Chynna Gold, Hilton New Delhi/Janakpuri
Kula and I landed up for lunch at Chynna Gold at the Hilton in Janakpuri. Quite the edifice, standing tall and distinct in a crowd of tall buildings, we found the interiors of the Janakpuri Hilton to be just as grand as the exteriors. A mildly convoluted entry path brought us to the one hundred and twenty cover Chynna Gold.
The presence of the bodyguard-esque chap posted near the elevators was mildly irritating. Most of us can press elevator buttons ourselves and if this is some sort of we take care of you every step of the way thing, it didn’t work for me. The chaps attire also makes the elevator bank appear to be in a government building; another perception the property could do without.
Our meal started with Lemon Coriander Soup (249) and continued with Stir Fried Vegetable Noodles (249), Vegetable Fried Rice (249), Gong Bao Chicken (549), Yu Xiang Lamb (599), Pork with Mushroom in Clay Pot (599), Shiu Zhu Vegetable (499), Braised Cottage Cheese (499) and Shui Zhu Lamb (599).
Chynna Gold nestles within a starred property and thus every dish was well executed, looked great and I’m sure was prepared keeping contemporary health concerns and high standards of hygiene in mind. That’s a given. The food on my table however was… how shall I put it… tame. The sort of food that’s churned out after much deliberation on a menu that aims to appear authentic Chinese and will yet appeal to the conservative tastes of the surrounding demographic. The kind of flavors that tread a thin line, drawn on eggshells, one side of which is the perception of sophistication and the other side is the dreaded ‘Chinjabi’ label that media are quick to apply to Chinese establishments. If therefore one plays it that safe, one ends up dishing out food that’s safe too.
Chynna Gold boasts of a dedicated Tea Room with it’s own little menu, a feature I haven’t seen anyplace else thus far. Superb decor and artifacts lend their special flavor to the ambiance of this room making it quite a striking place for meetings or just a relaxing cup of tea with friends.
Now, I could be totally wrong about their intentions, reasoning and strategy. What I do know is that the food we ate was just that; food. While every dish made for pleasant eating, none could be described as highly memorable, for good or not. Chynna Gold at the Hilton New Delhi/Janakpuri therefore becomes a great place to awe out of town guests with highly acceptable food, lovely decor and superlative ambiance.