(Picture taken from Restaurants website. Apologies, I could not get a good image of the place)
To quote Hawkeye "The city is flying! We're fighting an army of robots! And I have a bow and arrow! None of this makes sense!". I was invited to Shanghai Club (within ITC Grand Central) to try a new Sangria menu (plus seafood) made by Chef Yuanzhong Jia with in an Asian themed restaurant. While the seafood made sense, I was surprised about the Sangrias. But just like the Avengers movie, sometimes things that make little sense together turn out to be a great experience in the end.
ITC's Grand Central is a majestic property. Located away from the busy main streets, this palace like place always wins the peeks of the people passing by. I mean, would you look away if a gorgeous Ferrari drove past you?
A little late to the party, I was escorted to the restaurant by the maitre. At first, I was a little confused since the restaurant I entered was of an Indian theme but that was just the part of the way. Adjoining the Indian restaurant was Shanghai Club. The decor was quite intriguing. It looked like a miniaturized version of a colonial era Chinese restaurant. The vases may not have been Ming era relics but they did invoke the name in my head. I joined a group of connoisseurs seated on a large communal table.
The theme of the dinner was Seafood and Sangria. Hence we were presented with a quartet of four Sangrias. Each of these was an excellent concoction on its own.
Moving from the divine wine, the second half of the game began with the Seafood. We were informed that some of the served delicacies were from the restaurant's Asian style set dinner meals all of which come with an unlimited pours of Sangria.
Captain : Cheers lass. A toast to us not finding any spares and yet fine dining without notice.
Engineer : Its fine Capitan, as long as we don't tell the crew about this.
Captain : Aye, they'd be envious.
Prawn Bamboo shoot and Water chestnut Shumai was the classical Prawn Siu Mai. The flavor of the prawns somehow was suppressed by the Water chestnuts and bamboo shoots making the dumplings taste unnaturally vegetarian. These were still better than most dumplings I have had but these could have easily been better.
Singapore Chilli Crab with Egg white was a grand looking Crab dish which would make any Asian restaurant jealous. I usually avoid Crab dishes because they tend to be messy and I am averse to breaking the shell. Today, the crab invited me. Knowing fully well that its impossible to go the fork and knife route on the crab, I took it in my hands and in one stroke broke the shell as if I had been doing it for a very long time. Then I enjoyed the delicious meat literally oozing out.
The egg white made the flavor rich and the greens really lit up the plating. It was a bit surprising that this was served before the appetizers. This feels more fitting as a main. I enjoyed the crab and it also felt like a little achievement - breaking the shell on my own. No pun intended.
Captain : I wonder what Guzion is.
Crewmate : Who cares Capitan? Its tasty.
Captain : Go easy on the food lass. Think of your Captain.
The best part of the dinner was definitely the Dessert's selection.
Captain : This reminds me of my trips to the New world lass.
Engineer : Are you going to make a Caribbean reference now?
Captain : I would have, but you called it out and ruined it.
Jasmine Flavored Tiramisu can best be described as the orient meets the occident. It was a premium quality Tiramisu blended perfectly with Jasmine flavor. In a true case of "How is this even possible?", the sweet aroma and essence of Jasmine had partnered well with the mochastic Tiramisu. The cream layering at the top had a beautiful texture as seen in my picture. This dessert satisfied the eyes, nose and the tongue. Now only if it could play the piano like Yanni.
Captain : Through the soft layer of Mocha and Jasmine cream.
Engineer : Ah, the fellows told me about this.
Captain : Lies the most delectable island made of cake crusts.
Engineer : How does one even get high on dessert?
The service was on par with any fine dining outlets. The servers were articulate, knew the dishes well and served properly without their sleeves even nearing the dishes.
To conclude, I loved the Basil and Watermelon Sangria. The desserts were fun for the most part, just that the Red Bean ice cream needs work. The crab, Scampi and Stir Fried Lobster were the highlights of the seafood course. Makes me curious about what else is there on the menu. I would definitely come again to try the rest of their menu.
Whether some politician's tall claims of remaking Mumbai like Shanghai happen or not, Shanghai Club definitely brings a piece of Shanghai into Mumbai.
The Captain's Score : 8/10
"All right lads, bad news is that we found no spares. The Good News is we had some great grub. Now back to the seas to find our spares."
ITC Grand Central,
287, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road,
-I was invited as part of a Food Bloggers association of India meet to the establishment. Thanks go to the staff of the restaurant for inviting and tolerating us food monsters.-