’s first truly elegant-yet-affordable Chinese eatery?) is passionate about “getting it right.” Keep reading…

Dining on Dim Sum

Order to your heart's content...

Order to your heart's content

Dim sum. Not my favorite kind of food, as I admitted to Chefs Huang Zhiwen and Suresh of Zen at the Leela. As usual, I was about to have my mind changed in the most spectacular way possible.

To me, dim sum has always conjured up images of teeny-tiny, bite-size morsels of food – hardly enough to feed a monstrous appetite like mine. As I am seated at a spare yet elegant table, I resign myself to following up my meal with heartier fare once I get home.

Chef Huang hails from China. He speaks very little English, and I wonder whether I will be able to communicate easily.  I needn’t have worried. After a brief exchange with Chef Huang about Bangalore (he claims he likes it) Chef Suresh fills me in on all the dim sum details. Keep reading…