My father is visiting from Saudia so I am staying at mom’s place these days. Whenever our family is together (which happens only once or twice a year as we all live in different cities now) we visit a Chinese restaurant in Gulshan-e-Iqbal (Chinese Inn) that has been there for as long as I can remember. We used to visit that place when we were in school since it was at walking distance from our previous home in Karachi. Although now it is not as close to our home but it still is a go to place whenever our family is together due to the single reason that my father hates driving long distances in Karachi so taking my mom (who loves Chinese) to Ginsoy or little China is out of the question. Coming to this year’s visit. The name of the restaurant has changed from Chinese Inn to Changsha Chinese Restaurant. But the quality of the food is the same although the items on the menu have increased considerably.
Since this is not a very famous place, I would start with the location. If you have seen the Gulshan Sunday Bazaar or the Metro Gulshan, you know which block of Gulshan I am talking about. Its block 11 and this restaurant is right behind the Gulshan Sunday Bazaar wall. You can get the exact location from their Facebook page as well:
Changsha Chinese Restaurant
The moment you open the restaurant door, the muted red lighting takes you into a different world altogether. Dim lights emanating from colored lamps on the ceiling cover everything in shadows and the waiters are immediately at your summons asking you for your table requirements. The low noise and the soft lights are perfect to get you into a relaxing mood for having Chinese. However, in terms of space, the place could do with bigger premises.
Unlike China Town which has greasy white plate, the cutlery here is pretty grease free. As far as Chinese restaurants are concerned, I don’t know why they all follow a code of all white cutlery. In this regard, Changsha is not behind either and has completely white cutlery along with heavy steel spoons. Cutlery cleared!
Their service is excellent. In fact the number of waiters is more than the number of tables since the place is quite small and the waiters guide you through the menu pretty well.
The Menu offers everything from soups to chop sueys, to chow mein to shashlik to manchurians, Changhsha Restaurant has it all and in many varieties. In fact, I am sure you will be confused which dish to order as all seem delicious and tempting. Previously, they used to serve duck as well which has been removed.
Like my last review of Kababjees, I will analyse what we ordered separately.
Chicken Mushroom Soup with Bamboo Shoots
The soup selection at Changsha is quite diverse. The soup could have been a little more watery but if you like your soups with less liquid and more chunks of solid then this soup is perfect, It was quite good with deliciously spiced mushrooms and herbs leaving a spicy tangy taste in my mouth. However my sister and I couldn’t find any bamboo shoots in the soup but since the taste was good, we decided to overlook the absence of bamboo shoots.
Egg fried rice
All egg fried rices in all the Chinese restaurants are the same and I love all of them or maybe it’s because of my universal love for rice. Whatever it is, the rice was perfect.
Chicken hot and sour (sizzling)
The gravy was pretty good. Nothing over the top but it was the right amount of hot and sizzling, ready to melt in your mouth with just the right flavors.
Beef Chop Suey
I saved the worst for the last. If there is one thing they should remove form their menu its Chop Suey. Let me describe it: Spaghettis half fried, half boiled along with lots of random vegetables, mixed in the usual Chinese gravy sauce. Changsha, that’s not how you make Chop Suey. Even the spaghetti wasn’t crispy enough. And the presentation was not appealing at all. It was like a mountain of spaghetti with salted vegetables perched on top.
I would say that the food is reasonably priced. Neither too cheap, nor too expensive. The price of each dish ranges from Rs. 500-Rs. 700 and the serving size of each dish is enough for two to three people.
If you live in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal area and find Ginsoy, Little China, Dynasty and all other fancy places too far from your place then Changsha is the perfect option for some desi style Chinese.
Featured image: Courtesy Changsha Chinese Restaurant Facebook Cover Photo
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