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Mumbai's popular choice while eating out is Chinese cuisine. It is familiar, comforting and downright delicious. While there are many restaurants mushrooming across the city, there is only a handful that stands out. The latest addition to the existing Chinese restaurants is Typhoon Shelter. A rather unusual theme for a restaurant but one that's intriguing and ends up being a fabulous experience. Here are 5 reasons we think you absolutely must give this new restaurant a try!
The Vibe & Theme
Most Chinese restaurants have typical lanterns, lots of red on their tablecloth and menus and a few token oriental ornaments to add to their Chinese theme. Typhoon Shelter takes it a notch further. The name of this restaurants comes from small man-made establishments in Hong Kong where fishermen from all over China would settle to cover their boats and seek shelter from the raging typhoons and the restaurant gives you a small taste of what a typical typhoon shelter feels like. There is a huge screen on the wall that depicts scenes from the harbour, a ceiling with the visual projection that crackles and thunders with to create an illusion of a typhoon as well as beautiful wooden booth like seating structures that remind you of dining in an old Chinese tea house.
The restaurant serves typical Typhoon Shelter cuisine which consists of dishes and ingredients that they brought with them to these shelters. It is actually an amalgamation of dishes from all over China as it arrived in Hong Kong. Since it was hard to cook at sea, most cooking methods include frying boiling or steaming. Each dish on the menu has been given a contemporary makeover and the results are addictive. The menu is curated by Hong Kong-based Celebrity 'Chef Christian Yang' who is an expert in this particular cuisine. The Tune Tartare sits on a Himalayan salt bowl and has fish roe, a cured egg, avocado and special vinaigrette making it one of the best tuna tartare in the city. The Scallops In Dried XO Sauce, Yolana's crispy prawns, Turnip Cakes, Braised Pork Belly Spring Rolls, Spicy Typhoon Shelter Crab and even their Typhoon Pomfret are some of their signature dishes worthy of all your calories.
A restaurant's focal point should always be the food but the elegant yet dimly lit bar at Typhoon Shelter is a great place to enjoy a round of drinks before proceeding to dinner. Apart from a well-stocked bar that has all your favourite spirits, it is their cocktail menu that will catch your attention. Try the Spice Route - which is Sichuan peppers seeped in bourbon, sweet vermouth and Campari. The Chinese Puzzle is a mix of lavender and gin along with bits of galangal and an orange liquor.
Unusual Dim Sum Menu
A popular part of any Chinese menu is always the dim sums menu. Most restaurants have the same versions and Typhoon Shelter has some of your tried and test like the Prawn Har Gau or the Truffle and Edamame Shui Mai, but also some very innovative dim sum. The Lamb crystal Balls are an unusual choice of meat for a dim sum but feel like eating Chinese meatballs. There is also a Squid Ink Dumpling that has prawn, fish roe, scallop and is encased in a squid ink infused dumpling skin. For the vegetarian, a usual Ruby Dumpling which is beetroot infused dumpling skin that is filled with sugar snap and corn.
Oriental restaurants are not remembered for their dessert but Typhoon Shelter ensures that you finish your meal in a memorable way. The dessert 'Chef Solanki Roy' is a protégé of 'Chef Gaggan Anand' and her creations are not just a work of art but make desserts a whole lot of fun. The Learning Mandarin is a beautiful orange, vanilla and chocolate layered cake enclose in an orange chocolate fruit paired with Lep Kaki, a cake that is favourite in any Indonesian Chinatown ( resembles our humble Goan Bebinca ). Luna is the chefs interpretation of Mango and sticky rice with a dash of caramel sauce all enclosed inside a sugary dome in a bid to pay tribute to the ancient Chinese astronomy and the Lunar festival. Each dessert is meticulously thought out and worked on and is far superior to any other Oriental restaurant in the city.
Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.