The restaurants of the ITC Hotels are rated among the best restaurants in Mumbai. ITC Maratha, located very close to the International airport, houses 5 award-winning restaurants! Right from Mughalai Cuisine, to South-Indian Cuisine to Asian cuisine, they have these incredible restaurants located under one roof!
One of these restaurants is Pan Asian, which is among the top 10 restaurants in Mumbai. This wonderful restaurant features delectable cuisines from China, Thailand, Mongolia, Korea and Japan prepared before you by master chefs, making Pan Asian a one-stop destination for Asian food lovers, in Mumbai.
As soon as you enter the restaurant, you realize that the overall effect of this restaurant is reminiscent of a classic and elite restaurant in China! The warm colors, dim lighting and attentive service, reflect the spirit of East and South East Asia with Chinese paper lamps and Japanese urns and bamboos.
The open-kitchen setting is something that we really liked, with wok-stations and barbeque, giving us a chance to witness creative ways fresh and exotic ingredients were being combined, and view the flames and steam and tossing in the kitchen. The aroma engulfs the restaurant every time they stir fry the ingredients in their mouthwatering sauces.
So we visited Pan Asian for their Chinese Moon Festival. Chinese Moon Festival is one of the grandest festivals celebrated in China during mid-autumn. It falls on the 15th Day of the 8th Month. On the festival day, family members gather to celebrate, appreciate the bright full moon, eat moon cakes, and express strong yearnings toward family members and friends who live afar!
So they had a specially curated menu for the Moon Festival celebration. Even though there was a set menu for the Moon Festival, Chef Liang, who led the dinner hosted for us, came and sat with us, getting to know our food preferences and explaining the significance of the Moon Festival in China, and how is it celebrated.
For starters we were served:
Tofu in black pepper: Not a big fan of tofu, yet thoroughly enjoyed this dish. The tofu was soft, silky and would melt in the mouth! Cooked in black bean sauce, it was absolutely scrumptious!
Crystal Vegetable Dumplings: Dumplings loaded with flavorsome Chinese vegetables, steamed to perfection! Since I am an ardent carnivore, I always prefer non-vegetarian dumplings, but these was absolutely impeccable!
Pan fried lamb dumplings: Dumplings filled with minced lamb, pan fried, were simply palatable, served with sweet and chili garlic sauce which is usually served with dumplings! Perfect combination of flavors!
The soup we were served, Asian soul soup, was quite soothing. Filled with vegetables, the flavors in the clear soup blended in perfectly! It is everything you need on a gloomy day!
Coming to mains:
We started off with fried rice with lettuce, spring onions and crispy garlic. The aroma, the freshness and the quality of fried rice was sheer perfection!
Pan fried pomfret with black bean sauce, was hands down the best pomfret ever! The fish was soft and succulent, covered in black bean sauce, which made it irresistible from the aroma and the first bite itself!
Stir fried okra with baby potatoes in chili bean sauce was utterly delicious! Never thought that okra with potatoes could taste so good! The chili bean sauce was so flavorsome that it made the dish a complete winner!
Pan fried noodles with exotic vegetables like baby corn, lettuce, capsicum, spring onions, avocados and mushroom, tossed in delectable sauces, cooked in mandarin style were oh-so drool-worthy
Gung bao chicken had excellent flavors, tossed in a reddish sauce, with a hint of sweetness and flavors of garlic, garnished with cashews, was a treat to our tastebuds!
Hand-pulled noodles, were certainly the winner that night. These hand-pulled noodles freshly prepared by Chef Wang, is a very special dish at Pan Asian! Unlike other noodles, these are not packaged and stored. The chef makes the noodles, with his hands as the order is placed. These noodles are thick and the texture and taste is something you will never find in normal noodles. Every bite you take is a pleasure!
Coming to our Happy Ending – Desserts!
Since we were attending the moon festival, Moon cakes were the highlight of the whole event. Chef Liang, who is from China, told us that every family celebrates the festival by eating moon cakes which consist of a thin, tender pastry skin enveloping a sweet, dense filling, and may contain one or more whole salted egg yolks in their center as the symbol of the full moon.
Depending on the culture and religion, the filling varies. We were served moon-cake with a filling consisting of 5 types of nuts and seeds, coarsely chopped. Commonly used nuts and seeds were used: walnuts, pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, peanuts, sesame seeds, or almonds!
Moon-cakes were served with fresh fruits, sago and ice-cream! The flavors of fruits along with sago was completely refreshing and we just couldn’t stop till the dessert was over!
What sets this place apart from other Asian restaurants?
It is an elite and fine dining experience, where all the food items are as authentic as they could be! The master chefs do their job extremely well. All their sauces and flavors are from the countries the cuisine belongs to! Authentic and excellent flavors and food from across Asia!
Also, their outstanding service, classic interiors, exemplary hospitality and impeccable food and cuisines, makes it a place every Asian food fanatic must visit, in Mumbai!