Adding to a long list of Chinese restaurants in the capital city, Xinhua Capital entered the market on February 15.
So what is it that Xinhua has to offer that other places don’t? Well, for starters it is in the heart of F-10, right off the F-10 Markaz, which is considered shopping central for many in the city. In an isolated location, the restaurant offers fine dinning with exclusivity. Of course, Chinese food is nothing new to Islamabad, starting with Dynasty at the Marriott that only caters to a certain class. Soon after the city saw places like Hang-Cheng in F-7 and then China Town in F-8 also gained popularity. Very recently there was a boom of dingy houses in F-7 an F-8 serving Chinese food — great food, shabby ambiance and no sign of being run by Chinese people. However, residents on the other side of F-9 park (F-10 sector) had to make an extra effort to come and enjoy a nice Chinese meal.
The interior of the building is very subtle. Deep red velvet and dusty gold seats in a dimly-lit setting is refreshing as opposed to an eye-pinching bright red colour usually found in Chinese restaurants. The two-story building comes with a bonus — a roof top. The covered roof with open sides gives it an airy and spacious feel. Xinhua seats approximately 122 people.
At the launch, sesame chicken and finger fish was served as hors d’oeuvres to the guests. The sesame chicken was slightly spicy but a good teaser for the taste buds. Xinhua offers a wide range of Chinese and Thai dishes. Starters range from Rs400 to Rs900 with a variety of chicken and fish snacks. Soups ranging from Rs400 to Rs 650 are also available. Other chicken and beef dishes start from Rs500 to Rs800 and Seafood ranges from Rs750 to Rs1,500.
The Kung Pao Chicken — which is not something new for Chinese food lovers — is made really well. With the perfect thickness of the gravy topped with the right amount of peanuts, this dish is a safe bet. The Garlic Prawns are delicious; batter fried prawns dipped in sauce with just the right amount of coating which doesn’t make the prawns soggy and leaves them crunchy. Chicken with Cashew and Green Chillies is a nice fusion of all tastes. The imported bell peppers from Thailand not only add colour to the dish but also add a unique taste. The Szechuan Chicken, which is batter fried chicken pieces with a strong taste of oyster sauce, is great when eaten with rice.
The service is good and the ambiance is comfortable. Its exclusive location and quick service is what it will bank on. With a prime location, good service and comfortable ambiance, Chinese food addicts will surely pick Xinhua Capital to satisfy their cravings.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2013.
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