The Great Wall – The Leela Mumbai

Normally when I travel to a foreign country, I indulge in the local cuisine, taking in as many new experiences and new tastes as I can. In previous Indian cities, I’ve never stepped into a chinese restaurant, always favouring local food over what would likely be chinese food that is not what we are used to back home.

However this trip was a little long and by the time I got to Mumbai I was craving a real simple fried rice that can be had for $3 at the neighbourhood coffee shop. As chance would have it, the hotel I was staying in had a chinese restaurant! A quick check on the internet turned up some favourable comments and I decided to pop by the restaurant to have a quick look before going for my meeting.

Standing outside the restaurant reading the menu, one of the service staff greeted me with a hearty but nonetheless heavily accented “Ni Hao”! That broke the ice and I began chatting with him about how I would like to stop by for a taste of home after my meeting. He asked where I was from and his eyes lit up upon hearing that it was Singapore. Their new chef had just joined the restaurant from Singapore. A chinese singaporean chef in Mumbai would be preparing my dinner!

After my meeting, my driver asked if he could drop me off for dinner or sightseeing. I replied “No, back to the hotel!”

Once I was seated in the restaurant, I quickly placed my order and sunk into the plush chairs. I had ordered Sweet and Sour Pork, and Yang Chow Fried Rice. Chef Danny really came through with perfectly singaporean chinese dishes, a rarity in India. Complete with cut green chilli!

To top it off, they had Tsingtao Beer available! Purrrrfect!

The only thing that took a little getting used to was being waited on hand and foot. Each time I finished the portion of rice on my plate, a waiter would come by to help me scoop out more from the serving bowl. Something I wasn’t used to indeed!

The next time I’m in Mumbai and craving some fried rice, I know where to go. Only catch is it is a little far from where most of the business is conducted. The Leela is a mere 10 minutes from Mumbai Airport. However, the main business districts are around 1 hour drive down south.

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