Conveniently located at the City Center Mall
(you almost cannot get more central than that on a Hyderabad map that features upmarket eatouts), and with a pedigree to boot - BJN just happens to manage some of the most well-reputed restaurants in both Bangalore and Hyderabad - Aromas of China looks like it has its basics down pat.
The experience begins right at the door, where you have to literally walk over water in order to dine at this reasonably-sized restaurant, done in dignified blacks and browns, that can seat about 160 diners. It boasts its own bar with ample stock, with Firangi Paani
, BJN's own exclusive watering hole, next door as the back-up plan. The Food
Predominantly Cantonese and Shanghai, the fare begins with dimsums and soup, meanders through entrees, rice and noodles, and ends sumptuously with desserts. While ordering the dimsums (Rs. 85 for 6 pieces), the diner is bound to be intrigued by the part that reads 'imported'. The imported tag is attached to the non-spicy, onion and gingerless version of the Indian-ized one... perhaps the reference then is to the authenticity of the diner than to that of the product being consumed?
Xenophobia apart, the Chicken Sumai from the dimsums steam box, whether imported or desi, is worth a dekko, as is the Lat Mai Kai. For the vegetarians, the restaurant does a wonderful Baby Corn, Broccoli and Shitake Mushroom in Hunan Chili Sauce, at Rs. 135. One of the things the hosts should mention is that they can pretty much mix-and-match most of the sauces and vegetables and meats to your individual taste. This, however, is a classic case of where you must be sure of exactly what you might be asking for. The Verdict
The couple of proverbial thorns in this restaurant's side would be the hugely successful Mainland China
, the old Hyderabadi favorite Nanking
, and the new Hyderabadi favorite Chinese Pavilion. Unfortunately, both Mainland China and Chinese Pavilion
are threateningly close as far as location, ambience and fare are concerned. Which one ultimately does better than the others is in the hands of those capricious gods of Chinese restaurants.