Nothing excites me more than the sun setting on a Thursday evening, announcing the arrival of the much-awaited weekend. The weekend act got better as FACT’s Anushay Taimur Khan headed to City Centre Rotana’s Teatro for the Chanchai Table…

When I got to know that Chef Chanchai had a special dinner every Thursday night at Teatro, I knew there was no way that I was going to miss out on that. I knew that the chef was going to be giving his full attention on this dedicated night but, I was not expecting the three acts to take the gastronomical level of City Centre Rotana up this high.

Teatro is known for fusion cuisine and the minute I entered the restaurant, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire set up of dark red tones that were luminated by paintings and masks, reflecting the influence of Italy. Private tables were set up and then, there was our table with the perfect view, right in the corner of the restaurant. Old fashioned chandeliers hung low from the ceiling, reflecting the candle light every so often, making the entire setup alluring.

When we were seated at a table that seemed too big for two, I was a bit confused, until the first course was served; vegetable spring rolls, tempuras, edamame, glass noodles salad, and sushi maki of four different kinds. At moments like these, one is just lost because this is too much food for anyone – that is until you take in the first bite. Light, divine and something for every palate. I started with the crunchy maki and couldn’t stop after that. Even though glass noodles are not normally a favourite of mine, I kept adding the salad to the side because it complemented all the dishes in front of me at the moment.

With ‘Act Two’ came the main course and I was waiting to see what Asian cuisines the chef had made for us. I cannot seem to point a favourite since the crispy chilli beef struck such a harmonious tone with my palate, then the two different types of prawns gave me a completely different challenge till I finally settled for the good old chicken fried rice. I was told that there would be a variety but the serving, which is to be shared by two, kept this glorious deal going on for me. I didn’t feel like I was wasting too much food and was eating just the perfect amount because I wanted to do justice to this experience.

For the final act, I was told that there will be a mini big show. Now, I have tried all types of desserts around town where some dress up the entire table with dessert by making the most delicious mess, some bring in the nitrogen gas as the big ‘wow’ and some simply rely on outstanding taste – what could be left? Well, apparently, it was literally a mini big show. A huge bucket full of ice had assorted Asian fruits, coconut ice cream, lemongrass crème brulee and some crispy banana with salty caramel sauce. I sat there, for a good ten minutes, testing all these new fruits that I was served before I started on the luscious caramel sauce and banana.

The experience was sublime. A different concept in the market which gives other Asian restaurants a new bar to meet, this was one of the most favourite ways I could start off my weekend! ✤