Master Chef Lian Yun Leaf (left) from Golden Dragon restaurant at Taj Coromandel, Chennai and Sarathchandra Banerjee, executive chef from Red Pearl restaurant at Taj Vivanta, Coimbatore | Photo Credit: Shiv Saravanan S
Master chef Lian Yun Leaf, who is from Nanjing in China, recalls a fond childhood memory where a bowl of flat noodles, tossed with sauce and a helping of pork made for a delightful treat. “We love pork, especially pork ribs,” he said, adding that innovating with simple ingredients is his specialty. Chef Lian, who specializes in Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine at the Golden Dragon restaurant at Taj Coromandel in Chennai, is in Coimbatore to deliver authentic Chinese fare to the gourmets here. He prepares a special menu as part of an ongoing food festival at Red Pearl Chinese restaurant Vivanta by Taj.
Chengdu lotus stem (finely chopped, tender, lotus stem stir-fried with garlic and ginger), and Hong Kong-style lemon chicken where fried, thin chicken slices are served with lemon sauce, topped with Sweetness is added to it, he elaborates that sauces matter in Chinese cuisine. “Whenever I go to China, I also bring back a sauce made from Sichuan peppercorns, five-star fennel, whole black beans, oyster sauce, and soy beans. The dishes keep changing. People in Shanghai prefer mildly sweet Whereas in Nanjing, fresh food is preferred with a minimum of spices. In Hunan cuisine, pickled dried spices and dried black pepper are used liberally,” he explains.
Hong Kong Style Lemon Chicken | Photo Credit: Shiv Saravanan S
According to Sarathchandra Banerjee, Executive Chef, Red Pearl, the festival aims to present a treat to regular diners with a curated menu by Chef Lian. There will be crab meat and onion soup, crispy fragrant duck, hula tang (a spicy, hot pepper soup), lobster and tousi potatoes.
Shanghai style Chengdu lotus stem | Photo Credit: Shiv Saravanan S
The menu includes dry cooked haricot beans, assorted steamed dimsums, braised asparagus and yang chow rice. The noodles in yi (tossed with vegetables or mixed seafood such as fish and prawns) are spongy in a savory sauce and can be served with smoked fish in a sweet and sour sauce. “In northern China, people prefer dumplings and wheat noodles, while in the south, it’s all about a high-carb diet of rice and noodles made from potato starch.” As far as sweets are concerned, he prefers a bowl of fresh fruits and washes it down with white tea. I end the meal with a creamy Alphonso mango pudding and several cups of delicious jasmine tea.
Till June 25 at Red Pearl Restaurant, Vivanta by Taj, Race Course. Open for lunch and dinner. For Reservation, Call: 9895053224. A meal for two costs approximately ₹2500.