Ming Yang is a quiet Chinese restaurant tucked away in the far corner of Taj Land’s End, offering views of the endless ocean in an idyllic setting with typically Oriental decor to match – dark wood furniture, richly patterned screens, intricate paintings and Feng-Shui-friendly water features.
The decor is traditional, but admittedly lacks the grandeur and ambience one would expect from a five star establishment.
The OCD in me longs to tear off the dull green carpet (circa 1981) and replace it with polished wooden floorboards.
With both public and private dining options available, the menu specialises in authentic Szechwan cuisine.
I start with the chilli garlic prawns.
Generous puffs of fried prawn bounce around the dish with charming jocularity; crispy-textured and chokingly pungent due to the potent mix of chopped green chilli, garlic and spring onion strewn through.
The battered method of preparation ensures a coating which is suitably brittle with a succulent interior.
The pork belly is succulent and extremely fatty to the extent that I find myself slashing the fat off after a few bites, which leaves very little meat left to devour.
The subtle sweetness of the flesh works well with flavours that are rich and garlicy, with bites of freshly chopped chilli to rouse the senses.
Swimming in oil, this dish is perhaps not for those who don’t want to die anytime soon – but it sure is memorable as a last supper.
The idea of second hand intoxication charms my dinner partner such to the extent where we order the Drunken Fish.
Usually prepared in tequila, the basis of this dish is its sauce, which has a dominatingly sweet flavour that commands attention, with an aftermath of fiery tones brought about by onion and yet again, chilli.
The intense concentration of flavour brought about by the fish would have destroyed the subtle charm of the pork belly; I am glad I left this one til the end.
The food at Ming Yang is unabashedly, authentically Chinese, exuding master expertise in each region be it Cantonese or Szechwan. Each dish has a personality of its own which is celebrated in different styles of preparation and cooking.
The service is confusing – the actual duties performed by wait staff seemed to end at knowing the name of the regular guest who dined with me, and saying hello and goodbye.
As the girl in the party I was largely ignored, neither looked at nor addressed directly.
Basic duties such as serving and pouring water were performed by myself, with the waiters either not physically present or caught up performing other duties in an almost-empty restaurant.
The prices are steep, however to be expected in a five star establishment. Flawless food, if your wallet and tastebuds can stomach it.
Service 5, Food 10.
Ming Yang is located inside the Taj Land’s End Hotel, Bandra.