When we heard Mainland China owners Speciality Restaurants Ltd. have opened a new dining place called Asia Kitchen, we were curious to check out the menu. It turned out to be an interesting combination of dishes from the far east. Though this restaurant too, like the others under Speciality, don’t serve pork.
Located in the 4th Floor of Acropolis Mall, Kasba, it is right on the main road, to your left, if you traveling from Gariahat towards Kasba-Bypass connector (Ruby).
This was the first time we were visiting the Acropolis Mall, and we just hated it. An event was about to start in the ground floor common place, when we walked in, and they were playing some music. Never, ever, heard such loud music in any malls we visited. Even when we were in the fourth floor, we could barely hear ourselves. There’s music, there’s loud music and then there’s noise. Most people nowadays just don’t understand the difference between music and noise. Nuff said about the mall, our mood changed once we entered Asia Kitchen. As soon as we entered the place, noticed the open kitchen to the right, and we loved it. Bright and clean with cooks who smile back.
The interior is simple with a huge wooden installation which have lettering, I presume, in languages of the countries featured in the menu. Also the wall over the open kitchen is beautifully done with shelves, filled with containers and bottles of condiments, nicely arranged, and the oriental lettering in between.
Service was great! Attentive, fast and friendly. Everyone was very energetic. We saw the chef visiting the tables personally and taking feedback, which we thought should always be done.
We started off with Tom Kha Soup with Prawns. A Thai coconut milk based soup, it had lemongrass, gingers and prawn offcourse. The sweetness of the coconut milk was cut perfectly by the occasional lemongrass and gingers and we just loved it. Excellent dish presented lovely.
The Crackling Spinach on the other hand looked great and was served in a cocktail glass. True to its name it was crispy and remained like that, at-least until we thought we had enough of it. Taste-wise it was just OK. Tasted a lot like the plain salted crispy beaten rice we have regularly at home. So nothing much to expect here. I personally think a little lemon powder would have made this dish a lot more restaurant friendly.
Smoked Shiitake Mushroom With Chillies was a dish we loved. Actually we love Shiitake mushroom 🙂 Add to that the chopped onion and chillies. Only thing we wished was the mushrooms were not coated and crispy fried. Shiitake needs no coating to make it better and the dish had no crispy in the name. So 🙂
The complimentary sorbet served as a palate cleanser was good. It was flavoured with wasabi apple and mint and we were ready for our mains.
Chicken Nasi Goreng was our next order. Spicy fried rice topped with a fried egg (sunny broken side up) and a prawn cracker. The rice was spicy with loads of veggies and chicken and we loved it. The pickled carrots which came with the rice were great too.
Prawns in Hot Garlic Sauce was excellent. The prawns were well done and tasted great and we loved the sauce and the yellow capsicums (we love the red and the yellow ones 😛 ).
The mocktails we ordered were Bali Tropical Punch, Malaya Spiced Melon, Peach Blossom and Thai Exotica. The one we liked best was the Malaya Spiced Melon. Although there were few pieces of seeds, it tasted great. The Thai Exotica was great too (Pomegranate and guava juice). Didn’t like the other two.
For dessert we wanted something different. Coconut Caramel Custard looked like a good option and our server suggested Rambutan with Ice Cream. The Rambutan with Ice Cream, as the name suggests, is a simple dessert where six pieces of the fruit was served with vanilla ice cream. But the presentation made it look special. The dessert bowl was served over a dry ice container and the fumes made it look great.
The Coconut Caramel Custard was great to start with. We loved the dense taste of coconut cream. But the caramel was not perfectly made and turned bitter. Once reported they offered to replace it with Caramel Sponge Cake with Toffee Sauce. Didn’t like the cake. It was not soft enough and tasted pretty average.
In all a place with great service (they add 10% compulsory service charge to the bill, so anything below a great service is not expected) and good menu. We definitely are coming back for more.
Ambiance – 1.5 / 2
Service – 1.5 / 2
Cleanliness / Hygiene – 2 / 2
Plating – 0.6 / 1
Food – 2.8 / 4 (the burnt caramel brought down the rating a lot)
Value for money – 1 / 2
Menu variety – 1.9 / 2
Overall 3.77 / 5