Ching is part of a trio of conjoined eateries in Seef Mall, including Popadom (no prizes for guessing) and pizzeria Mia Mia, which, along with a small cake shop, make up People’z Place.
It’s a bit of an odd concept, they’re in the main drag rather than the food courts and the décor is much more fine dining than mall munching with rich wall coverings, subdued lighting and the Popadom chairs, in an eye-popping pink, that I wanted to take home.
Ching also has a kind of separated section, in which you could be anywhere, but then you can walk out and carry on with your shopping.
Admittedly it was very quiet when we went but our servers were super-attentive, without being a pain in the proverbial, and also well informed and able to explain what was in each of the sauces we inquired about.
We started with golden friend prawns and sesame chicken and were very impressed to find the prawns already de-tailed so you could eat the whole juicy thing which, despite being deep friend, was not in the least little bit greasy.
I had expected the sesame chicken to be a chicken version of prawn toast so was surprised when it arrived to find thin pieces of actual white-meat chicken with a generous coating of sesame seeds. It was fine but next time I’ll check as I would’ve quite liked some toast.
We’d already been provided with a selection of dips, including warmed sweet chilli and sweet and sour, to go with the somewhat greasy prawn crackers, and these made the ideal accompaniment.
For mains my dining companion picked chicken Q, chunks of breast meat with piles of crunchy veggies and a pale sauce. I thought it was a bit bland but it was very much to the liking of my partner who reckoned there were delicate flavours I was obviously missing.
I chose beef with black bean sauce, which I’d been hankering after for some time. The sauce was rich and dark, without the overpowering tang of soy that is sometimes present, and the generous chunks of red, green and yellow pepper added crunch and textural interest.
To accompany we went with mixed fried rice, which was exactly as you would expect, and pan friend noodles with chicken which came as a bit of a surprise.
The noodles came smothered in yet more crispy vegetables and generous chunks of chicken, sufficient for another full meal!
Needless to say, we had no space for dessert and ended up with an overflowing doggy bag to take back to our very happy pets.
But with toffee banana and toffee lychee on the menu, next time I shall make sure to save some space.
The bill (for two) Sesame chicken BD2.5 Golden friend prawns BD3.5 Beef with black beans BD3.8 Chicken Q BD3.8 Mixed fried rice BD3.5 Pan fried noodles BD3.0 Coke x 2 BD1.6 Sprite x 2 BD1.6 Total (inc tax) BD26.795
Time Out Bahrain staffhttp://www.timeoutbahrain.com