Read an article in ‘Mid Day’ on this newest entrant to the Bandra Kurla Complex resturant scene. Being a foodie, it is always great when new places open which can (not guaranteed though!) give you new food experiences.
Well, lunch time is the only time we get to try out all these new restaurants being the Corporate Slaves we are and hence decided to try this new place with a foodie friend. We had read that the menu celebrated the cuisine from Kabul to Chittagong. With focus nowadays being more on Continental and South east Asian food, something which celebrates food from different parts of India and neighbouring countries, was reason enough to get us excited. The specialities are from different places through which the Great Grand Trunk road runs. Well, that in itself intrigued us about the place.
The restaurant is located at Naman Centre, Bandra Kurla Complex with the entrance being an emarald green heavy wooden door. The guard greeted us with a smile and ushered us in. The restaurant was totally empty when we went. Nevertheless, because of the very same reason, the two of us got seated at a place meant for four. The decor is nice and the restaurant is well lighted with a bar. One look at the menu (print outs though!) and we realised that the menu was a foodie’s dream. It had food from West Bengal, UP, Bihar, Punjab, Delhi, Afganistan.
Since we were just the two of us, we decided on one soup, one appetizer, one main course and one desert. This time we did not order any drinks as both of us were having sore throats. We decided to pick up Chooza Persian Shorba (Chicken soup), mutton Galawati kababs, Haleem and Doodhwali jalebi for our first tryst with Taftoon.
We got a shock when the server told us that Haleem wasn’t available. Then he got confused and said that he will go and check with the kitchen. The guy disappeared after that. We were sitting for ten minutes like this when I lost my patience. On calling another server, he came and then confirmed that Haleem was not available. We felt really irritated and I told him that it is unusual for a new restaurant to have such a casual approach. The guy was really apologetic and said that he would make anything for us other than the haleem. His humbleness won us and we decided on having Mutton Shalgam in Rum along with Amritsari Laal Naan and the Saffron Taftooni Naan for main course.
In the meanwhile, we were served steaming kahwa (Kashmiri tea) in small cute looking cups.
After a while we were served with papads with nice and tangy green and red chutney.
The Chooza Persian Chorba (Chicken Shorba or soup) arrived, all hot and steaming, awakening what we call our ‘soup sense’. The Chorba had shredded chicken and a hint of coriander and ginger. It was served with a small taftoon, a kind of roti with made with milk and saffron and a small piece of lemon. A bit bland for our taste so we asked for some lemon and pepper. And believe me when I say, it was really yummy after that, all lemony and gingery and hot and chickeny(!).
After having this hearty soup, we told the server to get our galawati kabab. Well, all our grievances with service went down the drain after that. The kababs were soft, succulent and melt-in your mouth kind with a light fragrace of the masalas that would have gone in this labour of love.
We were now really looking forward to the main course. And we were definitely not disappointed. The mutton shalgam in rum was served in an earthen pot along with the Taftoon and Amritsari Laal Naan we had ordered. The mutton was soft and tender with just the right hint of spices and having it with shalgam or turnip as we know it was an unique experience. The naan was crispy and tasty and the taftoon was different experience, but nice.
Done with the food, and feeling totally full, we were still looking forward to the desert. The famous doodh wali jalebi of Kanpur was served with a cup of hot milk with saffron. However, here I must say that I was a bit disappointed with the quantity and instead of hot milk, had it been served with rabri, it would have tasted infinitely better.
Nevertheless, one cannot have it all. Bill payment was a smooth process and we were served with paan pethas as mouth freshners which we really loved. The restaurant is not levying service charge as of now. The bill set us back by INR 1500/- which we think was pretty reasonable. And did I say, that except for the initial ten-fifteen minutes, the service was good and attentive. Reason enough to go back again.
And yes, we really look forward to going there back again, not one but many times to have the amazing food which they serve. The menu has a lot of Bengali fish and prawn dishes and Bihari ones too and that means I, being a Bong by virtue of birth and a Bihari by virtue of marriage, get to try everything!