Greater Kailash’s prized Sichuan restaurant Hao Shi Nian Niann (stands for Here’s To A Good Life) with it’s all black interiors is one of the most elegant Chinese eateries in the vicinity and the man responsible for bringing to Delhi the authentic tastes of far east Asia is Chef Mike Li Wei. GourmetItUp had the privilege of talking to the great master chef himself and the tete a tete that ensued has been reproduced for our readers:
Chef Mike Li Wei of Hao Shi Nian Niann is excitable when we discuss Sichuan cuisine. He attaches a sensibility to his food and is a paragon of his kind. Hao Shi Nian Niann offers stellar dishes with effortless ease and it’s all because of him. The chef de cuisine isn’t the least bit nervous as he prepares to answer all my inquisitive questions.
What was the first dish you ever perfected as a chef?
“It wasn’t so much a dish. It was a special sauce. It’s extremely versatile and can be paired with any meat of your choice, chicken, fish, you name it. You actually have to taste it to know what i’m talking about.”
How much/How drastically do you have to change authentic Sichuan cuisine to meet the Indian palate?
“I think authentic Sichuan cuisine is still very oily and very spicy for the Indian palate so i tone down some of my dishes. The traditional favourites are still left untouched of course”
How was Hao Shi Nian Niann born?
“I was back home in Sichuan when i got a call from Jagjit and Kartar Singh telling me ‘Chef, we want to open a restaurant for you so you have to come back’. That was how Hao Shi Nian Niann was born.”
What was your most memorable dinner at Hao Shi Nian Niann?
“It was my birthday and my team got me a cake with my face on it (he laughs) It was extremely special.”
What do you cook for yourself when you’re at home?
“When at home, we cook a traditional spicy Sichuan pork dish that’s native to the province and is cooked by all families”
What is your favourite Indian dish?
“Oh, I have so many. There’s Black Dal, Tandoori Chicken with Butter Nan, Rogan Ghosh.”
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
“Hopefully taking Hao Shi Nian Nian to more cities and expanding but that really depends on the boss”
Can you share a star recipe with our readers?
“Here’s the recipe for my famous Double Cooked Pork:
PORK BELLY 1000 gm
SPRING ONION 100 gm
SALT 10 gm
GINGER GARLIC 40 gm
COOKING WINE 20 ml
CHICKEN POWDER 20 gm
CAPSICUM 60 gm
RED PEPPER 60 gm
WHITE PEPPER 4 gm
SESAME OIL 20 ml
VEGETABLE OIL 200 gm
CORNFLOWER 50 gm
ONION 100 gm
PI XIAN CHILLY PASTE 50 gm
TONG CHUAN BLACK BEAN 50 gm
HISION SAUCE 50 gm
BABY LEEKS 100 gm CABBAGE 100 gm
1) Blanch the Pork Belly till cooked.
2) Cut the pork belly into slices.
3) Cut all the vegetable into slices.
4) Heat oil in wok then add sliced pork belly and add hoisin sauce stir fryand put pixan chilly paste.
5) Add all the other vegetables and cook together till cooked.
6) Then add the seasonings.
7) And add the black beans at the end and then serve.”
Click Here To View Our GourmetItUp Experience at Hao Shi Nian Niann