Located at the Westgate food court, Haandi serves two menus: Black Bean and Udupi. The Black Bean menu features Chinese dishes, which, while not extensive, include a vegetarian section. The Udupi menu, on the other hand, features Indian classics.
Eager to have a taste of both worlds, our first course from the Udupi menu was the pau bhaji – a vegetable curry served with freshly chopped onions and a slice of lemon. Accompanying the curry were three fluffy buns. The curry was delicious: its seasoning was just right and left the perfect amount of heat in our mouths. For those who prefer more heat on their palates, Haandi offer the option to have some extra chilli and spice.
We used the buns as a sort of utensil with which to eat the vegetable curry: breaking them up into tiny pieces, and scooping the curry on top before finally adding the fresh onions. Our invention was made complete with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, giving an end result that was so sumptuous that we found ourselves wishing there were more buns!
Up next we sampled the dhosa, another classic Indian item on the Udupi menu. These are tasty crispy pancakes filled with a potato curry and served with daal, coconut chutney and tomato chutney on the side. We broke open the dhosa to reveal the fragrant potato curry. This dish was filling and flavourful especially when taken with the chutneys. We were glad that as first timers, we had chosen to try this out from the menu.
At this point, the combination of the fluffy buns, vegetable curry and stuffed dhosas had us full. However, there was yet enough room for one more dish, and so for our final entree we had a meal from the Black Bean menu, the part-eponymous Chicken in Black Bean Sauce. As it turned out, this was simply the cherry on top of everything and this Chinese classic easily won my heart over. The chicken chunks were tender and moist and the black bean sauce added a gentle smokiness to an already flavorful meal. This dish was accompanied by a side of rice which perfectly tempered the richness of the sauce bringing a perfect ending to a delightful evening.
By this time, it was almost 8pm and the food court busied up as throngs of people settled in for dinner. Not too far from us, a little child gleefully rode on one of the pony rides located at the edge of the food court, making this location great for singles wishing to indulge in a feast of flavors as well as those looking for dining options that can accommodate the entire family.