There is nothing permanent except change.
So in true style, Vintage Asia completely changed their menu and brought in new flavours while adapting to the local taste buds. In came, expatriate Chef Alexsander Cheng, all the way from his last assignment as Chinese Chef de Cuisine at Shangri- La Hotel, Indonesia. With his years of experience in the hospitality industry, especially in Chinese cuisine, he got hold of a beautiful palette to work with in Vintage Asia Kolkata. Kolkata, being the hot pot of Chinese cuisine in India, already has its own form of Chinese with more Hakka and Sichuan style of cooking. So, after an adventurous recce of the local Chinese restaurants, the market place and feed back of patrons of Vintage Asia, Chef Cheng has come up with a bold new menu which is bound to impress all.
Vintage Asia has anyway become one of our favourtie dining places in the city. We were thrilled to have been invited for tasting some of Chef Cheng’s eclectic and brazen creations. Everything that we had was distinctly different from each other. I was bowled over by the bowl of soup made with a very flavourful stock and enhanced with lemon grass and celery with some soft silken tofu. The warm duck salad with sweet litchies were a surprise. There were crabs, lobsters, chicken and more. However, out of everything, if I had to name five dishes which are a must try, then these are the following in no certain order.
Must try new things on the menu:
Mushroom Baos– I thought it was a bowl full of grilled mushrooms. But no, they were beautiful roundels of mushroom baos, deceptively looking like mushrooms and stuffed with three kinds of these earthy wonders. Finely chopped mushrooms had a nice bite to them. It was quite a delightful beginning.
Singaporean Chilli Crab– When Chef Alexsander Cheng explored the local market, he was very impressed with the quality of mud crabs and rock lobsters. Also understanding the love for spicy food, he decided to add this dish. The sauce was thick and turbid with flakes of crab flesh which had come out during the cooking process. The sweet crab meat sourced from local waters gave a beautiful balance to this fiery red chilli paste based sauce. Don’t be shy and use all your fingers to break through the shells and enjoy the sweet crab meat.
Steamed Bhekti Filet in Chinese Garlic Soy Sauce– After an explosive affair with the crabs, the bhekti looks assumingly mellow. But trust me when I say this, it will leave you wanting for more. The abundance of garlic with a hint of the soy was the perfect medley with the sweet water Kolkata bhekti. It could easily be the star of any meal.
Mei Fun and Vegetables in Spicy Oyster Sauce– Strings of thin mei fun slathered in a light yet spicy sauce with rich flavours, what could go wrong with it? The best part was the sudden crunch in the mouth. The mei fun was first deep fried before adding it to the sauce and that completely changed the texture. Made with all familiar ingredients but put together, this dish was a definite surprise in the mouth.
Blueberry Snow Skin– Another one of those deceptive dishes, this was the best way to end a perfect meal. A small ball of lychee custard wrapped inside a snow skin made of an unheard of ingredient in this part of the country. Mochi is a Japanese glutinous rice cake which is pounded and made into a thin skin and soft skin like texture. It also has a hint of coconut flavour. Looked like a sweet dumpling, it was served with a blueberry compote and a scoop of tender coconut ice cream. With layers of flavours, it was an extraordinary dessert.
Am I going to come back for these? Definitely.
With dinner on all days and lunch on Saturdays and brunch on Sundays, you can experience this all new menu for a pocket pinch of INR 3000 plus for two. The Sunday brunch is for INR 1699 AI per person with soft beverage, INR 1999 AI with sparkling wine and select premium spirits per person and INR 2999 AI with champagne per person.
Address – 4A, J.B.S Haldane Avenue, Dhapa Road, Kolkata, West Bengal 700105
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