Ten-Second Takeaway

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.

Chow Down

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 a 75-year-old Chinese restaurant, and possibly one of the best that’s 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 {INR 450}, which are cooked to perfection, to the point where the pork will melt in your mouth. Up next, try their salt and pepper prawns {INR 495}, 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 {INR 395} which will give you an assortment of all of their variants. We love their good old hot and sour chicken soup {INR 220} since it brings back childhood memories, sans the extreme ajinomoto taste.

For the main course, we picked their amazing Ling’s Pavilion pork chops {INR 450}, followed by Mongolian chicken {INR 440} teamed with Ling’s rice supreme with bacon/chicken {INR 450}. 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.

Wait, There’s More

Don’t be afraid to order off the menu – according to 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 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 a delicious pork cooked in brine {INR 400}, 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 {INR 500}, which can be ordered if you’re going in a large group. You could also try the oxtail stew, which has the tail of the animal, mostly a buffalo, cooked in red wine and served with vegetables {INR 600}.

So We’re Saying…

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.

Photos: Athul Prasad/LBB