The monsoon season is almost here in Islamabad. While it does get humid in the day, the evenings are pleasant and breezy with heavy showers of rain appearing often. And every time it pours, one craves for nothing but good Chinese food. Thankfully, the capital city now has quite a few options for Pan Asian Cuisine.
One of them that fits the bill perfectly for a dinner on a beautiful night is Heng Chang. Located in Shakarparian amidst the greenery that offer stunning views of the hills, Heng Chang presents delicious Pan Asian Cuisine and an ambiance that is perfect for big parties and large dinners. While the rooftop offers gorgeous views and a great experience even before the food arrives, the indoor ambiance should be a little more themed for Pan Asian cuisine. Nonetheless, it is both spacious and great for large gatherings.
We started off our meal with soup; after all, one can’t enjoy a monsoon evening without it. We relied on the waiter’s recommendation and opted for the Heng Chang Special Soup – a tempting combination of prawns, chicken and black mushrooms. While apprehensive initially, the combination of prawns with chicken worked out quite well and definitely made for a unique taste. Among the seafood starter options, my friends and I opted for the plain and simple Fish Finger and Fried Wontons and both were appetizing. The Fish Finger was succulent, marinated tender fish covered in a light crispy coating while the Fried Wontons are fit for those with large appetite(s). The wontons were perfectly crispy, stuffed with delectable minced chicken.
One of my favorites at Heng Chang is the Chilli Chicken, which is essentially similar to other Chinese gravy chicken dishes but what sets it apart from others is a mix of special Chinese whole chilies.
While most Chinese restaurants do Beef Chilli Dry quite well, we tried to try some unique dishes on the menu. The Beef in Plum Sauce, a risky choice, proved to be a good decision. It was an interesting flavor with stir-fried beef in a tangy and sweet and sour plum sauce. They do chicken in plum sauce and fish in plum sauce as well for people who prefer either of the two.
For those who enjoy seafood and fish particularly, the lemon fish is very tender and cooked to perfection with a tangy taste of lemon that leaves one asking for more.
They serve a variety of different rice and noodles along with authentic tofu for those who enjoy it. Heng Chang also serves a Thai menu for those interested.
Among the desserts, the Brownie with Ice cream was nothing to write home about and I have definitely tried better, but the rather unique Honey Fried Banana with Ice cream was an intriguing dessert with light and flaky honey fried banana, which is warm and melts in your mouth.
The ice cream on top of it makes for a delicious combination that leaves both your taste buds and your heart really happy.
Like most other Pan Asian Cuisines, Heng Chang’s dessert menu is limited so your sweet tooth may have to compromise but I would highly recommend trying out this dessert.
The only downfall to Heng Chang is the little extra mile one has to go, but once your meal arrives, you realize it is worth your time. It makes you wish they were located in the center of the city for a quick bite of lunch but the space is great for birthdays, anniversary dinners and huge gatherings.