As true-blue foodies, we are always on the lookout for really good, tasty grub. A friend of mine recommended Orient Grill. Tucked away in the residential nook of Abu Shagara (Sharjah), she said it may not be as fancy-schmancy as some of the places we dine at, but vouched that the restaurant does a great job with Indo-Chinese cuisine. I checked out Oriental Grill on Zomato, and saw the restaurant had an average rating of 4.1 out of 5, and decided to look it up.
Created and conceptualized by an ex-chef of Sharjah’s very popular Bamboo Chinese restaurant, Oriental Grill is a juxtaposition on many levels.
Firstly, Orient ‘Grill’ does not serve any grills. It is purely an Indianized menu of Chinese dishes. The restaurant itself is dimly lit in what I find to be a rather tacky neon shade of blue, and this only accentuates the grubby, claustaphobic feel of the ambience.
A Rajasthani figurine greets us at the entrance, and looks totally out of place in this Oriental wannabe, bar-like space.
We found ourselves a cushy corner, and I was rather amused when the mismatched glasses came to the table. It befits the confusion of the space perfectly.
Once I got over my initial qualms with the ambience, the menu got me rather excited. Oriental Grill has an extensive list of promising dishes, and the prices are really, really budget friendly.
While we were going through the menu, we were given a complimentary plate of what appeared to be a kimchi. It had the tangy hit of vinegar, but was doused with a whole heap of mayonnaise. An Oriental Grill take on Korean if you please!
And if that wasn’t enough, we were served with yet another plate of complimentary starters which included chicken wantons and a vegetarian version of Thai shrimp toast. These deep-fried, crunchy appetizers along with the wonderfully spicy chili dip whet our appetites for more.
When ordering Chinese on a cold winter’s night, it would be criminal not to order a bowl of soup. Hubby and I shared a bowl of Chicken Hot & Sour Soup. The soup was deliciously soulful. Thick with the goodness of finely chopped vegetables and beaten egg, the soup is laced with the characteristic boldness of soya sauce and also has a very generous portion of chicken added to the mix. At Oriental Grill, one soup can easily be shared between two hungry adults and a child.
We ordered a plate of Drums of Heaven, and just look at the generous quantity of drums we got for a mere AED 18!
The platter had 10 drums, and came with its own chili dip. The batter was crisp, well seasoned and deliciously spicy. The chili quotient mild on the palette, and my four year-old devoured this dish.
For our mains, we ordered Oriental Grill’s Beef Chili Gravy (spelt ‘Chilly’ on the menu!) and the Chicken Hakka Chowmein.
Once again, the portion sizes were astoundingly generous! The beef cost us AED 26, and the noodles AED 25, and together the meal can easily feed 4 fairly hungry adults.
The Beef Chili Gravy is deliciously spicy, a perfect nod to Indo-Chinese cuisine where the flavors of the East are heated up for Indian taste-buds. The beef itself is cut into fine slices, and is well marinated and succulently soft. The gravy is thick, flavourful and brimming with garlic goodness.
The Chicken Hakka Chowmein is loaded with stir-fried vegetables, and the noodles have a slight crispness that goes perfectly well with the shallow gravy it is served in. You could easily have this dish by itself, along with a few blobs of chili sauce to spice it up. It has vegetables, deliciously done noodles, and a good heap of chicken making it a perfect meal on its own.
The total bill for two adults and a child came to AED 88 (inclusive of water and soft drinks), and we had enough noodles left for takeaway!
If you are looking for deliciously good, budget-friendly Indo Chinese, Oriental Grill is a must-try. Ignore the bemused, mismatched ambience, and dig deep into their generous portions. Thankfully they have takeaways and home deliveries available too!