A new addition to the Baner-Balewadi High Street apart from Arthur's Theme and PlayBoy Beer Garden is the Gong. The name, 'Gong' itself is quite interesting as the Gong is the musical percussion instrument and the sacred Chinese gongs are inscribed with the Mandarin characters called Tai Loi, which means, 'Happiness has arrived' and yes, people like me loving Asian cuisines have one more fantastic place to try. Gong has taken the modern Asian cuisine to the another level.
Ambiance: Might look like any other restaurant from the outside, but as soon as you enter, the upbeat interiors will surely win your heart. Majestic it is! The geometrical wooden hollow cubes, yellow lamps, bar right in front at the entrance, screens, transparent wall are some of the highlights. The tables are decked up and beautifully arranged with Asian inspired cutlery.
Food: The menu is well planned and features a progressive mix of Sushi, Asian Tapas, Stir Fries and Curries. Prices are kept moderate with portion size sufficing an individual. The perfect balance of the ingredients and the textures makes Gong an epitome of innovation. Here are my recommendations in a nut shell...
- Amuse Bouche
- Asparagus Tempura Sushi Roll
- Asian Cottage Cheese Ravioli
- Mushroom Cappuccino Soup
- Crispy Lotus Stem
- Edamame and Truffle Rice
- Khou Suey
- Thai Curry
- Chocolate Bomb
I started my lunch meal with the most scrumptious and refreshing Amuse Bouche – the apple and mint sphere with basil crumble and chilled tofu. The name is fancy and so was the sphere. It just popped in our mouths and Woah! A burst of apple and mint flavours. Totally and Highly Recommended! It's complimentary offcourse. :)
Sushi was on the menu and I had to try my favourite Asparagus Tempura (Rs.345 for 4 pcs.) and Chef recommended Cream Cheese Avocado Sushi Roll. Asparagus, Avocado, Chef's special sauce rolled and garnished with tempura flakes which give it a very crunchy texture. I love this. Highly Recommended!
While the Cream Cheese Avocado Sushi Roll had the freshness of cucumber, avocado, cream, and mayo. A nice option for vegetarians and a perfect summer sushi. Not everyone like Sushi as one need to develop a palate for it. But once you have that taste, I am sure, you would want to have more of it. This too is one of my favourite rolls.
You can also try the Sushi platter (12 pcs, Rs. 975 for veg) which is quite a value for money. Also, the progressive sushi is something, I would love to try. A unique concept of presenting sushi in the form of doughnuts, sushirrito or carbon sushi. Fun! Isn't it?
The Asian Cottage Cheese Ravioli (Rs.295) served in the margarita glass was a flavour bomb. Cottage cheese filled ravioli into thick coconut milk gravy was one of the best dishes I had for my lunch meal that day. The rich, creamy, curry with a strong aroma and flavour of coconut was the highlight for me. A perfect fusion for me! Highly Recommended!
With the rains outside, we decided to try the piping hot Mushroom Cappuccino soup (Rs.255). Served in a cup was the thick and delish mushroom soup topped with cappuccino froth and on the side was the small bowl of finely chopped and sauteed mushrooms. I totally loved it though the froth was yum it did not have the cappuccino flavour. Over in all, a fantastic dish.
Next on the table was the Edamame and Truffle Dumplings (Rs.325). I am not a big fan of dumplings, though. These overly stuffed dumplings had the filling of Edamame paste and drizzled with truffle oil. The flavour of truffle was very pleasant but the Edamame paste made a lump in the mouth and was bit difficult to gulp. However, it paired well with the dips served.
From the Small Plates, we tried the most popular Crispy Lotus Stem (Rs.325). A very healthy yet scrumptious dish. The stem is crispy fried and sauteed with the honey, black pepper crumbles and curry leaves. It was spicy, sweet yet crunchy. So addictive and delicious. Highly Recommended!
Enjoying the ambience, we did not realise we were too stuffed to try anything but since I am a huge Thai Curry fan, I had to try the Red Thai curry paired with the Edamame and Truffle Fried Rice (Rs.375). One can also go for Pad Thai Noodles or Burnt Garlic Fried Rice. Thai Curry was exceptionally well and so was the flavourful Edamame Rice. Recommended!
Served next from the Large Plate was the Khao Suey (Rs.415) bursting with the authentic Burmese flavours. The one pot meal had noodles and veggies cooked in the coconut and served with accompaniments like fried onions, crushed peanuts, and red chilli. I would say it a bowl of happiness. Recommended!
Time for the desserts. Went with the two most favourites of the masses...
- Chocolate Dome (5/5)
- Forest by Night
Forest by Night on the other hand was the art! Dark Chocolate Tree Log filled with icecream, decorated with Chocolate Soil, along with Raspberry coulis and gel and mint for the freshness. But was too full to try this. Actually looked appealing. Will try in my next visit.