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New Menu I Pan Asian at ITC Sheraton

I’m not a big fan of Chinese food, no matter what province it is from. I especially don’t like indo-Chinese food since I find it pretty greasy and I feel the flavours are all the same.

So you can imagine my apprehension when Pan Asian at ITC Sheraton asked me to come by and check out their new menu. I've reviewed them before and you can read all about that here. Ok, so I know Pan Asian means all things Asian, I was fairly sure I’d be stuck eating a lot of Chinese.

How wrong could I have been.

Divvied up into categories such as Chinese, Japanese, Thai and the rest of Asia, the new menu is a treat to look and read. I, ofcourse made a bee-line for the Thai and Japanese flavours while my companions couldn’t stop gushing about the Chinese menu.

We started our meal with some soups and salads – Suan Rong Shu Chai or the Chinese Vegetable Clear soup and Miso Shiru, the miso soup as well as Som Tam or the Raw Papaya Salad and the Monkey Head Mushroom in Chilli Vinegar Sauce.

Both the soups totally hit the spot. The broth of the clear soup was extremely flavourful. It was light on the palate and had a delightful tangy flavour. The miso soup was just perfect as well. The umami from the miso shone through and the pillowy soft tofu was just perfection in each bite.

The Som Tam was a bit of a miss for me. It was far too heavy on the lemon and really light on the peanuts. It didn’t have the right balance of crunch, sweetness and sour for me. I also wasn’t too hot on the presentation, having just eaten spectacular Som Tam at Neung Roi.

The mushroom salad however was a revelation. The earthy flavours of the mushrooms really paired well with the chilli and the vinegar and I could eaten this the whole night.  I also loved the presentation and the effort that the chef had put in it.

Chef Vaibhav also brought out a Micro Green salad for us to sample.  What a fabulous salad. He’d used seasonal cape gooseberries and figs alongwith the micro greens which had been dressed in sesame and tamarind. I loved how fresh it tasted and how easy it was on the palate.

Next up, we’d ordered the some sushi – so out came Mixed vegetable Maki and the salmon maki.  You can’t fault the sushi at Pan Asian, Chef Nakamura is a legend and the sushi just lived up to its reputation of being stellar. Meanwhile we’d also ordered the spinach and waterchestnut bao, which was really quite excellent. The bao was soft and squishy slightly sweet while the filling was sharp and had a lovely crunchy texture thanks to the water chestnuts.

Age Dashi Tofu – deep fried tofu with light soya sauce  was a delight, and it was served with a lovely satay sauce. The Wasabi prawns were excellent. The crisp coating, almost like a tempura batter really worked with the pungent sweet wasabi mayo and I could have eaten atleast a dozen of these babies.

Obviously we had no space for anything now, but since we had to try some of the mains, we had the Pla Neung Rad Prik or the steamed sea bass with thai minced chilli as well as the vegetarian fried rice. This was my least favourite dish. The fish was too fishy for me – I suppose that was because the skin was on while the birds eye chilli sauce was way too spicy and too sour and did nothing for the  fish. I honestly wish I hadn’t ordered this at all.

The fried rice though was delicious, and I could easily go back to just eat a bowl of that rice.

For dessert, the chef brought out a sweet gyoza or dumpling filled with dried fruits and nuts which he served with some ice cream and berry compote. It was quite an interesting dessert but I wish I could have finished my meal with some good Pan Asian dessert such as Mango sticky rice or even a coconut ice cream.

All in all we enjoyed our meal and will definitely be going back for some Thai and Japanese flavours. 

And don’t forget to take part in the Cookaroo and Philips contest to win a Philips Rice Cooker. Click here for more details. 

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