Food : Trivandrum Rating : 4/5 Stars

Oriental Spice – Spicy Chicken Soup, Singapore Chilly Crab, Kway Teow, Kung Pao Chicken

Back at Supreme’s Oriental Spice restaurant, at Kuravankonam again after a while… Its been more than a month since I’ve been there and I did end up having a bit of craving for the Kung Pao Chicken… Other than that, I decided to go for what I haven’t had before from there… So, this time, I went for their Spicy Chicken Soup first… Then because of watching too many of Mark Wein’s videos recently, I wanted to try something that I haven’t had for years : The Crab… The reason for the gap is because I didn’t think it was worth the effort of cracking open the shell to drag out the meat… So, on being informed by the waiter that they don’t serve with shell, I decided to try out the Singapore Chilly Crab starter… Then when checking the out the options for mains, one of the items that I have been meaning to try ever since I saw Anthony Bourdain’s episode on Penang i.e. the legendary Char Kway Teow, which is available in their menu as Kway Teow… So, I went for the seafood variant and ofcourse, along with it I ordered a Kung Pao Chicken as well…

So, to list them all, they are a portion each of the Spicy Chicken Soup, Singapore Chilly Crab, Seafood Kway Teow and Kung Pao Chicken… This is a place that I have been constantly complaining about having too much quantity per portion… So, I must mention here that I took the leftovers (more than half) as parcel and basically had enough for me, my dad and my grandma to eat for dinner… πŸ™‚ So, if you who is reading this is an owner/manager of this restaurant, pls reduce the portion size or at-least have an option of 1/4 plate for single cover… This time, I happened to be heading directly home from there which is why I decided to go there in the first place… πŸ™‚ Else, its a huge wastage of food…

So, once I placed the order, I was served a cup of hot Green Tea… After a few minutes, the soup arrived… The soup that I ordered was what they called as their Spicy Chicken Soup… When I asked the waiter about it, he merely said that its a soup with Chicken, Mushrooms, Chinese greens and Green-chillies for the spiciness… And when I asked for the spice level especially when compared to the spicy fried rice that I had from one of my previous visits, I was informed that it is only slightly spicy rather than full on spicy… Thats why I decided to try it out… So, the below pic is how I got it…

First of all, my only complaint regarding this soup is that they used corn starch and made it thick… However, the soup tasted awesome with a really nice taste of the Chicken broth along with a rich flavour of Green-chillies, Ginger, Garlic and Coriander leaves, seasoned absolutely perfectly with the right amount of salt and pepper… The soup contained shredded Chicken, Mushrooms (mostly Button and a little bit of Shiitake) along with some Chinese Lettuce, Bok Choy, Green Onions, Coriander leaves and grated Green-chillies and also a bit of Egg dropped as well… Its clearly one of the best Chicken based soups I have had… I only wish it was not thickened…

After I was done with the soup, the starter arrived and as mentioned above, it was my attempt at having the Crab after so many years… So, what I got was what they call their Singapore Chilly Crab and I got served as shown in the pic below…

First of all, I couldn’t quite figure out where the crab was, because all I could see were these noodle like things that even tasted exactly like noodles… So, I called up the waiter and asked if there has been any mistake but apparently those “noodles” are the crab meat… I couldn’t believe it cause not only did it not look even remotely to the crab meat that I had many years ago when I had to crack open a crab myself, it didn’t even taste like crab and it really tasted like noodles to me… So, when I enquired further, I got informed that what they use is “Crab Sticks” and when I googled about it, I found out that the noodle like look made sense… So, if you are the owner/manager of the restaurant reading this, I’ve got bad news for you… Crab Sticks are not made up of real crab meat… They are imitation crab meat (Don’t believe me? Click here to find out more) with an artificial crab flavour added to it… There are many versions of it and unfortunately none of them use actual Crab meat in it… I think what got served for me was the version where they use wheat flour fillers and hence what I was feeling to be noodles were indeed noodles… πŸ™‚ It is my humble request to stop using this fake crab meat and use real crab meat instead…

Other than the fake crab, the Singapore Chilly Sauce tasted absolutely divine with some strong flavours of soy and chilly along with crispy juliennes of vegetables like carrots, green beans, red cabbage, bell pepper, green-chillies and coriander… Its the perfect sweet and spicy taste that I will definitely like to have again… Since I felt that if I eat the whole thing, I wouldn’t have room for the mains, I just had that bit which was served onto my plate and asked the waiter to pack the rest for home…

So, once that was all done, I got served a fresh plate and along with it the mains… What I got for the mains were their Kway Teow and ofcourse my all time favourite Kung Pao Chicken to go with it… For those who are not aware, the Kway Teow or rather Char Kway Teow is a Malaysian dish, made with thick flat noodle pastry (rice cake strips) stir-fried in high heat in a wok with vegetables (traditionally bean sprouts, Chinese chives and chillies), Soy (both light and dark), Shrimp paste and assortment of seafood… Here, however, they also offer a Vegetarian as well as a Chicken based version of the same… I went for their Seafood variant and that came with some Fish, Crab Stick and Prawns along with an egg in it along with Juliennes of Carrots, Green Beans, Onions, Bell Peppers, Chinese Lettuce and Spring Onion… I have been wanting to try this ever since I saw the old episode of Anthony Bourdain in Penang and hence was incredibly surprised to see it in the menu here as I had been looking for it for years in India… Essentially, Kway Teow is to Malay cuisine what Pad Thai is to the Thai cuisine…

Now coming to the taste, it felt exactly as what I imagined it to be… It can be considered sweet and spicy but indeed mildly with the nice flavour of the sea to it thanks to all the seafood in there which indeed was packed full as can be seen in the up-close pic… Every ingredient in it was cooked perfectly especially with the pieces of fish literally melting in my mouth… I loved it so much that I am looking forward to having it again in my next visit, when it happens…

Now, the Kway Teow was perfectly complemented by the Kung Pao Chicken, although considering the portion sizes, I wished for an option where I could just have the Kung Pao sauce alone without the chicken for it… Its not that there was anything wrong with Kung Pao Chicken, which rather tasted awesome – even better than before, its just that with all the seafood in the Kway Teow, having the chicken pieces felt a bit too much to eat πŸ™‚ That being said, the Kung Pao Chicken was absolutely perfect… Perfectly cooked chicken pieces in the most amazing sauce with Smokey Peanuts and Cashews along with the sweet yet spicy taste of the Schezwan Chillies in it… Compared to last time, I felt that it had a bit more stronger flavours, which is good as I liked this version better, especially with the Kway Teow…

So, altogether yet another glorious meal from the Oriental Spice restaurant… Once again, I still have issue with the portion size… I mean, I could literally eat only 1/4th of what was served and if you’ve seen me personally, you will know why thats a big deal… Other than that, only complaint I have is regarding the use of Crab Sticks instead of real crab meat, which I hope they do make the shift to very soon… πŸ™‚

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