That’s the retaurant formerly known as Saigon. In fact, when you approach it from Brigade Road the signage with the new name is difficult to miss, but the front signage is still that of Saigon. This is on the 2nd Floor of the building that houses Oye Shaava, Oye Amritsar and Ruby Tuesday. They have valet parking too, and for those wondering, no, I didn’t try it out for my two wheeler. :p
As you go up, do check out the posters of Oye Amritsar, good stuff. On the second floor, we were greeted with a nunchaku doorknob. Wonderfully creative start. In fact the entire place, I realised was a creative trip. I didn’t take photos and hoped someone had, and my faith in the www was reinforced when I came across this site.
We had reserved a table, but if you’re going early (before 8pm ) that may not be required. There are some great 2 seaters that give you a view of Church Street, and options for larger groups too. I love those ‘watch the world go by’ views, as regular readers would know. The welcome mat greeted me warmly and told me that they were not too sticky about formalities, and that I should look around, enjoy myself, but asked me to save space for dessert.
The person in charge of our table asked us if were familiar with the dining style they followed. I’d only read one review so he explained the concept of Mongolian Barbecue. Daniel, as he introduced himself, did a great job of explaining it, and said that we would be served soups and starters before we got on with that part. The staff uniform is the Karate Gi gear. Daniel wore a red belt which means he’s a captain. Stewards wear yellow belts.
We had a choice of Burnt Garlic veg soup and a Sweet Corn Chicken soup. I asked for half a bowl of the latter and was only disappointed that I couldn’t get D to try it out, though I kept telling her it was very good. The solid attack started with 5 veg and 5 non veg starters. We had Chinese green dim sum (mushroom and corn), crisp potato, cauliflower in spicy ginger sauce, grilled vegetables in tangy sauce, and veg dim sum, I evinced only passing interest though the cauliflower starter was exceptional and the others were good too. The non veg starters – Fish in chinese parsley sauce, chicken wings, lamb in BBQ sauce, chicken dim sum and prawn papaya spring rolls, were obviously given more attention. (except for the last one since prawns are allergic to me ) All of them great, and I loved the chicken wings, awesome stuff. If you like something, feel free to ask for a second or even third helping. But remember there’s the main course and deserts to follow.
The main course is the Mongolian barbecue. You get your bowl and select from over a dozen kinds of sliced vegetables – mushroom, bamboo shoots, capsicum, cabbage, broccoli and so on, arranged in a buffet. You are then asked to choose your sauce from a display board and the meat/s you would like to add, and they stir fry it for you. To go along with it, you can choose steamed rice, fried rice or noodles with veg and non veg (lamb, fish, chicken) options. I ordered my stir fry with lamb and a pepper & onion sauce, and chicken noodles to go along. D ordered her stir fry with chicken and spicy chinese wine sauce and veg fried rice (@#$%, Veg? asked I !! and was rewarded with a Buddha smile) to go along with it. The other sauce choices for the day were Sweet and Sour, Golden Garlic, Hunan, Oyster/Chilli Oyster, Hot Garlic, Chilli Plum and Sapo. The stir fried stuff and your rice/noodles are brought to your table, in less than 10 minutes. Awesome. You could order another round if you’re upto it, maybe with a different sauce. I remembered the desserts and didn’t.
The dessert options were Sago Float, Fried Mango, Cut Fruit, Ice Cream Date Pancake and Chocolate Mousse. We tried all, and you can guess what I asked for a second helping of. I was also tempted by the Sago Float – coconut flavoured with jelly like Sago ( D says sago is sabudana), but chocolate always wins.
All of this – soups, starters, main course, desserts work like a buffet – charged Rs.349 + tax for dinner (works out to Rs.785 for two) and Rs.249 + tax for lunch (fewer items, I suspect). They also serve a la carte based on your preferences, there’s no menu card. They do have a liquor menu though, thats extra. I am not trying to hustle you, but you do need to give this place a try at least once, for the unique dining experience it offers. I’ll be your fortune cookie and say “Go on an empty stomach. Serve you well, it will”
Hongkong Hustle, 2nd Floor, Asha Enclave, #20, Church street, Ph: 41122855