Everything about my dinner at Far East was a surprise, starting with its location. If you have only driven past Powai’s vertiginous skyline, take that right turn opposite the lake and explore Hiranandani Gardens. Walking beneath towering skyscrapers on these broad avenues is like being transported to Singapore. The Rodas Ecotel was another surprise. It’s set in a mall, but is an oasis of calm. The Far East restaurant, on the first floor, offers lovely vistas of this mini city, a smattering of Thai dishes, and real Chinese food that’s not Indi-Chinese. Straight up, they place four appetisers on your Lazy Susan.
I enjoyed the crisp pickled cabbage and the smoky onion khimchee, and not only because it was free. Everything on the assorted dimsum platter, filled with fried (or steamed) chicken, prawn and pork, was well cooked. The chicken satay came with two sauces. The honey and ginger-tossed pork ribs were wonderfully tender, the braised pak choy with black mushrooms and asparagus juicy. The big surprise was the unusual rice dishes. I tried rice with pinenuts, ginger and beansprouts—delicate, flavourful and very memorable.