Have you ever been invited to a Chinese Home for a sumptuous meal? Well, most of us haven’t. So let me rephrase. Have you ever ‘dreamt ‘or ‘hoped’ or ‘desired’ to be invited to a Chinese Home for a sumptuous meal? Well, I have, like a billion times and Tak Heng just fulfilled my long time dream. I was inquisitive about what the name meant, and I found out that Tak Heng means ‘Good and Prosperous’ in Chinese; two adjectives befitting a home. With its homely décor, Chinese paintings, laughing Buddha, dangling lights with Chinese markings, loving & affectionate hosts and superbly delectable food, Tak Heng is like the quintessential Chinese Household. I was invited for a Food Bloggers Meet, along with a group of foodies to Tak Heng, for an evening of food tasting. Tak Heng is located in a by lane of Southern Avenue near Tagraj Hall. The owners Prithvish Chakravarti and Baishali Basu Chakravarti were the exemplary hosts; they made us feel so comfortable that for some time I had forgotten I was at a restaurant. The moment I entered I was warmly welcomed and we sat down with Baishali and Prithvish (who will set your relationship goals high) discussing food, saris, boutiques, décor, houses, engineering, business and lots, lots more. It was like they had welcomed us into their home and into their lives. Baishali is that quintessential mixture of a mother and friend figure, who will take joy in feeding you. And Prithvish is the serious man who knows all the culinary details. Their staff is also extremely friendly and eager to please; special mention of our server, Chiranjeet who assisted us during our entire food-a-thon.
Why you should Visit:
Just Wow Pan-Asian Food
Reasonable Prices with Great Portions
King Crab in Chili Oyster Sauce
Whole Bhetki in Mandarin Sauce
Lobster in Blackbean
Jumbo Prawn in Huamei Sauce
Mixed Meifoon Noodles
Sankaya with Ice-Cream
We started with the oriental mango salad; it had six soup spoons each filled up to the brim with a salad concoction. With lots of bright colors -yellow, green, red, black, this salad looked really enticing even from afar. The trick was to take one entire soup spoon into your mouth at one time. And once the entire thing was in my mouth, there were so many flavors all coming together to make it an exceptional dish. Talk about starting with a Bang! The primary contents were mango, mini-tomatoes, broccoli, coriander leaves; and came with some barbeque sauce dressing.
This salad was all the vegetarian food that we could take, so we moved on to the next starter- Taipie Chicken. It was fired chicken tossed in a sauce, with spring onion, chilies, and white sesame seeds as dressing. It came with some deep fried meifoon noodles. If I say it was delicious, it would be understating, it was ‘give me more and lots, lots more, and I still want more’ kind of delicious.
Along with the starters, fresh lime soda (sweet and salted) was served. As I was taking a sip of my fresh lime and enjoying its fizzy-ness, I saw a GIGANTIC looking crab being placed on the table. When I say GIGANTIC, I mean if it was alive, I would have run for my life. This dish was called King Crab in Chili Oyster Sauce. The presentation itself was great; I kept staring at it for a while, just to grasp its enormity. I left my fork and spoon (and along with that any remnants of restaurant etiquettes) and started off with my right hand first and then after a while with both my hands. Oh, you have to eat it to believe it! It was WOW, just plain WOW. It was spicy, it was hot, and it was beyond delectable. With all the adjectives in the world, I still wouldn’t be able to explain how amazing it tasted. If you are reading my review now, just stop, go, eat, come back and read the rest of it. 😛
I was the last one to finish off with the crab, since I had the greatest portion of it. With oyster sauce smeared all around my mouth, I demolished the last bit of the crab and moved on to the Golden Fried Prawns. This dish somehow looked very serene, especially after the king crab. With mildly fried mid-sized prawns (6 pieces) and thai sauce; this dish won my heart. The prawns were well marinated, the coating was just appropriate (not too thin, not too thick), the thai sauce just enhanced its tasted. It tasted very delicious.
Then another killer dish – Lobster in Blackbean Sauce arrived. Oh! What a presentation! The entire lobster was minced and cooked in blackbean sauce. It had pineapple (I love food cooked with pineapple), onion, tomatoes, bell pepper, and lots more veggies and was garnished with spring onion. OMG! It tasted heavenly! I cannot begin to explain how delicious this dish was. Everything blended so well with the sauce, the entire concoction was just mind blowing! I simply fell in love with the dish and its yummy flavors.
While still savoring the delicious flavors of the Lobster, Jumbo Prawn in Huamei Sauce arrived. Huamei Sauce had an intriguing name, to satiate my inquisitiveness, I enquired, and I was told that it’s primarily made of Chinese prunes, garlic and shrimps. How fascinating! The gigantic size of the prawn & its delectable sauce left me wanting more and more. By this time, I had regained a few of my table manners and had gotten back to using fork and spoon. But the Jumbo Prawn didn’t let me. I started off with head of the prawn using both my hands, and then moved on to a piece of it, and WOWWWW, it was so, so, so palatable. The Huamei sauce tasted incredible. I was left licking my fingers.
While I was still awestruck by the size of the crab, lobster, and jumbo prawn; Whole Bhetki(fish) in Mandarin Sauce arrived. You should have looked at the size of the Bhetki to believe it. This mammoth sized Bhetki was perfectly cooked in mandarin sauce, some veggies and shredded chicken. The fish was so well cooked that we could easily cut it into smaller pieces. This dish was simply ROYAL!! I’m a die-hard fish lover, and this was definitely one of the best preparations I have had in recent times.
Prawn Singapore Rice arrived soon after. It had a beautiful presentation, and I got engrossed in clicking pictures. It was yellow colored rice with lots of prawn, and veggies. This tasted yummy. Singapore rice comes in three versions (Prawn, Chicken and Veggies). Mixed Meinfoon Noodles (with Pork) arrived. Do not think I’m exaggerating, but this is the best noodles I have had in a long, long time. This had lots of pork, egg, chicken, bell pepper and other veggies. It was so simple, yet so, so delicious. I loved the noodles.
Here I must take this opportunity to mention that kudos to Prithvish for choosing such a wide range of dishes; each of which had very distinctive taste. This really helped me to understand the wide variety that Tak Heng has to offer.
We had Chicken in Szechwan Sauce and Pork in Garlic Sauce with the rice and noodles. The chicken dish tasted very palatable and I love veggies in my chicken preparations. The dish had carrot, broccoli, bell pepper, baby corn, mushroom and lots more. I simply loved it. The pork in garlic pepper sauce was good; I found the pork to be slightly stiff. But the garlic, pepper sauce, was just mind blowing.
Then the Pan Fried Noodles arrived. Oh, what a taste!!! So, so subtle; yet so, so delicious. It had lots of chicken, prawn, baby corn, cucumber, chinese cabbage, carrot, broccoli, mushroom, spring onion, pak choy, ham choy, bell pepper. It tasted so fresh! With the first mouthful, I was completely enamored of this dish.
Then pork momo, and chicken momo arrived. Both were yummilicious. The momos were soft and moist. The outer coating was thin and the inner chicken/pork was well cooked. I especially found the pork momo to be delicious; well more so I’m slightly pork biased.
We ended our food-a-thon at last with, Sankaya with Ice Cream and Toffee’d Lychees with Ice Cream. And what a way to end! The desserts were just fascinating. Sankaya is Thai Pumpkin Custard made from jiggery, pumpkin, coconut milk and duck eggs. I have never had something like this and with the first mouthful (Sankaya & Ice-cream combined) I was transported to another world. The best part was that I wasn’t too sweet. The toffee’d lychees with ice-cream was another hit on the table. The toffee’d lychees combined with the vanilla ice cream simply engulfed me in its taste.
Everything about Tak Heng is homely, cozy, and friendly. I thank Prithvish and Baishali for inviting me. And with Team Tak Heng all the very best for the future!