Friday, April 23, 2010
Anybody who has been to Ooty more than a couple of times will know about Shinkows and its food. And those that were in boarding school in Ooty have fond memories of eating in Shinkows during their outings. Shinkows is an institution in itself.
Although I have never been to China myself I feel its the closest thing you can get to real chinese food in this part of the country. Most of the food thats served in chinese restaurants are desi-chinese. Only the star hotels in big metros seem to serve authentic asian food in their specialised restaurants. A trip to Ooty is never complete for me without a meal in Shinkows.
Shinkows has been around in Ooty for over 30 years or so (may be longer, I am not so sure). Its been run by the same person all these years and most of the people who work there have been around for years. Service can be better and the place definitely has a lot of scope for improvement when it comes to cleanliness. The food there has been consistently good that a lot of people tend to overlook these setbacks. The menu is reasonably simple and straight-forward.
My favourites there are Young Chow Fried noodles, Chicken with pineapple and Chilly Beef. The Young Chow fried noodles is very similar to an American Chopsuey except the sauce on top is very mild (not sweet and sour) and is loaded with vegetables. The chicken with pineapples is again a very mild dish with loads of onions and pineapple in a mild sauce with chicken (which is not deep-fried). Most chicken dishes on the menu are very similar except for chilly chicken. They all come with a mild gravy, loads of onion and the vegetable the dish is named after.
The chilly beef is a deep-fried spicy dish. The other beef dishes are again similar to the chicken dishes, mild gravy with onion and the vegetable the dish is named after. The quality of beef is very good, always soft and cut very thin. The pork dishes are subject to availability and I have never had the chance to try any. Vegetarians will find limited options on the menu and may not be as satisfied as the meat-eaters.
Another aspect what I really like about the restaurant is the little vegetable plot they have in the same premises where they grow a few greens thats consumed in the restaurant itself. Its a really small area but I like the idea that they trying to grow whatever is possible for their own consumption.