Ni hao means Hello in mandarin Chinese and that’s how we were greeted by the very warm friendly staff. It’s an oriental cuisine restaurant situated on the first floor of Radisson Blu with rooftop & indoor dining spaces, special mention to the spectacular gazebos. The interiors were designed to create a sense of warmth and intimacy. From shoji screens to modern furnishings, it’s a perfect fusion of East and west. Chinese crockery, wooden artifacts just adds to its subtle interiors. The decor justifies the theme of this Asian Chinese restaurant.
“Fine dining, not so fine cooking.” Haven’t we all have said this about Radisson? I have. Ni hao’s best part is also its main drawback. The menu is as authentic as it can get – no Manchurian or Chopsuey here, thank you very much. The problem is that it serves very authentic cuisine which is perhaps not made for my palate. While having a conversation with the Chef Siddharth, he explained his dilemma of trying to keep the authenticity of the cuisine and at the same time making it more suitable for customers like me. Hence, this menu was created, and I & fellow bloggers had this opportunity to review their preview. This menu will be officially launched next month & as the Chef says, it was long due.
Before I start with the sumptuous meal I had, here’s what I want to tell you guys which apparently I wasn’t aware of. If you think that the dish you’ve ordered is not according to your taste, you can ask the chef to customize it to your needs. Also, you can tell them beforehand how you want your dish to be.
I guess I’ve always been too shy to complain in a five-star restaurant Haha.
Xinjiang style spicy celery soup –
Xinjiang makes the northwest of China and the food here resembles more to central Asian & Turkish cuisine maybe because Muslims make the most of the population in this region. (Xinjiang contains Aksai chin which although irrelevant here but is claimed by both India & China.)
This soup will be served in three variants – prawn, chicken & vegetable.
We were served the vegetable soup. It was hearty and spicy. Although it was a clear warm broth, it looked colorful due to the vegetables like carrots, spring onions, celery.
If you like it hot, baby this is for you 😉
Green Asparagus & Daikon Roll (Japan) –
SUSHI! SUSHI! SUSHI! Yes, I have a weakness for Sushi and this dish didn’t disappoint. They are cylindrical shape sushi rolls of vinegared rice, fresh Asparagus, Daikon, & served with Kikkoman soy and wasabi. Daikon is white radish and has pungent and sharp flavor. Wasabi is Japanese Horseradish.
The dish was on a little sweeter side so do not order it if you’re looking for something spicy.
Smoked Salmon Nigiri (Japan) –
Ah! What a beautiful dish. Pressed vinegared rice sushi topped with thin slices of Norwegian smoked salmon & served with Kikkoman soy & wasabi.
Kikkoman soy is naturally brewed soy sauce for many months with four major elements – soybeans, wheat, water & salt which gives it an edge over soy sauce.
Nigiri is a special type of Sushi which consists of a slice of raw fish (salmon) over pressed vinegared rice.
It was perfectly executed & I’ll definitely recommend this for you to try.
Dim sums –
The term ‘Dim sum’ literally translates to ‘touch the heart’, and these Dim Sums did the same. They are ideal to be served for a long brunch or with tea. We were served Jasmine tea along with them to maintain the authenticity.
These delicious dumplings consist of a thinly rolled piece of dough, filled with ground meat, seafood or vegetables, which are then crimped to seal in the filling.
In order to satiate Indoris palate, the chef gave a unique contemporary twist to traditional dim sum.
Mandarin lamb dim sum (Chinese) –
This was my favorite. They were rose shaped with a tint of red on top which was due to beetroot. Ah! They looked so beautiful that I didn’t feel like tasting them, although I did in the end because I couldn’t resist Haha. They are steamed lamb mince dumplings (not pork which is usually used in rest of the world, giving the dish a beautiful twist!) in Chinese flour crystal casing.
Shrimp har gow (Chinese) –
One of the most popular dim sum dishes in the world, Har Gow were created at the beginning of the last century in Guangzhou. It’s also called Shrimp bonnet. Traditionally Har Gow should have more than seven pleats on its wrapper and chef made sure it was the case here too. They are translucent & Shrimp was perfectly cooked.
If you love Shrimp, Ni Hao should be your next go-to place.
Leek, water chestnuts & celery dim sum –
Whoa! Water chestnuts are my favorite and although it’s a vegetarian dish, it’s a winner for me. It’s a treat, not only to my eyes but also to my palate!
Veg Starters –
Wild Mushroom Mousse & Sesame on toast –
This will blow your mind. I’ve been seriously underestimating vegetarian food for a very long time. Mousse has a pure earthy mushroomy aroma and mellow texture, placed on top of French baguette & sprinkled with sesame seeds. It’s deep fried in sesame seed oil to perfection. I’ll definitely recommend this one to try. The only thing I didn’t like was how sesame seeds dominated the whole dish. Probably it would have been better if it was mushroom & not sesame.
Stuffed Chilli Mushroom (China) –
You can never go wrong with cheese! These cheese-filled button mushrooms are tossed in chilies, ginger, garlic and Sichuan peppercorns (which has slight Lemony overtones and is not hot and pungent like black pepper!)
This combination of cheese and chili was a delight for my fellow vegetarian bloggers.
And here’s a treat for you guys –
Chef Siddharth has happily shared it’s recipe for you beautiful people out there –
Beijing style New Zealand Lamb Chops –
Beijing and New Zealand are poles apart so when I first heard about this dish, I was intrigued. If you like sweet and sour, this is for you. New Zealand is famous for it’s lamb, entirely grass fed on open pasture & only animals under 12 months can be labeled ‘Lamb’ in New Zealand. This Lamb is smaller than American lamb and is meatier & has more pronounced lamb like flavor. It is very tender.
The dish has smoked pineapple in its base & oh my I couldn’t love it anymore than this.
Verdict – Do Try.
Wok-fried Prawns with Oriental Chilli (China) –
This is Chef’s special. Prawns are tossed with garlic, ginger & Szechwan peppercorns. As the ingredients suggest, it’s quite spicy. It’s chef’s version of chili chicken and a perfect blend of crisp and crunch.
Verdict – always go with the Chef’s special. It’s worth it.
Main Course –
Lamb Rendang (Indonesia) –
In traditional Indonesian-style rendang, lamb is slow cooked in Coconut milk. It is a fairly time-consuming project. Rempah (Malaysian spice paste which is a blend of various herbs and spices) is used as a base for this curry & the dish is cooked until most of the liquid goes away, leaving the meat tender and infused with flavor. The end result is tenderized meat with lightly crisp, a sweet surface on the outside & yes this dish is a winner. Hats off to the chef for taking his time while cooking it & making it irresistible.
It was served with Jasmine Rice although we had an option for plain rice as well.
Crispy aromatic Duck with exotic vegetables (Chinese) –
It is similar to Peking duck, or we can say it is it’s UK’s version which was made to cater to locals. This dish dates way back to ming dynasty. It is first marinated with spices, then steamed till it’s tender and finally fried to make it crispy. Although this was served with exotic vegetables, I’ve also had crispy duck rolled in Mandarin pancakes in Ni Hao a week back. It was garnished with crunchy spring onion and served with hoisin sauce (which I really liked!). I tried ducks for the first time then, so I really can’t compare but it was good to my palate.
Served in a bamboo basket, as the name suggests Rice was wrapped inside a lotus leaf. When the waiter unwrapped it, the chorus of aromas that touched my nose is what I’m still unable to forget about this dish. When cooked with chicken, this dish is called Lo Mai Gai.
Extremely delicious and must have.
A good meal is incomplete without desserts. We were served –
Tab Tim Grob –
It is ruby colored water chestnuts in coconut milk, & somehow it failed to make its mark.
Coconut and Jaggery Ice cream –
Tempting. Lip smacking. Sensational sweet delight. You name it, and this dish has it. It’s heavenly. I’m not big on Jaggery or coconut for that matter, but something about the combination that steals the show away.
It’s a signature Ni Hao dessert and I’ll strongly recommend it.
Schezwan Pepper Tiramisu –
Tiramisu is my favorite but this is Tiramisu with a twist. Pepper is quite dominant. The coffee flavor is strong and if you don’t mind pepper, this might be an ideal dessert for you as the Chef has tried something new here. Also, this does look real good.
That will be all folks!
The day ended up being the most chill gathering we’ve had in a while because never underestimate the power of delicious food, good wine & even better company. Thank you Team Radisson for making this happen.
You know the food was good because clean plates don’t lie 😉
My Ratings for Ni Hao –
Ambiance – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Service – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Taste – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5
Presentation – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Overall – ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
In the end, I’ll just say that if you’re looking forward to spend some good time with your family or lover, this is the place to be.
Hope you liked my review, & if you’ve any questions or suggestions, you can get in touch with me at Revaparihar@gmail.com.