Like all good things, authentic Chinese restaurant is also a dying breed in Kolkata. Some place with minimal ambience and no-frills professional service- yet people flock there in groups just for the great food with honest price- Tung Nam is one such place.
“When do I go and how do I reach ? “
Say, you’re standing in front of Central Metro station at the Road towards Poddar court, Follow the road towards the Poddar Court. After around 5 minutes of walking (that road is a one-way for vehicles – coming towards Central avenue), you’ll fine a blue colored building on you left- that’s Kolkata Improvement Trust Building- adjacent to the Tiretty bazar BSNL bhawan. Tung-Nam is situated behind the BSNL building, accessible via the tiny adjacent lane.
This eating house if open from Wednesday- Monday (Tuesday closed) 1130-300 and 6-10 PM. And they are quite strict about the timing
“Well, the interior ….. “
Ahem, no such thing as an interior. You get a room (fairly big one) with wood tables and plastic chairs thrown around. You find an empty table, and try to make yourself comfortable- the menu card arrives along with water.
On table, as condiments, they serve the standard chilly-white vinegar, HOTTT red-chilly sauce and salty dark soy sauce and standard salt-peeper.
“Soup and starter”
Before you see through the menu-card, order a plate of Pork Yam Wanton with plain clear soup and wanton soup. The wanton here is extremely softy and literally melt-in-mouth type. The wanton dough is made out of flour and egg- and here lies the main difference of the same with Sui-Mai. The Sui-Mai wrapper is made with only flour and water and no egg. And Wanton can be steamed, fried or put in broth/ soup- whereas Sui-Mai can only be steamed.
You can choose the filling here from chicken/ Prawn or pork. Tastes heavenly and price only 90/- for 10 juicy, succulent pieces. It goes extremely well with the light clear soup (priced 10/- per bowl). Alternatively, one can have the wanton soup, where wantons are put in the light clear soup itself and served. Both are good.
In the starter section, next came the Chilly Garlic pork. This is a fried pork dish with fiery taste, but brilliantly balanced. Its a typically cantonese-styled dish with lots of green chilly stir fried with marinated, deep fried lean pork and nothing else matters.
After the bland-tasted Yam Wanton, this dish was a welcome taste and got us ready for the main course(s).
“The main course”
In the main course section, they got a huge variety of around 60 items. Mostly made for the non-veg crowd, they do make some brilliant tofu dishes along with other veg dishes- but the number is very few.
The first one was something called Pork Hamchoy Rice. Hemchoy is a salt-dried saag. Tung-Naam makes a gravy with it along with meat of your choice and pours it over the Rice/ Noodles. Its like a gravy noodles/ Rice with a strikingly different flavor- a meal in itself.
Along with it, for my friend, came the Mixed schezwan fried rice and mixed tossed Mei-Foon. Its the standard flavor with distinct taste of schezwan peeper- highly spicy (can be customized) and goes well with any side-dish. Please remember, these dishes can be shared among 2 and heavy for one single person. The Mei-Foon is rice noodles (a thin variety) tossed with chicken/ shrimp and pork and garnished with spring onion. this is lightly spiced and is refreshing. A kid-friendly dish.
Next were the 2 side dishes: first one was Fish with mushroom and bean curd (tofu). This is a mildly spiced dish with 8-10 chunks of boneless fish, some sliced button mushroom and 4-6 pieces of tofu cube. Wholesome, tasty and very much suitable for kids and less-spicy-liking-individuals. BTW, the fish used here is Bombay-Bekti.
The second one was Pork in Hamei Sauce. This one is pork (60% lean meat with a light fat layer) cooked in a strange gravy called Hamei sauce. This tastes like an Indianised-chinese sauce with flavors of light-mustard/ coriander etc with a strange oriental flavor. A must-have dish in Tung-Naam. But, sadly, they’ve cut down on the hotness quotient on public demand and made it more subtle type. Still, brilliant.
And the next 2 dishes were Prawn ball with Hamei Sauce and Chicken with vegetables. The prawn ball with Hamei sauce was very spicy and filling in nature. They serve 8 balls per portion which went extremely well with the mei-foon. The second one was bland in nature and that was the beauty. Chicken cooked in own broth with lots of veg (baby-corn, beans, carrot, broccoli and what not).
Well, the meal is over and we can hardly move. Those who know me personally, may very well understand that I, by no means, am a light eater- but this place always makes me feel like a glutton.
Overall verdict, an extremely pocket-friendly authentic Cantonese chinese eating house. If you do not care much about ambiance or are ready for a take-away, this is a must-visit.
Bon apetit !!!
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