In the last 30 years,little has changed in terms of interiors at Taipan,The Oberois homage to Chinese cuisine,even if the view outside has changed. While remaining spectacular,encompassing the greens of Delhi Golf Course,Connaught Place and other sections of Lutyens Delhi,it now shows high-rise buildings alongside the staid architectural bulwarks from the days of the Raj. The dining room has retained its restrained and muted elegance,with a few murals depicting scenes from Chinese life set against a gentle yellow background. The music is so soft that its almost elusive.
A huge board placed near the entrance is covered with pictures and messages of gratitude from guests who have been wining and dining at the restaurant for 30 years. A lot of memories have been made over here,as can be seen in the messages,some of which,like one from ghazal king Jagjit Singh,seem almost surreal.
The menu continues its concentration on Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine with the highlight being the dim sums prepared by Chef Choy. Till the 25th of this month,the menu will feature dishes from the preceding years of the restaurant,which are marked with the year of their creation.
We start with a lemon,coriander and chicken soup followed by a portion of lotus stems fried in honey and chilli. The crispness of the stems combined with the sweetness of the honey and the tang of the chilli and garlic make for a smashing starter. This is followed by a platter comprising turnip cakes,prawn wontons,chicken spring rolls and sesame bread. The turnip cakes are actually made of Chinese radish (daikon) and shrimp,which make for an interesting combination,as does the sesame bread that comprises prawn and sesame.
After this,we immerse ourselves in dim sums,literally. Choys repertoire is versatile. Chicken,duck,pork,shrimp,herbs and vegetables all come in a range of different translucent (and some almost transparent) rice flour wrappers. Then,theres the lotus leaf rice,which is sticky rice wrapped in a lotus leaf and steamed.
Dessert is a simple yet delicious affair. A pancake folded with almonds and sugar,slowly fried,melting the sugar into the fluffy pancake with the nuttiness of the almonds acting as a most suitable foil. We think Taipan will be enjoying a place in the city diners’ heart for a long time yet.
Meal for Two: Rs. 4,000 (including taxes,excluding alcohol)
Address: The Oberoi,Dr. Zakir,Hussain Marg,Contact: 24363030