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Tasty meals amid tasteful decor
Source: "Here Delhi"
January-February 1996

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Delhis taste buds have come alive and a large number of eating places have come up recently. Donna Sweedler Bjerregaard, an expatriate with a penchant for good food recommends a new gastronomical experience each month.

Behind the store front facade of Fa Yian lies a delightful, clean and tastefully decorated restaurant. In one corner, an artful collection of clay pots and bells hang over a rushing waterfall sculpture of lions heads. Smaller plants and soft lights set off each of the 10 marble tables. Even the floor has an elegant pattern. Soft music and the soothing sound of running water add to the atmosphere although the background noise sometimes interferes with diners conversations.

The elegant decor carries over to the well planned streamlined menu. Appetizers range from fried wontons, tasty steamed dumplings and stuffed mushrooms, to golden prawns in hot garlic sauce. A good choice of soups are available, such as sweet corn and wonton. A favourite for cold winter days is the meal-in-itself Fa Yian Hot Pot. For couples, I recommend the smaller portion of this delicacy which combines the wonderful tastes of vegetables, prawns and chicken in a delightful broth.

Main courses consist of a range of prawn, fish, lamb, chicken, and vegetable dishes, capped by Fa Yian house special in each category. Portions are ample and should be shared by diners to allow a richer sampling of the savory menu. Rice and noodle dishes are plentiful. All food is prepared fresh daily. Lunch specials, vegetarian and non-vegetarian, are a bargain at Rs.100 and perfect for the hurried executive. Monosodium glutamate (or ajinomoto) haters should advise the waiter beforehand.

Opened barely a year ago, Fa Yian is the brainchild of Anu Bakshi and Francis Kuok, her Chinese partner. Using the skills honed from running a variety of take-out establishments, the owners cut down on the overuse of oil in Indian Chinese cooking and introduced low fat, steamed, wholesome specialities. They resisted the usual tendency to water down the Chinese menu by adding back-up Western or Indian dishes. As a result , in a city filled with mediocre Chinese restaurants. Fa Yian stands out by its high quality, tasty and authentic meals.

Placing their emphasis on customer satisfaction, one of the owners is always on site to ensure that the standards of cleanliness, food preparation, fresh ingredients and service are maintained.

Invariably a Chinese face will be found amoung the diners at Fa Yian-a clear indication that the objective has been achieved. To eliminate unnecessary confusion in dealing with the limited English of the Fa Yian waiters, tourists and non-Hindi speaking guests should feel free to request Anu/Francis? advice in recommending dishes and adjusting spices to cater to their preference.

In general, Fa Yian?s clientele is a mixture of Indian and foreign tourists. Many of them keep returning, bringing new guests to this little advertised and difficult to locate find.

 
   
     Copyright 2007, Fa Yian

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