Oriental cuisine has its own unique flavors and when you have it in the company of food lovers, it tastes all the more better as you dissect and explore the food on your plate. For that’s exactly what I did with charming Rohit Roy and his sweet wife Manasi Joshi Roy at the elite specialty restaurant Shanghai Club of ITC Grand Central, Parel. Huge Chinese porcelain vases and wooden cutouts on walls welcomed us into the restaurant for the passage of which is through ITC Grand Central’s brand restaurant Kebabs & Kurries and from their open grills the aromas of barbecued meats penetrated our olfactory nerves.


Very few men can carry off rust colored pants with a grey V-neck, full-sleeve shirt but the urbane Rohit did it effortlessly and Manasi was her usual pretty self in a hot pink long kurta over churidhars. As we place the order from the a la carte menu there were role reversals over veg and non-veg – the Bangla Babu whom I assumed to be a non-vegetarian surprised me with, “I have turned vegetarian for quite some time now.” Another revelation from presumably veggie Gujju lady, “I will go for non-veg.” And voila! She was open to seafood, meat and chicken. We happily placed the order as Chef Yang guided us with his expertise.

We started with Sautéed Sweet Water Chestnuts and baby corn with fresh chili in barbeque sauce and Chili Tossed Prawns with coriander & onions Guiyang style. Wonton soup was a clear one with shredded spinach dancing on it and as we sipped, I learnt how the couple loved to travel, try out new dishes and that Manasi was an adventure freak who enjoyed adventure sports but Rohit who is apprehensive about such activities, sometimes puts a brake on her escapades. No sibling rivalry between his elder brother Ronit Roy who is doing well on television as well as films. It was just some time ago that Rohit honestly admitted to being jobless and later he played a spirited role in Zee TV’s Hitler Didi. Their little daughter Kiara is the apple of their eye and as parents, Manasi is the stricter of the two.

Manasi loved the Steamed Basa fish fillet with black bean sauce in Hong Kong style and even teased Rohit by asking him if he was tempted to taste it. However, he resisted the impulse and went with his veg dishes. Ginger capsicum and burnt garlic fried rice had a perfect companion in the mildly spiced Traditional Sichuan stir fried four season beans while Home-style Noodles with vegetables combined with Mixed seasonal vegetables Shanghai-style which exuded a light soy and gingery tang.

Manasi found Chocolate Melt from the dessert menu very tempting but it read ‘Please give the chef 20 minutes to prepare’. As we were already running late, we unanimously settled for Almond Honey Tart – a rich almond and butterscotch tart served with vanilla ice cream. Rohit’s choice was Chocolate Mud Pie – a sinfully gooey caramel mud cake served with hot chocolate fudge and vanilla ice cream on the side.

The couple’s concern about ITC’s famous brand of Bukhara and Dum Pukht not being a part of Grand Central was put to rest by the Manager who revealed that some of the popular dishes from Bukhara and Dum Pukht have been incorporated in the menu at Kebabs & Kurries. Promising to check out the specialty restaurant sometime soon, the good-looking couple took our leave bringing to an end yet another wonderful experience of my eating out evening, at Shanghai Club!