Of the countless Gobi Manchurians we've had in scores of places, we must say the worst came from the kitchen of Nanking
restaurant on Oak Tree Road in Iselin.
Yeeks, it was one of the vilest things that ever touched our lips. A pathetic caricature of one of the most popular Indian-Chinese food items.
Located in the crowded Parkway Plaza on Oak Tree Road in the heart of the Indian market in Iselin, Nanking serves mostly below average Indian Chinese food with a few exceptions.
Nanking is not a full service restaurant. You order at the counter, pay for the food and find a table. Wait for your token number to be called out and pick up the food at the counter.
Horrid Gobi Manuchurian
Although much of the food we tasted at Nanking turned out to be disappointing, what got our goat was the horrendous Gobi Manchurian.
Outrageously bad, Gobi Manchurian ($8.99) was an utter mess with overcooked cauliflower pieces floating in weak Manchurian sauce. A fixture at virtually every Indian-Chinese restaurant we've been to, Gobi Manchurian should not be difficult to master even for amateur Indian-Chinese chefs. It's like Roti for North Indian chefs or Idli for South Indian chefs.
But Nanking's kitchen failed at this elementary task.
Nanking - Bad Vegetable Chilli Garlic Noodles
Vegetable Chilli Garlic Noodles ($7.99) was another insufferably horrid item. If any garlic had been added to this noodles, it was only in the chef's imagination because we did not get even the faintest flavor of garlic. This was a clear case of mislabeling.
Awful Szechuan Vegetable Fried Rice
Our chef at Nanking turned out to be a serial offender and seemed to take perverse delight in heaping one insult after another upon us. The Szechuan Vegetable Fried Rice ($7.99) the chef sent our way was also apallingly bad. Surely, even New Jersey prisons must serve their inmates tastier food.
Our Szechuan Vegetable Fried Rice was a study in flamboyant perversity. With no sense of proportion in its various ingredients, Nanking's Szechuan Vegetable Fried Rice was a spicy disaster without any flavor or taste.
Nanking Iselin - Hakka Chilly Chicken
While not outstanding, Hakka Chilly Chicken (prepared with boneless chicken, fresh herbs and chillies) was tasty and provided badly needed relief from Nanking's lousy Gobi Manchurian, Vegetable Chilli Garlic Noodles and Szechuan Vegetable Fried Rice.
Our orders of Hakka Chilly Chicken ($9.99) and Gobi Manchurian came with plain white rice. The rice was overcooked and did not go well with either Chilly Chicken or Gobi Manchurian.
Ragada Patti, Chilli Paneer Dry
We had slightly better luck with appetizers than with our main course dishes. Both Veg Manchurian Dry ($4.99) and Ragada Patti ($4.99) did not disappoint. Ragada Patti was hot, spicy and tasty.
Chilli Paneer Dry ($4.99) - made from cubes of paneer with fresh chillies, onion and soy sauce - did not leave much of an impression.
Nanking Iselin - Strawberry Milkshake
We didn't try any sweets at Nanking but rounded off our meal with Mango Lassi ($3.99) and Strawberry Milkshake ($3.99).
While Strawberry Milkshake was so good that it left us hankering for more, our Mango Lassi had little flavor and was below par.
Although Nanking is a self-service restaurant, the staff at the Milk Shake/Lassi section of the counter seemed indifferent and had a bored attitude. We had to repeat our order of Milk Shake and Lassi to two different persons.
Besides Indian Chinese, Nanking also serves North Indian and some Thai food.
Nanking Iselin Rating - Not Worth a Visit
Given the mostly mediocre food that we got at Nanking restaurant on Oak Tree Road and the difficulty in finding parking on weekends at the Subzi Mandi Parkway Plaza, Nanking is not worth a visit. - © OakTreeRoad.us