Where: Flower Drum
Address: 2/1, 4th Floor, Near Adyar signal Junction, Above ICICI Bank, Adyar, Chennai.
Other Outlet: Egmore
Cuisine: Chinese, Thai
Chinese and vegetarian never really come together. Though the cuisine presents some impeccable vegetarian dishes, you are drawn towards the meat looking at their style and perfection in cooking the meat. I believe Chinese and Thai are two cuisines that make the complete use of vegetables in their food. Even though restaurants promise to take utmost care while cooking a vegetarian and non-vegetarian dish separately, I do not buy that promise. So it’s ideal to have a vegetarian exclusive restaurant for each cuisine; and when you start about Chinese and vegetarian, all I think off is Flower Drum. After pleasing the palate of vegetarians for years in their Egmore outlet, they have opened their second outlet at Adyar.
As we grabbed a table for lunch here, we finalised the soup and starters based on our friend’s recommendation who is a regular to Flower Drum. The rich broth that spreads intense flavour to your palate and the pillowy dumplings is refreshing and flavourful. A full bowl of Cantonese Wonton Soup can easily serve 4-6 people.
Within minutes you shall see an empty plate because their Corn Cornet is easily the best dish they serve. The crispy fried American corn sautéed with bell pepper and seasoning bursts in your mouth with bold flavours. Just order this one if you are at Flower Drum. Next to arrive was the Veg Platter, which consists of Corn Fritters, Chinese Fried Veg, Fried Wonton, Thai Fried Cauliflower, Net Cottage Cheese and Thai Fried Baby Corn.
It’s hard to hate the fried delights; and the infusion of Indian flavours in crispy corn fritters, vegetables, cauliflower and baby corn excites you. The batter used for the fritters and fried vegetables resembled besan flour (i.e. bajji) mix. I’m not a fan of Wonton so the fried version and cottage cheese didn’t impress me.
When it was time for Main Course, the choice was left to the chef after we briefed our food preferences. The table got filled with food and my eyes got hold of Tofu and Cashew Nut, Phad Thai Noodles and Vegetable Thai Yellow Curry. My all-time favourite in Thai cuisine is their Thai Curry and that was a complete let-down. The raw flavour of the turmeric took control and I could neither sense the coconut milk’s essence or any other flavour like lemon grass or galangal, etc.
Though the taste of basil was evident, the ribbon noodles sautéed with vegetables lacked seasoning and strong flavours that I would prefer in Phad Thai Noodles. But there was a rich and delicious Tofu and Cashew Nut dish which complimented the noodles well. The moist piece of tofu and crunchy cashew nut and vegetables in the rich cashew based sauce was creamy and subtle in taste. And this place has got their tofu right.
When you look back at the taste, there were hits and misses. A few delicious dishes would never let you forget the dishes that didn’t excel. So when it comes to Main Course they must fix the issues with taste.
Breaking Down Points
Ambience: The dining arrangement and lighting is done well. The detailing in décor deserves applause.
Food Variety: A vegetarian friendly place. Their speciality is Indo-Chinese but they do have authentic Chinese food in the menu.
Taste: Though the soup, starter and dessert were a hit, the main course failed to make any impression.
Quality & Quantity: The portion is humongous so order wisely. The bold flavours don’t come through in taste; though the ingredients quality is good that doesn’t speak in taste.
Price: A meal for two would cost Rs. 1200 INR approx. But considering the portion size, you will benefit the most if you are a bigger crowd.
So my Verdict!
Flower Drum, a Vegetarians destination for Chinese food. If they could work on the taste then they shall not have anything to worry about. Pleased with the service, quantity, variety and pricing. The starters and soups are killer.
P.S. On-the-house invite for tasting session. Remember, no two person's palate can be same.
Vegetarian & Chinese comes together - Flower Drum, Adyar Chennai Reviewed by Divya Srinivasan on 18:50 Rating: