Temptations - Indian Chinese on Castro, Mntn View
I've been long fascinated by the Indianized Chinese food after hearing Indian friends complain that Chinese food here is nothing like Chinese food in India. They bemoan the lack of the 'Chili' and 'Manchurian' dishes.
I had it once in NYC (takeout). It was tasty, but suffered the same greasiness problem common to takeout Chinse.
Anyway, I tried 'Temptations' in Mountain View. Had the Chili Chicken and really liked it, so I'm recommending it here. The menu is divided into Chinese and Indian. My dish was from the Chinese section. My companion had the seafood curry (I think it was) from the Indian menu. It was pretty standard. I had the ras malai for desert which was also OK (but unremarkable).
So, if I was returning (which I totally would), I would only order from the Chinese side of the menu. It's a tad pricey especially considering the Indian stuff is so unremarkable.
Does anyone know of a cheaper Indian Chinese place(?), I wonder.
Here's their website:
Sitara on Lawrence and Homestead has an Indian-Chinese Buffet on Friday nights. Pretty decent fare -- you should go early though (buffet starts at 6 p.m.) because by 8:30 the food starts disappearing, is cold and not very appetizing; service quality declines, too, by then.
I had hopes for Temptations, even with the high prices on the menu.
I ordered Singapore noodles, knowing that this dish is easily prepared but should show off both the place's ability to combine ingredients and their ability to balance.
What a disappointing dish: I might as well have been handed a plate with five piles on it: the noodles, the turmeric, the overcooked little chicken dice, the carrots, and the green onion. Then I could have poured over a large quantity of overheated vegetable oil to simulate Temptations's preparation, got up, and walked away.
I've found that "Singapore noodles" is ambiguous about whether it will be Singapore mee or rice sticks. The noodles in this case were an unremarkable wheat type, broken into pieces about the width of my hand. They were fully cooked, but not gummy.
I don't think this dish displayed any potential whatsoever, so I am unlikely to give Temptations a second visit.
I made the long road trip to Mountain View :-) - finally, to try this place out. A *reportedly* delicious hybrid form of food termed as Indian Chinese.
We ordered 3 items.
1. Chicken Hot and Sour Soup
2. Chicken Manchurian Gravy style
3. Veggie Hakka Noodles
Hot and Sour Soup - Very tangy, not too spicy, this concoction had finely chopped cabbage, shredded chicken, green onion, as well as an abundance of soy sauce and red chili sauce. What ticked me off a bit was the surplus of *blood red* food colouring. I don't know why there is an insurmountable need to add colour to food. I digress, though.
Chicken Manchurian - This dish was simply amazing. Pieces of Deep fried chicken with corn starch and chili sauce batter, in a sauce comprising of ginger, soy, green onion and white pepper. Yummy !
Hakka Noodles - Fresh egg noodles, with crunchy bell pepper, carrot and sliced white onion. Quite mediocre. Needed chili sauce to make this dish merely edible. IIRC, this dish was invented in Calcutta, India , by Chinese settlers in the early 1950's.
Drinks - DC had a Chocolatini - pretty decent, nothing to write home about, and I had my usual staple - scotch.
$43 with tax and tip.
I'd go again, but only if I happened to be in the area.
A lot of my Indian co-workers go to Spice Hut for the Indian-style Chinese and say it is pretty authentic. It is fast food, mostly in steam trays, although some things like dosas are made to order. For what it is, the food is pretty good.
594 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087