Sunday, 23 June 2013

Wok a Toque - Food Trials



Rome wasn't built in a day, the same applies to restaurants these days. The food served in a restaurant goes through rigorous testing before its served to the general public. I was at a food trail session recently at Wok a Toque, a restaurant which serves oriental cuisine, located inside Chariot Hotel in T- Nagar. There are many restaurants which keep springing up in Chennai which serve Continental Cuisine and Indian. Now Wok a Toque is an entrant into the chinese cuisine. I personally feel Chennai is a little deprived off some tasty Chinese food. All the available options seem a little old. This should be a welcome change for the lot.




Food:
As I entered the place, I was greeted by the restaurant manager. He explained to me about the concept of food which is going to be served here, and also he was very kind enough to show me around the property. The manager informed me upfront that the cuisine will be more Indianized to suit our palate. Now coming to the food.

Like all the usual chinese restaurants you do get lettuce and assorted veggies in sweet vinegar. While we sampled it, we were handed a make-shift menu which contained the list of dishes which would be served. This menu had a huge collection of dishes a solid 9 pages for just the starters and mains.

Since we were just going to sample, we made sure we were served only half portions and we went about choosing dishes at random.



We started off with Wasabi Prawns. These were a mix of Mayo and Wasabi, crisp fried. It was Wow! I found it to have a perfect mix, while some others felt they would not mind a little more of Wasabi. I personally felt a small cup of the sauce would be amazing.


In between the starters we were served our soup. I had ordered the Sweet Corn Chicken Soup (SCCS) and while Mr.Srihari had ordered Clear Soup with Crab Meat (CSCM). The SCCS was actually a little bland, the corn in it did not feel fresh enough while the CSCM was fabulous, though we could find only one tiny piece of the shell of a crab .


Then came the veg starter for the only veggie in the group: Stuffed Lotus Root Fritters. This was a lotus root stuffed with potato and chilli fried to perfection and served along with sweet chilli sauce. I must say this was the first time I have ever had lotus root. It was mind blowingly delicious. I was blown away by the taste and the way it had been fried to the proper crispiness.


Next came the Chicken Yakitori, which is a relative of the Chicken Satay. The chicken is marinated in  soy sauce and was grilled similar to a satay. It had a  lovely, rich, earthy flavor. Since we all loved  duck-meat, we had Spicy Duck Roll. This had shredded duck with a good coating of chilli sauce and wrapped in  pancakes. I found the  duck really tender and fabulous.


Finally our last starter arrived. This was a TaiChung Chilly Beef. It was very similar to chilli beef served in all other chinese restaurants. The chilli heat seemed to be just right in all the dishes.



After being blown away by the stunning starters, we headed into the main course with high expectations. For the mains we decided to have a veg Kwai Teow Flat Noodles, a veg Ginger and Capsicum Fried Rice and a Spicy Crab Meat Fried Rice. Kwai Teow Flat Noodles had a slight issue of not being mixed together properly. So some of us had good flavors while others said it lacked flavors. On the other hand both the Fried Rice were mouth watering. They went well with the sides we had ordered. The vegetarian sides were the first to arrive. Of the two Bamboo Shoot and Mushroom in Chilly Bean Sauce and the Tofu gravy. I loved the Bamboo Shoot gravy. It was tasty. Again this was the first time me having Bamboo Shoots, I have only heard people say it being hard and not great. But this was soft and delicious. I would not mind to go back again and have just that with the veg fried rice. But the tofu smelt like it had been stored for while, which put me off.


Since I had loved the duck in the starters, I very badly wanted to have a duck in the mains. So we picked the Braised Duck in Hot Bean Sauce. The sauce was similar to the bamboo shoots, but the duck was cut into nice chunky pieces and cooked until it was tender and made amazing.


Also we ordered a Five Spiced Beef with Glass Noodles. This beef too was similar to the chilly beef, but the addition of the glass noodles made it very visually appealing. The beef too was cooked to perfection. Loved the taste.

Finally we had to wait a bit for our Crispy Chicken in Chiili Honey Sauce as there was a mistake in the service. But the chicken was worth the wait. I even saved it up until I had finished my rice. It was like dessert. The honey made it really sweet and the chilli in it gave a late heat to it.



Finally after the scrumptious mains, we were served with some Chocolate Cake, Elaneer Soufle and Sweet Roll which may not be a part of the menu. Of the lot it was universally accepted in our table that the Elaneer Soufle was heavenly.

Apart from a few dips, the food was fabulous. This maybe the best way for any restaurant to announce its arrival into city, filled with restaurants in every nook and corner. I sincerely hope that they can maintain the consistency of the food. If they do, I bet the other restos will  have trouble in their hands.

Ambiance:
I was simply wowed by the ambiance. It was a fine mix of Contemporary and Chinese elements, which makes it worthy of the title - Fine Dine.

Price:
Most dishes on the menu are priced around Rs 220 -350. So meal for two should cost no more than Rs 1200/-.

I give a Thumbs Up to this restaurant for its quality food.

Wok a Toque is located inside Hotel Chariot, which is opposite to Vidyodaya School, T-Nagar.

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*A review about a place holds good only for 6 months as there can be a change in quality and quantity of the food, the service and the staff, due to reasons best known only to them. So kindly consider these factors while visiting the places
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