Message in a group pops up saying need 4 bloggers for reviewing New Promotional menu called “Lost Recipes” at Sampan, Novotel. The first thought that came in mind was it’s Indian cuisine. I always wanted to write about the recipes which started from local houses in India, which are getting vanished due to western influence. So without giving it a thought I replied saying Aye(Yes).
Next day, on my way to the desired destination I thought of reading little about the place and the restaurant. And was suprised to know that it was a classical Chinese Restaurant serving traditional food for more than 35 years.
The kitchen is headed by Chef Penpa who is workin there from the opening of the restaurant. He has made sure that the quality of food is not affected at any point of time. He still loves cooking and sticks to it even after working for more than 40 years. His food speaks more than anything else.
It’s a restaurant facing pool and Arabian sea which make’s it more interesting during the daytime. Delicious food along with refreshing view & traditional Chinese music is the combination every one looks for. A classical chinese setup with beautifully crafted handicrafts and traditional Lighting lamps throwing light on your tables. Amazing colour scheme and texture on walls like the skin of leopard, which makes it even more attractive. Its a combination of old and modern Chinese trends.
A perfect table setup was arranged for Bloggers.
A Chinese tradition that has been carried out from years and years of serving jasmine tea before a meal. Being a old school restaurant same was being followed. The simplicity and delicate flavour just made us feel very comfortable before the feast actually started
Condiments on table
1. Boiled peanuts tossed in soya sauce
2. Pickled cucumber
3. Hot Garlic sauce
4. Schezwan sauce
1. Talumein soup
This soup had 2 options, one with prawns and another with chicken. But as chef wanted us to taste both of them ,he mixed both the meats along with the same soup. The soup had earthiness of shitake mushoroom, creaminess of the soup, delicate flavour of seafood & aroma of coriander which lingered around with our taste buds. It was a thick soup with noodles, egg, carrot, spring onion, coriander, purple cabbage ,seafood & chicken. A perfect dish to start your meal with.
1. Prawn Snow Ball
Prawns mashed and cooked with oriental spices. Later shaped into balls, coated well from all sides with corn flour and deep fried. It was crisp from outside and moist from inside. But the delicate flavour of prawns did stand out and the snow ball tasted well when accompanied with schezwan sauce. I couldn’t think of anything else when I was munching this dish.
2.Prawns & Mushroom stuffed chicken wings
This dish clearly displayed the skills of the chefs working there. Because removing the bone from chicken wings and then stuffing it with mixture of mushroom and prawns in quite a task, which was well performed by Chef Penpa and team. Perfectly crisp from out side & with a kick of sesame inside. The mixture of shitake mushroom and prawns was tossed in sesame oil to give unique flavour which went well with the red chilli sauce. A complete delight till the last bite.
Chicken nibbles with bones, roasted and tossed in red sauce which was spicy and had a dominant flavour of garlic.
4. Yam Potato
An innovation that worked well for me. Yam croquet tossed in sweet, spicy and tangy sauce. The spiciness of chilli, sweetness of yam and tangyness of sauce was a perfect blend of flavour. The after sweetness was not only due to yam but there was a touch of honey which changed the flavour completely.
5.Fried Corn Cream with Black Bean Sauce
Star appetizer for the day. A mysterious stuffed pocket . A clone to Jalapeno cheese poppers. Thinly coated popper stuffed with corn cream which would burst in mouth as soon as you bite it through. A dish you should definitely order.
6. Crispy Okra, Water Chestnut & Cashewnut
It looked like customized version of “kur-kuri Bhindi”. Slices of Okra coated with tempura batter,deep fried & tossed along with onions, bird eye chilli & spring onion. It left my tongue lingering around till the last bite.
1.Sampan Fried Rice
This singature rice from sampan has 3 variations – Veg, prawns & chicken. The rice I ordered had egg and prawns. A simple classical fried rice yet so delicious in its own. I could eat it full without any gravy or an accomapniment.
2. Santee Noodle
Another Main course that kept us tempted. A simple dish with delicate flavour. The dish had steamed noodles topped up with a gravy made up of prawns and spinach. Combination of noodles, prawns and spinach shockingly worked out well. The best part of the dish were noodles – soft and mouth melting. On asking chef the secret about the softness of noodles, he mentions that they use fresh noodles which is ordered daily.
3. Steamed Egg Pouch
The star dish of the day, which displayed the culinary skills of Chef Pnepa. Pouches made up of egg, stuffed with mixture of prawns & shitake mushroom and tied with the help of blanched spring onion which were accompained along with spicy garlic sauce. Dish which had dominant flavours and had great skills won heart of every individual present there.
4. Silken Tofu in Lemon sauce
Melt in mouth. Not a big fan of Lemon sauce, still found the combination good. The Flavour of lemon stood out, the way it should. Every bite had a kick of lemon. A perfect dish to refresh your taste buds.
5. Roasted chicken in Cantonese style
Felt like replica of roasted chicken served in appetizer course. The difference that I could make out was boneless chicken which was extremely tender and moist tossed with sweet & spicy sauce along with vegetables and placed on a bed of sprouts. Better version as compared to the appetizer.
6. Broccoli, carrot, mushroom, water chestnut in creamy garlic sauce
Simplest dish of the day yet effective. Exotic vegetables tossed in sauce which was dominant in garlic flavour. Perfect accompaniment for fried rice or noodles. The dish itself is complete and can be ate as it is.
1. Banana pan cake
The dish included crispy fired pan cake along with one scoop of Vanilla ice-cream. Fried pancake was stuffed with a mixture of mashed banana. Which was topped up with caramel, chocolate & nuts. Crunchy from outside and gooey from inside. A perfect finish to the meal.
Mr Ruban ensured that we had an amazing time on board. He did manage to remove time from his busy schedule and explain every tit and bit about the new promotion & it’s menu. Resham was our server who made sure that we were served all the dishes with proper explanation and in proper time. He knew in and out about the history of Sampan. I would like to make a point that he is a jewel to your company, keep training & motivating staff like him.
Old restaurant with old time ideology to serve simple food but with lots of flavour and enough quantity to satisfy the hunger and make sure each and every guest gets Value for his money. I would definitely visit this place to have food again and again with such kind of warmth and love they provide.
Ambiance – 8/10
Service – 9/10
Food – 9/10
Value for Money – 10/10
– I was invited as a part of Food Bloggers team by Palki and Mr. Ruban to review the new promotion called as “lost Recipes” by Sampan, Novotel