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You could travel the world and indulge in the finest cuisines but there will always come a time when you crave some good old Indianised Chinese food. Chindian as it is delightfully referred to is a unique concoction of what we think Chinese food should be. No matter how silly it sounds or what kind of food snob you might be, everyone admits that this greasy oily mixture is downright delicious. Mumbai has no lack of joints serving Hakka noodles and manchurian fry but these few places are some of our favourites.
5 Spice - When they launched initially, there was a waiting line every weekend nearly a mile long outside the restaurant. Folks could not get enough of their vast Chinese menu and their enormous portions. Today they are as popular as ever and have multiple outlets across the city including an all vegetarian one at Marine Drive. Burnt garlic fried rice, Malaysian clay pot noodles and Thai curry, even though they are not Chinese are included along with a whole list of other greasy treats that are available at any of their multiple outlets.
Stomach - This restaurant is practically a Bandra legend. While restaurants in the neighbourhood open and close in the blink of an eye, Stomach has stood the test of time. The restaurant takes no frills quite literally and there is no decor or anything to speak of except for typical Indo-Chinese food that folks love. Interestingly there are days when the restaurant is packed and diners wait patiently despite their being several options in Bandra. Our picks would be their chicken fried wontons and their chicken schezuan lollipops.
Kung Food - One of the most popular spots for a meal in Bandra East was a small no nonsense restaurant called Kung Food, which has now morphed into a more up market and presentable eatery. The rickety tables have been replaced with comfy colourful couches and a fresh lick of paint on the walls but the food is still delicious and comforting as ever. The main USP is that the restaurant offers you value for your money and if possible, even improved on the quality of their food without drastically altering their price point.
China Bistro - This is a largely popular restaurant for Chinese food because they offer everything a diner is looking for – good ambience and good food at an affordable price. The restaurant is decorated with various Chinese inspired statues, vases and wall art so there is no confusion; you know you are in a Chinese restaurant. The menu offers all the usual suspects in all sorts of combinations and even offers set lunch meals at attractive prices. For folks on a budget or looking to take the entire family out, this works best. It also helps that their food is tasty.
Mr. Chow's - Mr. Chow's is not a restaurant, it is a take away but this list would have been incomplete without them in it. It would seem that Mr. Chow's is everyone's favourite to order from and they are not stingy in their portion size. Chicken gin balls, Mr. Chow's mixed fried rice and the hunan chicken are just some of their winners. The menu is full of dishes that will satisfy every single Chindian craving without burning through your wallet.
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.