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It is one of the best places to head to for authentic Chinese meals, especially those from the Sichuan province. Ushering in the Chinese New Year for 2019 is Black Lotus, the Chinese finer diner housed in Taj Chandigarh. As most of you would be aware, the Chinese New Year date is not fixed and varies every year. Also, the celebrations are based on a traditional lunar calendar. And each year raises a toast, not just to new beginnings but also a zodiac animal associated with the calendar. This year is the year of the pig! To make it a joyous start, the team at Black Lotus steered by expat Chef Wen Wang has put together a special food festival. Here is what is on offer.
“The year of the pig represents luck, fortune and general prosperity” mentions the chef who has an array of dishes on offer. With the winter chill in the city at its harshest this week, we recommend you start your meal here with a steaming bowl of soup. If you really relish udon noodles, then do try the Dan Dan Chicken Spiced Udon Noodle Soup. Another special on the menu is Crab Meat, Garlic and Onion Soup. The flavours are spot on.
The chef, who is quite familiar with the local palate, admits he wanted to add stir-fried dishes and some spicy ones too in the New Year menu. If you are looking for a recommendation in appetisers, try out the Oat-Kissed Prawns that are lightly grilled. The dim sums are always a delight to have at Black Lotus, do ask the chef for recommendations.
Steamed Tofu on a Bed of Bok Choy and Pumpkin Sauce
We truly enjoyed the Steamed Tofu on a Bed of Bok Choy and Pumpkin Sauce in the main course. If you do not like fiery flavours, then this one is for you.
Clay Pot Chicken
Specials on the menu also include Chicken with Wolfberry (more popular as goji berry) and Red Wine Reduction.
Pork with Water Chestnut
Paying an ode to the pig, Chef Wang has on offer Pork with Chestnut in Clay Pot and Double Cooked Pork. The Pork Fried Rice goes well with most of the main course dishes.
If you have someone dining with you who is keeping away from meats, the new year menu does not disappoint.
Hot and Spicy Broccoli with Shitake Mushroom in Clay Pot
There is Sichuan Style Bean Curd Sticks with Mushroom and Tofu along with Hot and Spicy Broccoli with Shitake Mushroom in Clay Pot, to list a few.
While there is an option to dine outdoors as well, it has far cosier indoors. On the day we dined we missed seeing Chinese buns on the festival menu. For desserts, we had to settle for Fresh Orange Cheesecake and Mango Crème Brulee.
The Chinese New Year menu will be available until February 10, 2019.
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A seasoned journalist, Jagmeeta has worked with The Indian Express for 16 years writing extensively on food, popular culture and fashion. A Master's in English, she completed her honours in Journalism from Delhi University and started her career in journalism with New Delhi Television (NDTV) as a reporter. She was part of the launch team for NDTV.com. Having turned a freelance writer and editor in 2016, she has been writing for The Hindustan Times, Chandigarh and is also a contributor for The Voice of Fashion steered by IMG Reliance Ltd as well as Chandigarh's popular lifestyle portal - simplythecity.com. When she's not reviewing food or dissecting the season's trends, she likes to travel with her daughter and husband, a professional photographer. A photography enthusiast herself, Jagmeeta has also curated photo exhibitions and calls herself a collector of cookbooks and recipes and a proud 'fauji' daughter and sister.