Food mood: Hunan, B’lore

I was invited to a blogger’s meet last week at the Hunan restaurant in Koramangala. We were greeted by the delightful Jagdish Menda, the CEO of Hunan. While we waited for the other bloggers to arrive, Jagdish explained some of the history behind the restaurant, the challenges faced by the restaurant industry in general and his ambitions for the restaurant. If all goes well, one can expect great things from the restaurant.

Hunan, Koramangala
The evening feast began with some white wine. The first appetizer was the Dynasty Prawn. This dish is a blend of so many flavours ranging from citrus to honey to spice. Each flavour hits different spots on your tongue and throat as it goes down. The prawn itself was fresh and crunchy. Do try this out when you go to Hunan. We were also served a Crab and Asparagus soup. Compared to the prawn I had just had, the soup was alright. Nothing extraordinary to write about considering it was a single flavour that was a bit of a disappointment after the superb taste of the Dynasty Prawn. We were also served some dumplings. I tried only one because I tend to get carried away easily and then have no room for other dishes. The Chicken Pouch dumplings were really cute and tasted very nice as well. So far, the prawns were the best.

Dynasty Prawn

Crab and Asparagus Soup

Chicken Pouch Dumplings
I had tried the Musho Duck Roll (excuse me if I got the name incorrect) the last time I was here, so it was nice to have it again. The duck was cooked perfectly and the rolls were on the sweeter side thanks to the sauces that went in. Folks who enjoy duck should give this a try. We moved on to the Pan-fried Hunan Grilled Chicken. The taste of this dish was fairly unique. Eaten like a paan, the chicken is wrapped in the leaf along with a small portion of the rice and the sauce that comes along with the dish. The dish had an overwhelming vegetarian taste thanks to the wrap and the sauce that muted the taste of the chicken. Similar to this dish, was the Lettuce-wrapped Chicken. This is a very ‘Thai’ dish where one puts together a bunch of ingredients including ginger, lime, peanuts and sauces to the chicken wrapped in a lettuce leaf. 

Musho Duck Roll

Pan-fried Hunan Grilled Chicken

Lettuce-wrapped Chicken
On to the main course. (Yes, we were still on the appetizers). The next dish that came up is a definite must-have for all pork lovers. We were served a plate of spare ribs. These ribs were the best ever I’ve had. The meat was so soft that I was able to take it off the bone using just the standard knife and did not have to wrestle the same with a steak knife. The texture was fabulous and the sauce had evenly spread through the meat. This dish scored a perfect 10 on 10 in my books. Do NOT miss out on this if spare ribs are your thing.

Pork Spare Ribs
We also tasted a well-cooked Snapper with Shredded Ginger. Not for the squeamish, this well-sized fish is rather intimidating to look at. Besides the mild taste of ginger, the only other flavour that came through was that of the meat. A very sober dish indeed. The meat on the Lamb Sizzler was also very soft and easy to manage. The taste of the meat however did get a little lost in the sauces but that did not bother me too much considering the dominant sweet barbecue flavour.

Snapper with Shredded Ginger

Lamb sizzler
Accompanying all of the above was a well made Green Thai Curry with rice, vegetable noodles, Tofu in Bak Choy and plate of Spicy Prawns. One thing that did stand out was the Chicken Fried Rice cooked in Bamboo. The taste was refreshingly organic and reminded me of something similar cooked in a lot of the Indian villages. I’d definitely recommend that one tries this.

Veg Thai Green Curry

Tofu with Bok Choy

Chicken Bamboo Fried Rice

Spicy Prawns
While my mind was sufficiently blown apart by the amazing spare ribs, what happened at dessert was unexpected. Besides a serving of ice cream, a Chocolate Lave Cake and a Sizzling Brownie, we were served THE BEST EVER Red Velvet Cake that I have ever laid my hands on. The texture was just perfect. The cake wasn’t soggy at all and the knife simply fell through the cake. There was a synchronous sigh of content from every blogger at the table as we took our first bite. I am willing to go to war for this cake. If you’ve ever seen the Friend’s episode where Chandler and Rachel fight over a cheesecake, this particular Red Velvet Cake could induce that kind of madness. 

Red Velvet Cake

Ice Cream

Sizzling Brownie
I don’t remember seeing this on the menu when I had gone previously, but do not miss out on enquiring when this would be served and ensure you order a piece the moment you get to the restaurant. I did try some of the vegetarian dishes which were quite nice, but have focussed on the non-veg stuff that I loved the most. Hunan is definitely one of the favourites for Chinese cuisine among restaurant goers. Their awards are a testimony to the same. It was a great evening of great food. The three things I would recommend to everyone who goes there are the Dynasty Prawn, the Pork Spare Ribs and the Red Velvet Cake. I am looking forward to going back soon just to have an entire slice all to myself.

Launch: Smirnoff ICE

Food Mood: The Flour Works, Pune