Zaheer Khan’s Dine Fine – The Asian Adventure!
When team Food Prowl was invited to visit Zaheer Khan’s Dine Fine the first thing that came to mind was aromatic Indian food; the likes of Galouti Kebabs, Murgh Makhani, Butter Naan and more. When I reached the venue and checked the tasting menu placed at every seat, I found, to my surprise, the tasting was for Asian food. This is a new pathway that Zaheer Khan’s Fine Dining restaurant has ventured into. Was I a tad disappointed? Yes! Did the Asian meal go well enough for me to get over my initial disappointment?? Read on.. 😉
This branch of the restaurant is situated at Phoenix Market City Mall. The place has all the trimmings of a fine dine and is well lit with thoughtfully placed tables set with plates initialed with the ZK’s logo.
The first course served to us was soup: Chicken Manchow and Chicken Wonton soups. The Manchow soup was very nicely done. It was piping hot, spicy, very satisfying and perfect for the day as the city had been experiencing a light drizzle. Loved it! The Wonton soup, on the other hand, lack depth: in terms of flavour, colour, and texture. This is a soup that seriously needs to be worked upon.
As the soup bowls were taken off the table the servers brought us steamed dumplings: both vegetable and chicken. Being the carnivore that I am, I finished the chicken dumpling and had just one small bite of the vegetable one. The chicken filling was well seasoned but the dumpling wrapper could have been a tad thinner. On the other hand the dumpling wrapper for the vegetarian variety was beautifully thin.
The other starters served were Chicken Red Oil Wontons, Sticky Garlic Chicken Bites, Schezwan Chicken Lollipop, Satay Kai and Schezwan Dry Prawns.
The Chicken Red Oil Wontons were steamed to perfection, the wrapper encasing the chicken was thin and the soy-chilli oil drizzled on top took the simple wontons to a new high.
The Sticky Garlic Chicken Bites, to me, were okay-ish. I prefer meat balls to be juicier and the sauce they were coated in felt like a cross between Hot Garlic sauce and Manchurian sauce.
The Schezwan Chicken Lollipop was excellent! We loved it so much that we requested for an extra helping. Succulent and spicy, they were superb! Satay Kai were chicken breast strips/tenders served with a Peanut Satay sauce.
The chicken by itself was unexceptional but when paired with that killer Peanut Satay sauce, took me the moon and beyond. I have to say with all honesty, this is one of the best peanut sauces I have had in a long, long time. My request to the chef is do not, ever, fiddle or alter this Peanut Satay sauce recipe.
Another massive hit of the evening was the Schezwan Dry Prawn dish. It was perfectly balanced in flavor with just enough sauce to lend that spicy hit to the palate The prawns were beautifully cooked and best of all the prawns were of decent size; actually more than decent. How then can I find fault in a dish like that?
For the mains the servers brought us Diced Chicken in Black Bean Sauce, Chicken Teriyaki with Broccoli, Thai Red Curry Chicken,Shredded lamb in Oyster Sauce and Khao Suey.
The Diced Chicken in Black Bean Sauce was well made in terms of chicken and gravy but the Chicken Teriyaki sauce was on the watery side. I would have preferred it a bit more robust in terms of flavour and consistency.
The Thai Red Curry was served with steamed rice. The curry wasn’t bad but again, I felt it lacked depth in terms of aromatic Thai flavors. The Shredded Lamb in Oyster sauce was a serious let down as the lamb was very chewy.
The Khao Suey, however, was delicious! The noodles the sauce and the accompaniments all danced a graceful waltz on my palate.
Fried Rice, Vegetarian Hakka Noodles, Chicken Pan Fried Noodles and Phad Thai Noodles were the last mains served. The Phad Thai was nothing to write home about but he Fried Rice, Chicken Pan Fried Noodles and the Hakka noodles were well made and flavoursome.
Our desserts for the day were Sizzling Brownie, drizzled with chocolate sauce and served with Ice Cream and Fruit Cream which was a selection of seasonal fruits served with fresh cream.
I’m not fond of fruits hence the Fruit Cream dessert was a big no-no for me. I did not try it hence I am not qualified to write about it. The Sizzling Brownie came to the table with a wonderful sizzle but the bottom of the brownie was burnt. All in all, except for the extra char, this dessert tasted quite good.
Everything we ate that evening was quite good. Some dishes bordered on excellent while others need to be worked upon to improve their flavors and textures. A wee bit of extra attention paid to the quite good dishes could well turn them into excellent ones.
As I end this review I come back to the point I made at the beginning. Was I disappointed at being served Asian food instead of the Indian cuisine I was expecting? The memory of those Schezwan Chicken Lollipops; that robustly flavored Peanut Satay Sauce, those wontons drizzled with that zingy soy-chili oil and the quality, texture and size of the Schezwan Dry Prawns shall live on in my memory for a long time. I think that very adequately answers the question. 🙂
Heartfelt thanks to Team Zaheer Khan’s Dine Fine, Heena Bhatt-Ray, Alifya Khan and Chef Mukesh, for being such wonderful hosts.
Address: S 53-54, Phoenix Market City, Nagar Road, Viman Nagar, Pune
Tel: 020 66547788
Zaheer Khan’s Dine Fine, Phoenix Market City, Pune | Food Prowl – The Hunger Stories