Remember the regal looking, very majestic Saffron? It was the place to be with your loved ones, for family dine outs and then later for those yummy Hyderabadi cuisines on the menu! Things got white-washed, the intricate wooden interiors are now all pristine white with white table tops, jharokas filtering sun light, shiny assembled crockery, a pair of chopsticks and everything in sight is white and stony! You are at the uber-oriental Red Emperor China Bistro.
Red Emperor Karachi is coveted as one of the best place for Chinese food. This is one place which is visited by desi lovers for its authentic taste in Hakka food and likely by foreigners who want to enjoy the sea breeze off the balconies at Red Emperor’s Bistro. The interiors will make you go gaga for sure they will not only put your mind in zone but will also entice your taste buds to eat more.
The sitting area outside is a pleasant spot to dine in summer evenings and wintery afternoons. With ample amount of plants, filtering sunlight and a fountain chiming nearby, this is the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy food. The ground floor is glass-pane surrounded vicinity which is brightly lit, unlike typical Chinese restaurant dim lights. The upper area boasts of a balcony sitting area which is an elusive spot and usually reserved in advance.
Red Emperor, famous for its authentic Hakka cuisine, cooked in ethnic Chinese way. Hakka cuisine originated from India – Hakka, a style of cooking Chinese cuisine in Indian style.
I went with a friend recently on a sunny winter afternoon. We were served Chinese style green tea and were handed over the menus. Red Emperor offers a five course meal which is broken down into, Starters, Soups, Salads, Main Course (Chicken, Beef, Prawn, Fish, Crab, Mutton & Vegetables, Noodles, Rice to choose from) & Deserts.
We started with soups – Creamy Coconut (Rs. 205 for a cup) and Vegetable Tofu Soup (Rs. 195 for a cup). Creamy coconut was a consistent dense soup with chicken chunks, veggies and a strong taste of garlic. The vegetable tofu soup was a clear soup with a healthy portion of green onions, mushrooms, cabbage and a lot of tofu, like I prefer it. Both the soups came in good serving, even though ordered single serving. For starters, we had stuffed chilies (Rs. 395), beef satay in peanut sauce (Rs. 785) and butterfly prawns (Rs. 640). The butterfly prawns were covered in soft crisp and light coatings which were served with a tangy-spicy sauce, I craved for more and they will definitely knock your socks off too. The stuffed chilies were filled with chicken pieces which reminded me of my mom’s homemade recipe of stuffed chilies. The beef satay stood out amongst all the appetizers and was rich in spices and serving with a tantalizing peanut dip.
For the main course, we ordered Mixed Fried Rice (Rs. 480), Sichuan Beef (Rs. 675), Sticky Fish (Rs. 600) and Fried Crabs (Rs. 855). The mixed fried rice came in a huge serving which could serve 3 to 5 people easily. The Sichuan Beef was a sizzling dish which is also one of their chef’s specialties and is a saucy recipe which has tender beef strips with veggies in a rich tomato puree, when combined with mixed fried rice, this was divine. The fried crabs were crunchy and spicy. The sticky fish was covered in a sticky chili paste and could easily serve 2 to 3 people. This is a must try if you are a fish lovers. Though there are other grilled and saucy varieties of fish on the menu, I would recommend this with rice as sidelines.
Per head cost for the 5 course meals goes to Rs. 1500-1800.
The ingredients used were fresh and the herbs oozed flavour and made the food not only tasty but a treat for our olfactory senses. Red Emperor China Bistro is a fine dining restaurant and located on the E street, in close vicinity to Café Koel and Xander’s, off 26th Street in Clifton. This is one place where you must take your family or book the balcony table for a candle light dinner with your special someone. Also, a smart way to visit is to get discount on reservations and delivery when you book through EatOye, also they are offering an exclusive 15% discount to all HBL card holders.