Spoonfuls of nostalgia can weigh like a millstone, but in the case of House of Ming, it simply functions as a milestone.
The redesigned space of House Of Ming is elegant and generous
Full disclosure: Chinese cuisine is not a favorite, or at least the versions of the cuisine one is likely to encounter. An alarming fixation on dark, dense and starchy curries, an over-enthusiastic use of the secret ingredient, ‘MSG’ and a surprisingly limited menu of prosaic desserts. If that resonates with you, then the recently relaunched Ming House at the capital’s iconic Taj Mahal hotel might just be in for a revamp. Sure, those who were raised in and around Delhi probably consider it the place du jour for special occasion celebrations and team lunches, never quite the perfect meeting place, but I guess Machan always took the lead.
Understands Sichuan, Cantonese and Hunan cuisines in a smart and contemporary way
The reimagined decor is quite eye-catching and a step up from the old avatar. An elegant statement that draws inspiration from the legendary Ming Dynasty, it weaves its design story around a Ming princess who welcomes you like a wall tapestry at the entrance. With 110 covers, they did well to remove the false ceiling, to open up the space even if the tables are still too close together. But sprawl is a rationed indulgence in the city. The menu, however, is a delicious mix of old and new with an eclectic menu that includes Sichuan, Cantonese and Hunan cuisines in a smart and contemporary way. The dimsums, like the rest of the food, are hearty but delicate with fresh flavors and cool surprises. The drinks menu is equally creative, with a tea infusion cart that offers and delivers aromatic flavors. Keep a little appetite for the desserts: La Surprise Nature, a visual and gustatory treat, paints a tree sculpted in dark chocolate with a candy floss canopy, placed on a bed of vanilla lychee pastry cream.
Like the successful rereading of all legends, the past is a not too distant memory, both on the plate and in the palate. The best remains: the courteous service and hospitality standards that are benchmarks in the industry.
WHERE The Taj Mahal Hotel, Mansingh Road, Delhi
COST Rs 6,000-10,000 (Meal for two) without alcohol