Beautiful space at the luxe ITC Royal Gardenia, all done up in Rajasthani/Central Asian ethnic chic.Service was a bit hesitant initially, but got into gear as the evening wore on.
- the prawn kebab was absolutely fabulous, though a bit on the salty side. The crustacean was plump, juicy and ultra-fresh. The chicken kebab was well-marinated and tender to the bite;
- Dhal Bukhara, reputedly cooked over slow-burning coal fires for between 12-18 hours (depending on which wait-staff you talked to) was butterry-smooth. This went well with the:
- Warqi paratha, which was fluffy, crispy at the edges and butter-rich. Again, how many layers were in the bread depended upon which wait-staff one talked to - it ranged from 42 layers to 55 layers, butthey all sounded fabulous though mind-boggling. The taste & texture of the paratha was heavenly in any case.
- The entree: Gosht Dum Pukht Briyani was delicious - light, delicate and subtle in its flavors. The mutton, served bone in, was meltingly-tender and sent my taste-buds into raptures. Best ever, especially taken with the thick garlic-infused raita served on the side. "Dum" basically meant to "breath in" or "inhale", whilst "pukht" meant "to cook". The cooking-stlye here involved sealing the mutton and spice with the briyani rice air-tight in a cooking vessel using a dough-like paste before slow-cooking the whole concoction. The briyani rice will "inhale" all the delicious aromas and flavors from the meat & spices during the gentle cooking process.
My waiter expanded quite a bit of effort prying open the tightly-sealed briyani pot tableside, but when the dish was finally unveiled, it released a pleasant waft of deliciousness into the air. A must-not-miss here.
- The dessert was a total revelation - it was *the best* dessert I'd ever had in any Indian restaurant - Shaan-e-Aam: a chilled puree of Alfonso mango, enriched with fresh cream and served with little dumplings, with the addtion for shaved almond and pistachio for added a textural dimension. The gold leaf topping was a luxurious touch. Elegant, beautiful and a taste sensation.
Kudos to the veyr attentive, efficient wait-staff, ever-ready to proffer good recommendations - the fabulous dessert was definitely one of them.
Kebabs & Kurries
ITC Royal Gardenia
1, Residency Road
Tel: +91 22119898