In Paul’s den

October 7, 2010

While the country was glued to television sets as the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony unfurled itself like a rainbow flag, we escaped the ‘curfew’ Capital and fled to Noida for a quiet dinner.

Though i can’t exactly die for a Chinese meal, we hit the Oriental Octopus in Savoy Suites just because the name and the picture of a purple Paul with a black bulbous head painted on the restaurant’s signboard fascinated us to no end.

We started off, in a literally empty eatery painted purple with a contemporary decor nothing to write home about, with noodles fried in honey-chilli sauce. It’s complimentary, and an excellent time pass (the sticky threads tested my clumsiness, though) while you leaf through the menu card.

Oriental Octopus, Noida (

For starters, we took asparagus tempura and beer. I am not a succour for things deep fried, but the lily fingers served with wasabi, vinegared ginger and garlicky soya sauce felt like comfort food. One swig of the beer — Octopus is one of the few eateries to offer the premium Kingfisher Gold — and the disappointment of being greeted by a CLOSED board outside a spa in the afternoon melted away.

By the time we started debating on the main course, the restaurant began getting more footfalls. Because am painfully gawky handling noodles at a public place and fried rice reminds me of forgettable diners at some third-grade eateries in Calcutta when i didn’t have the money or the culinary discretion, i opted for Korean mixed grill.

Asparagus tempura (Aschaf/

My partner, who is willing to die a thousand times for a Chinese meal, chose fish cubes in celery flavoured oyster sauce with vegetable noodles, but ended up ordering a mixed grill, minus the prawn and chicken, thanks to my reasonless persistence.

Not that it bombed — the fish was nicely tempered with sesame seeds — so were the chicken and the prawn in my case, which, after a point of time, got a bit boring. We fell back on the black mushrooms and an assortment of boiled vegetables served with the grill to mitigate the boredom.

I won’t judge the five-spices chocolate mousse. Because by the time it was served, my palate had gone to rest after a heavy assault of everything — wasabi, honey-chilli, sesame and of course, a commendable quantity of beer. I had a tiny spoon of the mousse and it smelt of garam masala, which along with chocolate should not be bad. But that’s for another day.


7 Responses to “In Paul’s den”

  1. Sharmi said

    Yes, yes, yes, I did miss having noodles 😦 That’s why I was catching furtive glances of the neighbouring diners who had orders noodles 🙂 The mousse was really yummy. And yes, I’m going there next time and having noodles. And I think I’m going to have noodles in every Chinese eatery I go to for the rest of my life. Without that my Chinese meal will remain incomplete 🙂

  2. netdhaba said

    @Sharmi: Ha ha ha! We will surely have noodles the next time. And I’ve suddenly realised that i’ve never tried my hand in Chinese. Hmmm…
    Thanks for the comment 🙂

  3. Garam masala in chocolate mousse? did I get that right?

    • Sharmi said

      Yes Shilpi, I smelt garam masala. The powder was lightly sprinkled on the mousse. They fancily called it Singapore five spices. But they could not fool my nose 😉

  4. netdhaba said

    @Shilpi Bose: Worth a try, though you could tell them either to sprinkle more or less of the garam masala, according to your taste.
    Thanks for the comment 🙂

  5. Garam masala in chocolate mousse, well what next? maybe our Bengali panch phoron can take over. HA, HA.

  6. netdhaba said

    @ Shilpi Bose: Panch Phoron? Why not, Ma’am? That’s, in fact, a good idea 🙂

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