During the time, when I first started teaching Special Children, I used to travel from Bandra to Byculla by 4ltd bus everyday, I passed through the mill areas of Parel that had mainly small community homes and chawls, there were some traditional small food joints that served delicious authentic food to the cotton mill workers. It used to be buzzing center of activity and prior to that, during my grand parents times, it used to be a posh colonial residential settlement where governor of Bombay-Sir William Hornby lived.
A lot has changed in Parel over the years and it has a different skyline now, the beautiful ITC Grand Central Hotel with its majestic Indian touch adds an ethnic charm of this place.
This week I had an opportunity to visit Shanghai Club that is located inside this hotel in the celebration zone, the wing separated from the peace zone by a long corridor, lined with designer stores and an open lounge with water fountain in the center..
I was invited for Sagria and Seafood dinner by FBAI. There were four types of Sangria, fruity and sweet, (my favorite being the Berry flavor although the other three, the cherry and plum, watermelon were equally good) they were very refreshing after a long walk from peace zone to celebration zone.
In between my sips, I took in the beautiful ambience of this place, the charming parasol lanterns against the polished Burma teak rafters, the porcelain pots and other art work all around the room.
There was a set of 5course meal prepared specially for us. We had fan-shaped menu card,, which in a way was a good idea, that we could ration our serving to be able to enjoy all that restaurant had to offer.
The appetizers arrived as soon we were settled. Master chef Yuanzhing Jia had crafted a new Seafood Menu and was eager for us to start the party. We took a little time to click pictures before we began to eat (food bloggers are weird that way, before the aroma touches the senses, the cameras captures its visual impact) the lighting was low, hence I was not able to get very good shots, I decided to concentrate on food instead.
Main course was to die for. The Singapore chili crabs in egg white were perfectly cooked, tender meat under shells so brittle and juicy that there was no need for nutcrackers. I got my hands dirty, just relishing its flavors of marinated meat infused with sauces. I was happy when they gave me wet towel to wipe off my hands before I went on to continue with my next dish. But this is one dish I enjoyed thoroughly and will be the good reason for me to return once again.
This was followed by Wok fried Lobster with chili black bean sauce cooked from freshly made lobster stock. This tasted delicious when mixed in the bowl of brown garlic fried rice dish.
The attractive dessert plate of jasmine flavored Tiramisu, star anise torte and vanilla ice cream and mixed fruit bowl marked the end of the meal. It was very satisfying meal.
The service was very good and the staff was quick to refilled glasses with sangria as soon as possible, they made sure that food was satisfying, and even offered to custom cook for us to suit our palate.
I would highly recommend Crabs and lobsters in this restaurant. They are truly amazing, waiting for my next guest to visit me, this is on my to-do-list for sure……