Get a Taste of Authentic Chinese at Chi Ni

I have always felt that the term hidden gem is highly overrated. More often than not, it is usually an unimaginative marketing person trying to sell a mundane product. It is usually something rather ordinary that deserves to remain hidden. Very rarely, however, you come across a true gem. The Roseate Gurgaon is one such property – a true hidden gem in every sense of the term. And you realize it the moment you enter this spectacularly designed hotel.

We were invited for a review of their bar (IAH) and Chi Ni, the Chinese restaurant. We sampled a special preparation by Chef Ban, who has trained at London’s Michelin-starred Kai. Interestingly, this restaurant was originally planned to be Kai but the owners decided to give it an identity of its own. But trust me when I say this: the restaurant is right at that level (at par with a Michelin star restaurant). And I say this as I’ve had the privilege of visiting some Michelin star restaurants. The food, the ambience, the staffs hospitality, everything points upwards


Chi Ni review
Show plate at Chi Ni

.An 18-foot high (my estimation of the height) canopied tent forms the ceiling of this restaurant with a beautiful garden view. I like the fact that they have kept the interiors subtle and that there is no hint of the colour red, which dominates most Chinese restaurants globally.

IAH bar at Roseate hotel
IAH bar is a great option for a relaxed evening

Our experience began at the bar with a slew of monsoon friendly cocktails. We had the Roohafza Cosmo, Vodka Jaljeera and the Corrido. The drinks, kept purposefully low on the alcohol (they were from the monsoon special menu), had a refreshing zing to them.

Chef Ban, who hails from Malaysia, along with Chef Neeru Dhamala had portrayed such artistry on our plates that one wondered if they got trained in culinary subjects or fine arts.

As far as the food was concerned, like I indicated earlier, it was nothing less than exceptional. In fact, certain vegetarian preparations were even tastier than their non-vegetarian counterparts. My wife, who hates mushrooms and loves prawns, had a change of heart here with wasabi mushrooms. While wasabi shrimp was usual, wasabi mushroom was something exceptional in flavour. Crispy on the outside, it had fresh mushrooms inside that seemed to melt in our mouth. Definitely, a must try!

There are mock chicken options too, making this restaurant a great choice for vegetarians who love Chinese food but do not find enough options. I found mock chicken (soya) with three chilli quite impressive.

The Wok Roast Chicken in Black Pepper Sauce and Wasabi mushrooms made a special place for themselves in my heart. Another splendid item on the menu was the Hot & Sour soup with the right balance of flavours. Also try Assorted Garlic Vegetables. Made in white garlic sauce, they had a caramalised flavour which made it distinct.

While the entire meal stood out in terms of flavor, preparation and presentation, the desserts took the cake. We had senses of chocolates and Splendid Bake Yogurt. Intriguingly, the menu opens with dessert, giving you a cue to keep space for these masterpieces!

In sum, I can safely say that this definitely isn’t the last time BlueSkyDreamers will be found at the Roseate and our little piece of made in China food heaven!

Abhinav Sahni is the co-founder of Blue Sky Dreamers. He quit his job in IT to pursue his love for writing and travelling.


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