If you love Chinese food and want to be treated to some authentic goodness, your best bet is Ling’s Pavilion in Colaba. Order right – and even off the menu.
As Indians, we love Chinese food – or do we? We eat our own Indian version of it, which we firmly believe to be the most superior one. But if you’re at Ling’s, drop this preference – here, Chinese food is taken seriously.
Located in the same lane as Café Mondegar, just at the corner where you turn for Bade Miya, Ling’s is an institution, and possibly one of the best Chinese restaurants around. For as many years as we’ve been going there, the interiors have stayed the same, and so has the staff’s enthusiasm to serve you. Now, there are two ways to do this- either you order going by the menu, or you ask the owner for his recommendations.
We’ve done both and here’s what we love- try their delicious honey glazed spare ribs, which are cooked to perfection, to the point where the pork will melt in your mouth. Up next, try their salt and pepper prawns, which leave a delicious aftertaste in your mouth.
If you’re here and you don’t try the dim sums, it’s kind of criminal. So make sure you get their steamed dim sum platter which will give you an assortment of all of their variants. We love their good old hot and sour chicken soup, since it brings back childhood memories, sans the extreme ajinomoto taste.
For the main course, we picked their amazing Ling’s Pavilion pork chops, followed by Mongolian chicken, teamed with Ling’s rice supreme with bacon/chicken. Also try their lobsters, which are hugely famous and there’s so much variety just in seafood, decision-making will be very tough. Vegetarians, Ling’s has delightful veg food too, so head there to satisfy your tummy.
Don’t be afraid to order off the menu – as quoted by the eponymous Mr Ling, the menu is “just for the people who don’t know what they want”, and apparently more than 70 per cent of what the kitchen is capable of cooking up, isn’t on the menu. But be warned, you should call ahead of time if you want enough choice, because some dishes take a day to make.
You can get a detailed list from your server of the massive range of dishes that are completely off-the-menu, and he will also tell you what’s on the list for that day. They make delicious pork cooked in brine, which is quite popular since it’s a refreshing break from pork cooked in barbecue sauce. They also make a mean stewed pork belly with mushrooms and bean curd, which can be ordered if you’re going in a large group.
Ling’s Pavilion is a food mine waiting to be explored by you. Head there if your idea of a Sunday afternoon lunch is all things Chinese that will leave you so full, you won’t be able to move.