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Celebrating a legacy



Chef Lo Ka Yan with some signature dishes at Tea House of August Moon in New Delhi's Taj Palace Hotel.

IS NOT That at times, you find it difficult to judge whether being hungry makes you appreciate the taste of the food more or otherwise? Often one feels that a hungry tummy can take anything but being not so hungry can give you some time to decide whether you honestly prefer another morsel of what's on the table. Or is it that you end up eating just because the food is so yummy? At Tea House of August Moon in Delhi's Taj Palace hotel, both these corollaries work just fine.

Continuing for about 22 years in the business of serving Chinese food to upmarket Delhiites, this restaurant overlooking the sprawling manicured hotel lawns, has seen many chefs walking in and out of its kitchen. And yet, there has been dozens of dishes that has not ambled out of its menu card due to popular demand.

Signature dishes

Be it Chef Tsering way back in 1982, Chef David in 1987, Chef William in 1997 or the present Chef Lo Ka Yan from the year 2000, there has always been something that is added to the corpus of food here and no omission.

"So, after these years of having such a listing, we have now sieved some of the signature dishes for our guests to savour in a separate listing for this August," Chef Lo says. Separated as starters, soups, vegetables, poultry, seafood, lamb, tenderloin and pork, rice and noodles and dessert, the card tells you which chef introduced what dish in which year. "There have been guests who despite additions in the menu, would ask for the same old dishes year after year.

We have kept a tab on those orders and they are now in the list of the signature dishes," he says. Adding to the legacy of the former chefs, Chef Lo has introduced excellent dishes to the guests like chilli chicken mountain, chicken taichin, jade tofu sopu, seafood bean curd soup, clay pot vegetables, Beijing duck, braised whole pomfret with chilli soya, tenderloin Cantonese style, Fu Jian fried rice, e Fu noodles and fried lychees besides some others.

"Though I try my hand in many styles of Chinese cooking, I specialise in Cantonese food," says the Hong Kong-born chef. Having worked in Switzerland, Beijing, Jakarta, Colombo, Hong Kong, besides a few years in Mumbai and Delhi, Chef Lo knows that all authentic Chinese dishes would find no takers beyond the Great Wall. "So, I have to work on them," he says. Back in Delhi after a month-long stay in China, he says he has brought with him many a recipe for Indian diners.

"I plan to include them in the menu by October this year," he informs.

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