A cold, gloomy, sun-deprived Sunday afternoon might not be the preferred day to step out of your home’s cozy comfort. Well, Johnathan,my photographer, and I, decided to ditch the gloom and headed out to the revamped Club5 to lunch at the Oriental Terrace. Was our Sunday bravery in the cold worth the effort? Let’s find out.
After being warmly greeted by the staff and making ourselves comfortable on a fresh table with wine glasses, the condiment set arrived. This was our first sign! One look at the crunchy Kimchi salad and prawn chips and we were already pleased. After all, nothing can be more horrible than soggy, lame Kimchi.
Not in the mood to waste any time, we started our meal with curried laksa. We were informed that laksa is a Malaysian coconut curry flavoured prawn soup with soft wheat noodles. The soft, creamy, almost dreamy flavor and aroma of coconut, the perfectly cooked prawns, the contrast in texture provided by the soft noodles and the fresh curry leaves, and the interesting presentation of a prawn on a stick—it was perfect.
After much gushing, it was time for starters. The sambal goreng udang was the first to arrive. I asked Johnathan what he thought about the prawns tossed in a chilli sambal sauce. “Not to be shared,” he was quick to quip. A kind colleague, I let him savour the Malaysian specialty. I wasn’t surprised when Chef Sunil Joshi, the restaurant’s man in command, told me this was one of his favourites on the menu. What was my favourite from the appetizer platter? Sesame chilli fish tossed with mustard sprouts. Crunchy, juicy, spicy, piping hot—all of my favourite things.
On to the main course. Schezwan chicken with scallion and chilli, tofu and mushroom in basil garlic sauce, assorted vegetables in Thai green curry—all maintained the kitchen’s legacy. The braised Asian greens could do with a tad bit more seasoning though. The only other suggestion from me? The dessert section could be livened up.
Now the million dollar question. Should you visit Oriental Terrace? My take: A definite yes. Scrumptious food, good ambience and a great relief to the pocket when compared to most other restaurants in Gurgaon. By the way, no Oriental meal can be complete without a fortune cookie. What did mine say? “Your charm and convincing abilities will impress everyone”. Exactly my opinion about you, Oriental Terrace!
A speciel mention to Som-Tam, the Thai raw papaya salad in a jaggery lime dressing. Simply lip-smacking. For me, a restaurant is a hit if it can serve goods alads. First the Kimchi and now the Som Tam—Oriental Terrace had me at cabbage.
If I had my way, I would dedicate this review to the laksa. I think I am in love with it. This utterly comforting, magnificently yellow-mustard soup instantly won my heart. Everything about it was right.
Cuisine : Chinese, Burmese, Malaysian, Thai and Indonesian
Meal for two : Rs 700+ taxes (excluding beverages)
Drinks specialty : Signature cocktails and wine