Sohna Westin sits on a beautiful naturally landscaped property and felt like a welcome getaway from the chaos, grime and stress that has become Gurgaon. The best part is that it's just under an hours drive out of the city. In the midst of the natural beauty and curious emus (that's right, emus!) that follow you around, lies Xiao Chi, offering authentic chinese fare. Xiao Chi launched their new menu and I was very happy to be invited to have a taste, along with a few other food bloggers.
As soon as I entered the property, it was love at first site. I just fell in love with the natural beauty, so different to the pristine, almost clinically landscaped resorts you so often come across. I loved the way the different buildings that dotted the property were planned keeping in mind the magnificent trees that have been standing there for at least a hundred years!
Xiao Chi is located in a building that has a very tropical feel to it. The large glass openings give guests a spectacular view out onto the property, and the impressive open kitchen concept lets you look at the chefs while they cook up delicious treats.
The first thing we tried was a selection of dim sums served steaming hot in the basket- Shoaling Pork Dumpling, Prawn Har Gau, Seafood Dolphin Style Shao Ma, Chicken Shao Mai, Chengdu Jiao Zi and Spinach Jiao Zi. I love my dim sums and these were really good and most were so beautifully presented that it seemed almost shame we had to eat them... almost :) The dim sum were thin, almost transparent casings with juicy fillings that had so much flavour.
Seafood Dolphin Style Shao Ma & Chicken shao mai
Next came Batter fried prawns, which were golden and crispy on the outside and the prawn still juicy - everything a batter fried prawn should be. These were served with three different accompaniments- a spicy mayo, a chilly sauce and some pickled cucumber. YUM!
Crispy Batter fried prawns
After these small bites, we moved onto mains! There wasn't much room left in the tummy, but everything looked so good I tasted small bites of everything. Some of the mains we tried were Spicy Prawns with Minced Chicken, Steamed Sea Bass, Steamed Eggplant, Guangdon Roast Chicken & Five Spiced Duck. My favorites were the Sea Bass, the Raost Chicken and the Steamed Eggplant, which was so good even someone who didn't like eggplants tasted it and was converted! Think I'll get the hubs, who despises eggplant, to try this when I take him :)
Steamed Sea Bass, Spicy Prawns with Minced Chicken,
Chicken with Chilli and Black Bean
Steamed Eggplant & Guangdon Roast Chicken
And then came dessert, which was baked egg coconut custard. OMG! I love egg custard, or caramel custard, but I've never tried the version with coconut milk. The custard was served with lightly roasted almond flakes that just made it even better. I've brought all the ingredients needed to make it and am waiting for a chance to make some. I'm sure it won't taste as amazing as Chef Kedar's, but I can't go to Sohna Westin every time I crave this dessert :)
Egg Coconut Custard with Almond flakes
I found it quite intriguing that a restaurant that serves authentic Chinese fare has an Indian chef, and not someone from China, but Chef Kedar Bisht seems more than ready to meet this challenge and really impressed us all with the amazing fare he cooked up! The menu is also very well balanced and has something for the carnivores, something for seafood lovers and some very nice choices for vegetarians too.
The highlights for me were - Pretty much all the dim sum options, Steamed Sea Bass, Steamed Eggplant, Guangdon Roast Chicken, Baked egg coconut custard