Tuesday 6 February 2018

The Paper Pot Food Fest at Shanghai Club - ITC Grand Central, Parel, Mumbai

Food festivals and special themed menus need no introductions. Every week, there are many food events all over Mumbai. However, your time and resources are still limited and precious so it literally pays to know which festivals and places to attend and which to skip.

I usually share my recommendations about festivals on my Instagram these days since it connects faster to an audience who may not have time to read a post like this. However, I want to chronicle my experience regarding the Paper Pot festival menu at the ITC Grand Central over here. I want this memory to remain in the universe.

Shanghai Club is known for its authentic Chinese food and its dishes are designed by ITC's very own Chef Jia who hails from China. The paper pot festival was his idea and he had to import the paper pots and ingredients straight from China .

Food served in Paper pots is a rare occurrence anywhere in the world, let alone in India. Food is usually cooked and served in Paper pots called as Washi - The paper is both fire proof and water proof. You could boil food inside it over high heat and the paper won't catch fire. Although, the restaurant did not cook the food in paper pots in this case, the food was served in paper pots with a flame underneath it to keep it warm.

This was a first time in my life, hence it had to be written.

I sampled two meaty pots along with one vegetarian pot. It was not just the pots but even the dishes that were unique to the festival. One may not find these dishes outside the festival. 

Shanghai club offers an ambiance that seems like a perfect mix of class and luxury. Its good for the sophisticated white collared folks who prefer a noise free rich environment. And its good for the Tourist and food lover types who love a bit of Asian blended into their surroundings. After all, the ambiance does help you in enjoying your food more. 

Like a good prologue to a rich novel, White Jasmine tea serves as a good starter to a wonderful Chinese dinner experience.
Not really a part of the menu, these dim sums were ordered by my company to add an appetizer course before the pot mains. The Chicken and Prawn based dim sums were of the best quality. Far superior to what one would have had at the many blooming Pan Asian places in the town.

The Chef's special Chilli bean pork was served in a silver colored paper pot. The paper's color was purely aesthetic. It was the chef's choice to differentiate meat based dishes from the vegetarian ones.
The best of the three pot based dishes, the flavor was the king here. Soft flavorful pieces of pork with comforting sauces and veggies tossed in, this dish was quite delightful.

It is important to note that Chinese cuisine has a lot of Pork based dishes. A lot of Asian restaurants discard Pork based dishes from their menus thereby sacrificing cuisine authenticity. Shanghai club thankfully remains truly Chinese.

The Prawns in Special Chilli Soya were the seafood lover's delight. The prawns had a rich flavor, texture and the sauces worked well in synergy. Although, I did feel that this dish would have looked better in a white pot.

The Chinese greens with Chilli Garlic Soya was a simple but flavorful vegetarian dish. Served in a white paper pot as part of the chef's convention - this dish truly exemplified the paper pot festival. As evident from my picture, the paper is both fire and wetness proof. Plus it does not contain any harmful chemicals or toxins that would affect the food.

I ended the meal with these delicious desserts.

ITC Grand Central is not as flashy with promoting its events as some other five star properties which call a legion of Instagrammers, journalists and socialites to promote their events. However, the food quality and the experience were no lesser than any other. In fact with an experienced Chinese Chef on their team, Shanghai Club ensures that food is truly Chinese.

The Captain's Score : 8/10

Map Co-Ordinates
Shanghai Club
ITC Grand Central,
287, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road,
Parel, Mumbai

-I was invited to sample the menu by the Restaurant. However, my review is remains objective.-

Shanghai Club - ITC Grand Central Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato