The Lost Heaven: A Gastronomic Journey To Yunnan Via Keiba

Keiba, the Oriental restaurant in Mahalaxmi, is hosting a month-long 'Yunnan food festival' with authentic offerings from China's South West province

The Lost Heaven: A Gastronomic Journey To Yunnan Via Keiba

When we talk about Chinese food, we limit ourselves to the regular options and variants but little do we know that there are a number of sub-cuisines within the Chinese cuisine. Yunnan is China's sixth large province and is considered one of China's beautiful regions. With its mild climate and abundant rainfall, Yunnan is home to a large variety of plant and animal species, making the ingredients used in Yunnan cuisine very diverse. 

Keiba, the authentic oriental restaurant in Mahalaxmi, is hosting a month-long festival called 'The Lost Heaven', featuring authentic delicacies from the region of Yunnan. 

The area's biodiversity and the many cultures thriving on its land have come together to create a wide variety of different food traditions - a beautiful mix of many different styles of cooking and preparation styles.

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Many Yunnan preparations are quite spicy, and mushrooms are featured prominently. The cuisine of Yunnan is often compared to the cuisine of Southeast Asia as the province borders the region and many of the ethnic minorities or related cultural groups also have a presence in Southeast Asia and parts of Tibet and Burma.

After spending two weeks at the New east cuisine college in the outskirts of shanghai, Neeti Goel, the face behind Keiba learned about this ancient cuisine which is available only in some parts of China and decided to bring it to India and hence trained at the Chinese catering college for a programme and researched on ancient cooking techniques (in hollow bamboo barks and wrapping food in lotus leaf and steaming) and decided to introduce the Ancient Yunnanese cuisine at Keiba and called it the ‘Lost Heaven’ as this cuisine and it’s flavors are truly heavenly. The food is more in the spicier side and many dishes are cooked in Mala spices which are sourced from the Nantong province of China. 

While talking to Mumbai Live, Neeti Goel threw some light on the food festival:

The influence of food from Yunnan is inclusive of a lot of spices, and they use goat cheese a lot in their preparations. We have tried to bring the authentic food from there to Mumbai and we've used goat cheese in the Chilli Cheese Squid Gyoza. Also the Mala spices, which are widely used in that region, so we thought of bringing it to Mumbai and have our people taste some delicious Yunnanese cuisine at the Lost Heaven festival at Keiba

Chicken Dry Red Chilli

The Lost Heaven at Keiba has set a menu with appetisers like Chicken Dry Red Chilli, Rice Cake with Mixed Seafood, Chilli Cheese Squid Gyoza among others. My personal picks would be the Chilli Cheese Squid Gyoza and the Chicken Dry Red Chilli. The dry chillies used are so crisp and crunchy, along with goat cheese in the gyoza, it makes the dish a perfect combination of cream and spice.

Chilli Cheese Squid Gyoza

Other highlights from the menu are Mango Sushi, Chicken Hot Pot with Forbidden Rice, Radish Cake with Crispy Garlic, Rice Cake with Mixed Seafood and more to fulfill your Yunnanese hunger pangs.

They have the Mango Sticky Rice for dessert which is made with glutinous rice, fresh mango and coconut milk. Although this dessert is a traditional Thai preparation, it's quite popular and widely eaten in Southeast Asia and South Asia. 

Mango Sushi

The Yunnanese menu is available from June 5 – July 5, so if you want to try something different than the usual Chinese, the Yunnanese food festival 'The Lost Heaven' at Keiba is a must visit. 

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Location: Royal Western India Turf Club, Mahalakshmi, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400018

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