8-14 February 2013 #642

Tian Rui

If you’re looking for genuine good Chinese food this restaurant is the best place to go
Someplace Else by Sulaiman Daud

Many restaurants across the Valley claim to offer ‘authentic’ Chinese food, along with local fare, and other continental dishes. But their selections are usually limited to generic fried rice and chow mein, which would be unrecognisable to a true connoisseur of Chinese cuisine. Fortunately for those seeking something a little more true to form, the Tian Rui Chinese Restaurant and Bar in Thapathali steps up to the plate.

The restaurant is spacious with private tables upstairs, perfect for family gatherings. The walls are also decorated in traditional red paper lanterns and posters displaying choice recommendations from the menu, which might make you even hungrier than before you stepped in.

It’s a good thing then that the service at Tian Rui is fast, polite, and efficient, with our food arriving in no time after we placed our orders. The waiters even helped me tuck in my napkin properly and were quick to spot an empty glass on the table, filling it up with free refills of piping hot jasmine tea, the perfect accompaniment to any Chinese meal.

The menu offers a range of starters, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. We decided to try a bit of both, ordering the golden fried mushroom (Rs 189) and the chef’s special spicy fish (Rs 329). The mushrooms were immensely satisfying, fried in tempura batter but lighter and easier on the stomach than a meat dish. The fish was served with garlic and two different kinds of chilies for flavour, and fried whole. Crispy and crunchy, we gobbled it up, head and all.

Of course no Chinese meal is complete without plain white rice (Rs 89). Like in Nepal, the phrase ‘have you eaten?’ in Chinese literally translates to ‘have you eaten rice?’ Served in generous portions, one plate is quite enough for two people.

For the mains we ordered the sweet and sour chicken (Rs 349) and the green vegetables with carrots and mushrooms (Rs 219). Although the chicken was drizzled with sweet sauce and served alongside chunks of capsicums and pineapple, it didn’t have the kick I was used to from this particular dish. The vegetable dish had a little more oyster sauce than necessary, but it went well with the rice and the rest of the meal.

There were more delicious sounding items on the menu, like the crispy fried duck (Rs 649) and the chili garlic prawns (Rs 729), but we were simply too full to eat another bite. If you’re looking for a good restaurant to celebrate the Lunar New Year this week or just to try some genuinely good Chinese food, Tian Rui is a safe bet.

How to get there: cross the Bagmati Bridge in Thapathali, and walk towards Institute of Engineering, Tian Rui is on your left-hand side next to Skoda showroom.