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Food Review: The Monk, Gurgaon

Moulded into Sino-Inidan version, Chinese cuisine has an authentic flavour to it that is seldom exploited. The Monk tries to reinvent this authenticity.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2010 18:55 IST
Titash Roy Choudhury
Titash Roy Choudhury
Hindustan Times

It has been a few decades now that noodles and fried rice have dominated the taste buds of Indians, making it one of the commonplace and most popular cuisines in the country. Moulded into Sino-Indian version, Chinese cuisine also has an authentic flavour to it that is seldom exploited. It is this authentic and oriental flavour of Chinese food that The Monk tries to reinvent.

Situated amidst the towering skyscrapers of a fast developing place like Gurgaon, the Galaxy is a 5-star, one of its kinds, boutique hotel in India. Boasting of a guest list of A-star celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and many more the hotel has a "cosmopolitan feel" to it. And one of its oldest ventures is The Monk restaurant on the first floor.

The ambience
Dominated by a wooden decor, the restaurant is situated in an open space with modern architecture. They have straight wooden chairs and simple wooden tables with minimal ornamentation and a false ceiling of wooden battens. To subdue the strong lines and the warm wood finish there is pure white oriental cutlery bringing balance to the whole arena. But the section out of the 1600sq-ft area that grabs your attention is the live kitchen, so now you can watch your dish being prepared and even have it straight from the kitchen, a concept commonly followed in China.

The food
Greeted with complimentary green tea with your food, which according to Chef Sudipto helps to reduce fat and keep you healthy the menu has a varied assortment of starters, soups, dumplings, noodles and desserts, enough to satisfy all your cravings for oriental food.

Priced in the economic range of Rs 200-250 in the starters you can try the sautéed Prawn in Szechwan Style where you will get the traditional Szechwan sauce with prawns that are half crispy and half tender, adequate for two people.

Then you also have Diced Chicken in Kung Pao style that has chilli paste and black beans. In non-vegetarian you also have you Lamb honey chilli, made of tender shredded lamb the dish has a tangy taste to it and the lamb melts in your mouth. And the unhindered supply of hot green tea adds to the taste.

On the vegetarian side, you can try the crispy vegetable in lemon-chilli sauce with crunchy lotus stem, broccoli and baby corn. The crispiness is just what you desired and the dish reminds you of your first crispy vegetable you ever had.

One of the most popular dishes at The Monk, the dumplings has always been a favourite of the guests, again all conveniently priced in the range of Rs 300 you have the chicken dumpling in seven spices that has six wholesome pieces of dumplings each soft and wholly steamed with the taste of all the seven spices tantalising your taste buds though the Prawn coriander dumplings didn't do much for me.
The main course priced around Rs 450-500 you can try the sticky rice with chicken Szechwan that has authentic small grain Thai rice or steamed rice with chicken and spicy garlic sauce. In noodles they have flat Udon noodles called Tepanese noodles with seafood in X.O sauce, a unique and innovative dish made from the sauce of seafoods, a delectable item for the seafood lovers.If weary of experimenting you can also order regular wheat noodles with vegetables in Szechwan sauce.

Lastly you have the desserts and the red wine pear with vanilla ice cream is a must-have for its unique combination and irresistible taste. They also have a wide range of wine and a handsome bar to boast of. The service is impeccable, neat and on time while the price range is quite affordable compared to other 5-star hotels.

The restaurant claims to have the highest footfall in a day if compared to all the oriental restaurants in Delhi and NCR. Well, must be - the quality of food at pocket friendly prices, the dedicated service and the ambience deserves the honour.

First Published: Apr 27, 2010 18:22 IST