Nestled at the turning that one takes when travelling from South Bombay to get onto the Bandra - Worli Sea Link, China Bistro occupies a space which over the years has seen a few places come and go. Not too frequently mind you but come and go they have. I think there was India and Beyond before this which was preceded by Mela. Correct me if I'm wrong please.
Coming back to the restaurant at hand. It was another lazy Sunday when my mother suddenly demanded Chinese as it had been a long time since she had indulged in some.
On our way back from our Sunday lunch at Cafe Madras in Matunga, I spotted China Bistro. Why not try out a new spot was the consensus.
Walking into the space one is immediately welcomed by some porch side tables and a pretty patch of greenery. Entering the main building one realises that the space is actually split into 2 sections, the first being the China Lounge, which is more of a chilled out bar/pub type of space with a bar area and more upbeat pumping music setting the mood. We however were more interested in the inner more formal dining space.
The walls are done up in light colours and the space has a large enough airy feel about it. It also has a private dining area for large groups which is a nice thing to remember for future visits.
My mother has a habit of interrogating the waiters at every new establishment we visit with the typical gujju question of "It's our first time here, what is the best on the menu??" While I snigger away as I know its highly dependent on your tastes, it always gives me a good idea about how well prepared the wait staff are. I must report in that the staff is knowledgeable about the food on offer and polite too which is a good sign of things to come in my book.
To start off with we ordered the China Bistro Hot Pot Soup. Whew that is a long name. The soup was nice and rich without being overly thick or spicy, a warm comforting one to start off the meal with, definitely something I would consider ordering again.
For Appetizers we went for something which was off the menu and suggested by the waiter. The Mongolian Potatos, which turned out to be unremarkable. I mean nothing bad about it at all but nothing worth mentioning either. In terms of taste and texture the potatos seemed shallow fried and then tossed in some mildly spicy sauce before being served.
It had been a long long time since we had indulged in Dim Sums and the decision to order the Sui Mai was quickly achieved. To be honest I was surprised that they gave us pieces as these days the trend is to charge exorbitant amounts for just 3-4 pieces. The wrapper was nice and thin with the open dumplings stuffed with crisp flavourful veggies. They went especially well with the Condiments that were served along with it. Now I love a good peanut sauce and wasn't disappointed at all by the one they served us.
The condiments from left to right are the Chilli Mint sauce, a mustard relish type sauce and my favourite the Peanut Sauce.
For the mains we decided to opt for the strategy of one gravy with a rice and noodles along with it. Our decision for the gravy was to try out the Kung Pao Vegetable Gravy, which quite frankly wasn't all that good. The veggies were nice and held their bite but the flavour over all was very muted and not at all firey with just a hint of sweetness which is what I usually expect from a Kung Pao. Maybe my perception of that name is wrong? I'm not sure but I do know that for my tastebuds this didn't quite hit the mark. Maybe next time we will try a more traditional Schezwan gravy.
The Chilli Garlic noodles we ordered were really good with the flavour of the chilli being predominant but not overwhelming and a definite lingering of garlic on the tongue. Yum yum yum. Do try this one out if you visit.
The rice was the Pot Veg rice, which to be honest wasn't too different from a regular old fired rice with the exception of their being a few different exotic veggies instead of the standard capsicum and carrots. Went decently with the sauce though so wouldn't mind having it again.
One note I must mention is that the food is definitely on the oilier side of the scale so be warned.
For a quick bite with friends or just a more reasonable night out with family China Bistro is definitely one place I would recommend coming too. For some reason it suffers from horrible reviews on Zomato but my experience was nothing like that.
The damages for the night were 1800 Rupees which at a 600 Rupees per head was perfectly reasonable neither cheap nor too expensive.
PHONE:+91 7506263565, 022 24920055 ADDRESS: Shop 26-30, Building 1, Mahapalika Nagar, KAG Khan Road, Worli, Mumbai
Bambaiya Veggie reviews anonymously and pays for all its meals