Mid-day, Mumbai, Updated: February 02, 2013 10:40 IST
If you prefer your Chinese cuisine with a dash of Indian inspiration, Facing East in Juhu might rise up in your Eating Out charts, soon, with the right mix of spicy flavours served in nattily-done interiors.
There was a time in Mumbai when "cheap-and-best" Chinese was available at every kiosk and handcart around street corners and gullies, with fancy names like Golden Dragon or China Town. Slowly but steadily, restaurants like Jimmy's Kitchen and Five Spice sprung up, catering to the middle-class foodie for Indianised Chinese fare with large portions and generous seasoning stirred in rich sauces.
These restaurants provide an alternative to the old-school expensive Chinese restaurants like Ling's Pavilion and China Garden. While the food may not be particularly authentic, it is tasty and plentiful, within a budget. Somewhere in between these diverse options is Facing East. The Juhu eatery, now occupying the area that was previously Crepe Station, instantly enamours you with its well-planned interiors. Pasty walls display tasteful snapshots of Chinese landscapes and people in folkloric finery. Flamboyant plates adorn the walls. Facing East has two dining areas: an al fresco seating, complete with tapering lamps and the second is the air-conditioned interior section. Given the soft oriental music in the background, paintings of kimonos, red and black steel chairs and dimly lit funnel lamps hung low from the ceiling -- the ambiance works like a charm.
The Virgin Lycheetini was a groovy cocktail. Pics/Sayed Sameer Abedi
As soon as the menu arrives, you expect items as diverse as the ambiance but might be disappointed here. It looks like a five-star Chinese restaurant but retains a Five Spice kind of soul. Note: it's not necessarily a bad thing. We begin with the Virgin Lycheetini (Rs 195) that is a groovy lychee mocktail with a dash of fizz and sugar. It's the kind of drink that sends a sparkling soda and fruit concoction down your taste buds.
Chilly Basil Chicken worked wonders with its aroma and flavouring.