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A quaint little place tucked away in the backstreets of Connaught Place...
Source : First City
October 1994

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A quaint little place tucked away in the backstreets of Connaught Place, Fa Yian is another Chinese restaurant that Delhi can boast of now. A cursory look up and down the street tells me that the area is dominated mostly by small time shop owners. My heart sinks to the bottom of my sole. As I trudge up to the restaurant, I spy a bamboo tree and a Yako (a large Chinese lamp) at the entrance lending a touch of the oriental. Once inside, soothing sounds of splashing water attract my attention to the source, a tiny waterfall in the shape of a large urn. I delight in the mood of this place. It just invites you to unwind. Marble topped tables, low wooden chairs which look extremely comfortable, lamps of handmade paper, even the menu cards gilded in raw silk frames, lots of potted plants hanging from the roof, whites and moss greens the colour schemes used, lending the restaurant a touch of the green house. My hosts (not one but two) have already decided what I am going to eat and I am thankfully saved the task of choosing from a host of strange sounding dishes. From what I gather the emphasis is on a totally different kind of Chinese food. What I will be eating, are mostly dishes served during dinner, usually an elaborate affair at Fa Yian. Lunch, on the other hand is more simple, the emphasis being on efficiency, for the hurried Executives who usually haunt the place. As one dish after another arrives on the table I notice that care has been taken to create visual appeal. Delicately carved tomato rosettes, or the Chinese cabbages accompany most of the dishes. Drums of Heaven (Rs. 50) is average. Sui Chiao, steamed chicken dumplings (Rs. 60), arrive attractively garnished with fresh, crisp spinach leaves in a bamboo basket. A Chinese version of the popular Momo, it floors me with its taste. The steamed dumplings stuffed with chicken, fairly melt in the mouth, leaving a pleasant taste of Oyster mushrooms (all brought from Hong Kong), Chicken on Toast (Rs. 55) is delicious. The crackling toast topped with chicken and sprinkled with sesame going down excellently with the more subtle tastes of Vegetable Chowmein (Rs. 35), home made and actually tasting faintly of eggs. Not one for sea food, I politely taste the Stir Fried Prawns (Rs. 180), and as usual find it too strongly sea food-ish to carry on further, I give up after a mouthful or two. Honey Chicken Dry (Rs.90), cubes of chicken marinated in honey with cherries floating prettily on the gravy is actually quite nice. Sweet but not so sweet that it drowns the flavour of chicken. From the vegetables, Egg Plant in Black Bean Sauce is my preference, and I am amazed at the way the brinjal is cooked, making it almost a delicacy. The meal ends with Jasmine Tea (Rs. 25 per pot) because my small appetite does not allow me to have another bite. My final assessment? Its a place worth a try. Or two or three. Good food, good service (meal is on your table within 15 minutes of ordering). A great family place to eat out at. Try it out!

     Copyright 2007, Fa Yian

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