beer, Food, Gastronomy, gourmet, Pan Asian Cuisine, Photography, Pune, Uncategorized

Cheeky Chinese at Wicked China, Pune

As far as sassy Chinese restaurants go, Wicked China is pretty much out there. Located smack dab at the centre of the recently rebranded Creaticity Mall (formerly Ishanya), Wicked China is hardly hard to reach, and given that it’s Yerawada we’re talking about, there’s no dearth of options to generally fun around…you know…before or after a scrumptious meal here. Full marks for location, parking, yada, yada, yada, then. Outside.JPG
Moving on to the decor, which, I’d rather you see for yourself than bother you with the trivialities of how ‘quaintly modern’ this place seems – there’s retro neon signs, faux grass on the walls, a literal bicycle outside and a snazzy-looking table layout. You decide if it’s awesome or awesome-er.
Inside.JPG
Now that the small talk is out of the way, let me introduce you to some delights from the bar menu.
The U.N. Special. (₹395)
Drink1.JPG
Maybe there’s a story behind the name. But what really matters is how the chocolate cream, dark and milk chocolate and green tea with chilli blend seamlessly together to give you one heck of a beverage. The chilli isn’t very heavy though if you’re into that kinda thing. The barman is all ears for customizations, so knock yourself out. I liked mine with the chilli nicely muted and the chocolate taking over.

The Wicked Chuski (₹395)
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Frozen slush-based cocktails are SO INNNN, right? This one’s a potent blend of white rum, mulberries, orange, lemon, grapes, and *cue drumroll* Kala Khatta! (I pucked my mouth just thinking about it). Devilishly delicious. The ‘khatta’ does take over the ‘meetha’ in this one (which is good) and thanks to the ice melting over time and replenishing the glass (while also mellowing down the alcohol content), this one is for those who like to sit with their cocktail glass for a while. Like me. Highly recommended.
There were some more beverages on the table but the Chuski was the most universally appreciated.

The beverages washed down –
Spicy Edamame (₹240)
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Boiled and then seasoned with a tangy-spicy seasoning, these Edamame beans are the perfect accompaniment for the sweet and sour chuski. Or just by themselves. Hard to stop nibbling on this bowlful of healthy, guilt-free snacking choice.

Turnip Cake with Burnt Garlic and Chillies (₹260) –
Crispy Tofu.JPGCrisped to perfection and just about firm on the inside, these delectable little morsels were everything you want a starter to be – crunchy and packed with flavour. The turnip is surprisingly versatile; having picked up the flavours it’s cooked in so well. The burnt garlic adds both texture and a flavour burst as does the spring onion. Goes great with the Chuski too. And it’s handsome as well, right? I mean, look at it!

Crispy honey chilli lamb (₹390)
Crispy honey chilli lamb.JPG
Seriously, I would’ve never guessed it was lamb if no one told me about it. Unbelievably soft, juicy, succulent and drenched in that delicious honey chilli dressing. There’s a whole lot of crispy going on here too as you can see. The veggies add a nice bite to the dish, too. Great stuff. Highly recommended if you’re in the mood for some serious meat.

Three Style Dumplings in Truffle Oil (₹270) –
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The earthy flavours of button mushrooms, velvety texture of oyster mushrooms and a smoky punch from the shiitake mushrooms is what every bite of these dumplings gets you. Intense. ‘Nuff said.

Pumpkin and Bamboo Shoot Dumplings (₹270)
Pumpkin Bamboo Shoot.JPG
The sweetness of the pumpkin balanced by the slightly savoury and delicate bamboo shoot, a slight bite coming from the pomegranate, this one was another class act. The starters here are simply GOOD.

But wait, there’s more. Prawns Haragu Dumplings (₹320)
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Crunchy prawns wrapped in what is probably the softest dumpling ever. The whole things just melts in the mouth! The mild flavours compliment this overall delicate preparation perfectly.

Chicken Gyoza (₹290) –
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Because. Why not. Juicy inside and crispy-golden from the pan-frying outside, these Japanese style dumplings are exactly like the ones I’ve heartily enjoyed at Oxford’s bustling street food market. The chilli foam and microgreens aren’t just accessories, mind you. They do pack in some welcome punch and texture (in that order).

Next came the entrées –
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Steamed Jasmine Rice (₹275) – Glutinous and sticky, this fragrant rice went perfectly well with the Thai Red Curry Chicken (₹430) it was served with – milder on the lemongrass and spicier than its green cousin, this red curry is fairly heavy on the coconut milk and uses more red chillies (which is where it gets its colour from).
What we also had was the Firecracker Veg Rice (₹275) and Stir Fried vegetables in chilli basil sauce (₹375). Another great combination, the stir-fried vegetables doused in fragrant and spicy chilli basil sauce for pairing with sweet and tangy firecracker rice. A great way to fill up that tiny bit of leftover space in the belly, then.

But WAIT! The desserts are still due!
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Flourless Chocolate Cake and Basil Ice Cream (₹245) – The basil ice cream was just about mild enough, as expected and the flourless cake was just as shameless. Sure, it was flourless but not guiltless. And how! It was everything I wanted a classic chocolate cake to be, no discounts. Clearly, I loved it then.

Lemongrass Creme Brulee (₹245)
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A classic perfectly sweet crème brûlée that wasn’t at all overly sweet or caramel-ey; the lemongrass hitting in the aftertaste; what subtlety! This is edible modern art. I’m not a huge fan of biscottis and this one didn’t do much to change that opinion either. The crème brûlée on the other hand. Incroyable!

To sum it up then I’d rate Wicked China at a solid 4.5 on 5 making my very long trip from the other side of town totally worth it!
Wicked China Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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