Another week, another new restaurant in an already-packed suburb. But while Legacy of China, Mainland China, Aromas of China and China Gate have established themselves as mainstays in Andheri, this one is yet to firmly park itself.
China 1 is neither as posh as it is made out to be, nor is it a mid-range family restaurant that suburbans are likely to frequent when they want a change from home-cooked meals. It’s large, with ample seating even outside, but even at peak hours, only a handful of tables are occupied. The staff is courteous and eager to please, albeit slightly annoying. They hand us an extensive wine list and two menus for food, one only for dim sums. To start with, we order Chicken Sui Mai open dumplings (Rs 169) and Sesame Prawns with Assorted Peppers (Rs 449). The dumplings are cooked nicely, and go well with the range of sauces at the table. The prawns arrive next. While the quantity is generous and the sauce is flavoursome, it’s a dish you’d find at any average Chinese restaurant. The price, however, is too steep for a starter.
Our William Tell cocktail (Rs 249) promises a hint of smoked cinnamon in the apple juice and vodka concoction. There’s a stick of cinnamon in our glass, but it fails to impart its flavour. The drink is too potent, but the staff readily makes amends. The Swedish Iced tea (Rs 249), on the other hand, is refreshing.
For main course, we go with a Vietnamese basa fish (R 449) and Clay Pot Rice (Rs 169), both of which are recommended to us. The rice appears to have an interesting mix of ingredients. It’s sticky, with crushed garlic and a faint smell of jasmine, but not much of that reflects in the taste. The fish comes in Szechwan sauce and is easy on the palate. There’s more than enough to satiate three of us. China 1 may not be a great option for a casual a la carte dinner, but their buffet may appeal to more diners. Priced competitively at Rs 419 except on Sunday (Rs 519), it could prove to be the selling point of this eatery.
Where: China 1, G-05, Morya Landmark, Plot B – 25, off New Link Road, Andheri (West), Mumbai – 400053
Call: +91 22 42723333
Smoking: Outer area