Devouring Chinese food on weekends is extremely common amongst Bengalis. They need to have either some satisfying Chinese meal or some Kolkata style biriyani to satiate their taste buds and they wait patiently the entire week for these weekend gastronomic getaways, either with Chinese or with Mughlai cuisine. At least I have many friends (who are very busy in their professional lives) who follow this weekend eating out pattern. Lately we found the eating out options have increased exponentially in Kolkata. Food scenes and food related awareness are rapidly changing in this city, but this old habit of eating some Chinese food once in a while is still there existing in most of our lives! I specially love the old school Chinese and the ones which are cooked home style! So, like me if you are also looking for a pocket friendly restaurant serving lip smacking, amazing home style Chinese dishes, then ‘Buddha Smile’ is surely the best available option. Few days back I was invited to this place for a food tasting session and I was simply mesmerized by the simplicity and flavors of each and every dish which was served.
The place is offering the best of the dishes and each of these dishes are loaded with lovely aroma, flavor, fresh ingredients and loads of honesty. The prices are pretty reasonable and the service is prompt and warm. The place has a no frill ambiance which is really neat, well lit and very homely. The glass walls on two sides allow loads of sunlight to come in, so that during the day that reflected and diffused natural light plays a key role in making the ambiance even more apt for a casual dining experience. The seating arrangement is done pretty nicely and there is optimum gap in between two tables, nearly 30 people can sit and dine at any time in this dining space. The restaurant is on the first floor and that lovely golden statue of Lord Buddha near the entrance somewhat gives that clichéd urban Kolkata Chinese restaurant look, which is of course nice and somewhat essential.
Now, let’s discuss about those lovely array of dishes which really impressed me.
Double pan Fried noodles – Really loved the presentation of this dish with all the freshly diced veggies beaming with opulence! It had nice and crispy fried noodles tossed with exotic veggies in a light brown sauce. The crunch of the veggies were delightful and the gravy was soothing. – 3.8/5
Seven jewel rice – I loved the appearance of this dish. It is a home style preparation where rice is tossed with seven types of veggies. Sadly it had a small stone in my morsel which I obviously didn’t appreciate (rice needs to be washed more carefully) but otherwise the rice was aromatic and the overall preparation was nicely done. – 2/5
Prawn with tofu – This was a lovely side which had loads of shrimps and fresh tofu chunks in it. It was then tossed with Hoisin sauce giving a spicy, mildly pungent and a sweet, tangy flavor. – 4.1/5
Roast Chilli Pork – The thinly sliced pork meat was roasted in a sauce flavored with five spices and tossed nicely with Chilli and dark soya sauce. Here the pork fat content was really less and I overall loved this preparation. – 4/5
Pork spare ribs – This was a gem of a dish. The Pork ribs were cooked in five spices and tossed with soya sauce. This was actually cooked over a long duration of time on slow flame. And finally it was tossed in a sweet and spicy chef’s special sauce and served with chopped spring onions on top. Just one word to explain this super soft pork meat – ‘heavenly’. – 4.4/5
Steamed chicken – Again I loved the simple yet attractive presentation of this dish. The gravy based side dish had sliced steamed chicken tossed with chopped garlic, scallion, and light soya sauce. This tasted really nice with some fried garlic on top. – 3.8/5
Bok choy shitake mushroom – First of all, I love both bok choy and shitake mushrooms, so this dish had the right ingredients to impress me. This was stir fried with freshly chopped garlic, loads of fresh veggies including bok choy, and then tossed nicely with light soya sauce. The dish was pretty light and soothing. – 4/5
This lovely lunch came to an end with a nice dessert having a scoop of vanilla icecream and Banana Toffee Fritters, since I am personally not a fan of banana toffee fritters I won’t be commenting much on that. Overall I loved this dining experience and would rate this place 7.9 out of 10 which is really good. For the residents of Netaji Nagar and Tollygunge this place is surely a must-visit which served really flavorful Chinese food prepared with loads of expertise, love and care. I hope that Buddha Smile keeps growing and spreading more branches across and even outside the city.