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FOOD PLUS

There’s good news for foodies across the river. Howrah became home to two popular restaurants, as Speciality Restaurants unveiled their Mainland China and Machaan outlets at Avani Riverside Mall on Thursday.

“We have a lot of guests coming from Howrah to our restaurants in Calcutta. So we thought of giving this gift to the people across the river. And since Avani Riverside Mall is so very close to Calcutta, a mere 15-minute drive from Park Street or New Alipore, we’re expecting footfall from the city as well,” said Debashish Ghosh, general manager, relationships and brand standards, Speciality Restaurants.

The latest Mainland China evokes a strong sense of the Oriental in its decor, with its line of Xian soldier statues at the entrance and Buddha on the wall. Spread over 2,000sq ft, the 96-seater restaurant offers the same exhaustive menu as its other outlets, the only additions being the new sauces like Pickle Chilli sauce, Lemon sauce, Honey Garlic sauce and Tomato Garlic sauce.

The vegetarian top draws include Corn and Water Chestnut Dumpling, Crackling Spinach. While non-vegetarian foodies must try out Roasted Lamb with Cumin (a popular street food in the Xian province of China) or simply dig into Calcutta Bhetki in Yuxiang Sauce (chilli-based sauce with garlic) with Lotus Wrapped Rice with Almonds or even Barbecued Chicken. Wind up your sumptuous meal on a sweet note with sinful portions of Chocolate Mousse, Honey Noodles, Hot Chocolate Rolls, Souffles, besides ice creams. “The best part about the Howrah outlet is that we are charging 30 per cent less than the usual price. Our buffet spread will be the main attraction for Durga Puja,” said Chef Rajesh Dubey, director, food production.

Just opposite Mainland China is the new Machaan, with its jungle decor of animal statues, faux foliage and vine and rustic interiors. This 112-seater too has the same menu as its Mani Square counterpart.

Pick from appetisers like Paneer Rawalpindi or Naryali Mirch Jhinga (prawns flavoured with coconut and tempered with curry leaves and mustard seeds) and don’t forget the main course that include Hare Tamatar ki Paneer Makhni, Kareli Rogan Josh (lamb shanks cooked in traditional Frontier style) and more. The desserts are delightfully desi with Gulabjamuns and Firni, though a concession has been made for chocaholics in the form of Sizzling Brownie with molten Chocolate. A buffet spread is in the offing.

The timings are same for both restaurants, so drop in on weekdays between noon and 3.30pm for lunch and between 7pm and 10.30pm for dinner. On weekends, the restaurants will be open from noon to 10pm. A meal for two costs about Rs 700 at both places, while the Mainland China buffet is priced at Rs 395 plus taxes.