China Bistro manages to grab your attention even before you walk in. Two giant terracotta warriors greet you at the door with the same attentiveness with which they have guarded China’s first emperors grave for the past two millennia. The décor is modern with scattered oriental iconography. China Bistro is a part of the Foodlink group that also has restaurants like Glocal Junction, India Bistro and Bungalow 9 in its portfolio.
I’ve been to China Bistro Hyderabad twice – once for the weekend buffet and one for the a la carte. The a la carte session was a part of the blogger’s table and food was on the house.
China Bistro’s menu is an interesting mix of traditional Chinese dishes and creative plays on popular Chinese dishes. The starters were consistently delightful, but my favourite is the Prawn Cheong Fun – an intriguing dimsum that has a crunchy middle layer sandwiched between juicy prawns and delicate rice noodles pastry. There’s also a vegetarian variant of this dish that uses a Cheese and Onion stuffing. However, my pick among the veggie starters was the Turnip cake – a deep fried savoury with a satisfyingly smooth texture that’s served on a bed of burnt garlic.
The main course features veggies, seafood, and meat in a wide variety of sauces. I enjoyed the Fish in Chilly Basil Sauce, Crab in Butter Garlic Sauce and Lamb in Devil sauce. The Screwed Up Noodles was something that should appeal to our desi taste buds due to its spicy chilly beans sauce. China Bistro also serves a few Dishes from other countries of the Orient including Thai and Malaysian. I tried the Som Tam, Thai Red Curry and the Mee Goreng. While the Thai Red curry had surprisingly little lemongrass and lacked the sweet and spicy play on flavours that I expect, the Mee Goreng could have done with a bit more punch (may be they could throw in some sambal and add sweet soy). The Som Tam also rather disappointing.
China Bistro features a mix of Western and Asian options in its desserts section. I loved the Steamed Coconut Dumpling with Honey Butter Sauce, which reminded me of one of my favourite desserts from my childhood – Steamed Narkel Puli Pithe. Chocolate Tsunami is a Chocolate Mousse that melts and disintegrates as the waiter pours hot chocolate over it.
Unlike most other oriental restaurants in its price range, China Bistro differentiates itself through a diverse menu featuring Baos, Dimsums, and Pot Meals. It offers quite a few unique and distinctive dishes that leave a mark. The weekend lunch buffet featured quite an elaborate spread with fourteen starters and fourteen main courses. The desserts were a bit of a dampner, and is one area where the buffet could do better. However, it’s difficult to complain when you get a lavish spread featuring Prawns, Lobsters, Crabs, and Lamb at just Rs. 545++ (Rs. 495++ for veg). The weekday lunch buffet is a slightly reduced spread and is priced at Rs. 445++ (Rs. 395 for veg).