An Adventure With Chinese Cuisine – Restaurant Tai-Pan Review

Aug 6, 2012 by     No Comments    Posted under: Dining Out

Indecisiveness can really affect your restaurant experience with your family. We are definitely an indecisive bunch. Genetics is hardly fair so naturally, this trait also exists in me. One of the many instances, where our indecisiveness shines is when we have to pick a restaurant and then decide what to eat.

Thankfully, my sister put her foot down one day when we started to bicker about which eatery to grace that evening.

“Just pick one, and Challain!” She hollered. “Please,” She added because politeness also runs in the family.

So we turned our attention to a local Chinese restaurant – Tai Pan – under the wide umbrella of Pearl Continental Hotel. When we paraded inside, we were immediately greeted by the smartly dressed staff. The dim lighting, along with large chandeliers and mirror work on the ceiling gave a very mysterious allure to the area. The wooden floor boards granted the place a very sleek and sophisticated look, not to mention the traditional Chinese instrumental that chimed along in the background.

While I chowed down the lovely, fluffy crackers that were placed on our table, my family tried not to throttle each other in the attempt to work out a menu fit for everyone. When we had finally decided, the waiter looked considerably relieved.

We were served with our Pearl Special soup along with a plate of dumplings and fat, delicious looking prawn tempura. The dumplings weren’t a big hit on the table; they were kind of chewy and left this bland oily taste in my mouth. However, I nearly swooned as I bit into the crisp prawn. It was served along with a spicy red sauce which balanced well with the mildness of the prawn. The soup had an assortment of vegetables, and mushroom in it – and it was fantastic, definitely one of the more exciting soups that I have tried. I polished if off by dipping some of the lone pieces of crackers in the soup and yes, I did not care if anybody was watching me. It still tasted pretty awesome.

Our main course arrived minutes later. Steaming pile of vegetable rice, with strings of chicken Chow mein, along with the gravy laced dishes of chicken with vegetables and chicken with garlic. As exciting and thrilling as the dish – chicken with vegetables sounds (It does not, if you missed the sarcasm) I found it very pleasant with chunks of pineapple in between all of the vegetables. Normally I don’t find pineapple in gravies or cream slathered cakes very appetizing but the sweetness of the pineapple blended very well with the savory.

Chicken with garlic arrived in a sizzling platter, and my sister looked uneasily at it. I gave her my dead eyes. (Side note: Garlic doesn’t make her want to jump in her seat and dance. Put in some other ten/twenty other edible plants in the list) However, It didn’t feel that the restaurant was shoving a truckload of garlic in your face because the name implied that garlic needed to be present as soon it hits your taste buds, which was good because garlic could have overpowered everything, and it didn’t in this case. The spice content was low with a hint of smokiness – definitely would eat it a couple of times without having a “Oh, hellz to the no! Not this again?!” breakdown.  (Manchurian, I’m looking at you)

The vegetable rice was good, for me the portion appeared to be a bit small. The chicken Chow mein was cooked to perfection, filled with long strands of carrots and crisp slices of pepper among others. Chunks of chicken were peppered generously over the platter. Everybody would love it! Especially the younger lot, and since their mouth would be full of delicious noodles, you won’t be harassed with the noise level, and general rowdiness. Total win for everyone.

To be fair, I kind of missed my spices. The food was, indeed, an amazing affair but the heat was noticeably absent throughout the dinner. Plus point: Tai-pan has a very cool and relaxing ambience; the staff is very soft-spoken, polite and efficient. Top marks! When they brought us the suggestion card, I scribbled great comments on mine.

Sister: Can I write “Ms. ____ Damon Salvator Klaus” in the name section?

Me: …No. You crazy?

I found the price to be generally reasonable. The prawn tempura is a bit steep on the rates and might get your cravings for the prawns to come to a screeching halt but I vote that you eat anyway (this is a suggestion. Do not blame me afterwards for the hole in your pocket) the prawns really were scrumptious, that’s for sure.

This is a great place for a nice, quiet family gathering with great food. I vote you go check it out if you’re in the mood for some Chinese.

The Author

Tayyaba Iftikhar is a Bachelors student at NUST and is a procrastinator, patriot, feminist and a self proclaimed lover of cakes, death metal, smooth paper and tales of overwhelming awesomeness.

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