Tag Archives: mughlai

Colonel Kebabz (Gurgaon) 6/10

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I’d say the DLF Phase IV area in Gurgaon is a foodie’s paradise- especially when you’re looking for home delivery options. Comparatively however, eat out options are slightly limited. We had dined at Colonel Kebabz on Arjun Marg about a year back and thought it would be nice to go back there. Sadly, it seems that the quality has dropped somewhat. Don’t expect Karims or Al Jawahar levels of quality. While nothing comes close to these institutions in Old Delhi, it would be nice to have a couple of contenders in Gurgaon as well.

The simple décor and slightly cramped spaces all contribute towards a cozy family atmosphere. The lack of alcohol is actually a plus- that means you wont have loud and tipsy executives guffawing at the table next to you. But be warned, you WILL need to climb a flight of rather narrow stairs to get to the main dining area.

The menu is funny- in a good way. Apparently, the good Colonel has named the preparation categories after the places he’s been posted in during his career.

We started with the mutton burra kebab and the murg afghani. While I’m usually a big fan of the burra, I’d say stay away from this one. Stick to the tried and tested tandoori and afghani fare here. In the mains, try the chicken haldighati. It’s not bad, considering the inordinate amounts of ginger on top. My favourite there remains the roganjosh.

Top Tips:

  • Like I said, don’t expect the extraordinary
  • You will need to climb stairs
  • Reservations aren’t really necessary, even on a weekend
  • For dessert, there’s an outlet of Angels in my Kitchen on the other side of the market
Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 5
Ease of access 7
Service 6
Quality of food 5
Value for money 8
Would I go back there? I’d rather order home from Qureshi’s
Meal for two Rs 1000
Serves alcohol No
Credit cards Accepted, but ask if their machine is working

 

 


 

 

 

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Al Kauser (Outer Ring Road) 6/10

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The hunt for the kakori kebab led us from Khan Market (where Aap ki Khatir has apparently closed down) to New Friends Colony (where the nice man told us that Al Bake doesnt serve kakori kebabs) finally to this completely outdoor place on the Outer Ring Road (on the border of R.K. Puram) called Al-Kauser. Most motorists will remember this place for the cars that are usually lined up next to it- late into the night. Indeed, this is one of those places where you get to order-in from your car and get served there as well- just watch out for little Sunny on the backseat with the pudina chutney!

Al Kauser is more of a take-away joint, but now has tables on a raised platform between the shop and the road. Therefore, unless if you happen to enjoy diesel fumes and honking idiots as the cars, trucks and buses zip past, dont go there looking for a fantastic ambience. Do however, go there to look for some awesome Mughlai food.

Having dined there on a number of occasions in the past, we knew what to expect. The ubiquitous ‘chhotu’ bears down upon you- flinging a menu or two in the general direction of your table while at the same time serving the next one a full tray of biriyani. Do try the kakori here. And the Galauti. While the eatery does serve the regular assortment of kebabs- malai, tikka, tandoori and afghani- you’d probably be better off trying those elsewhere- like Al Jwahar perhaps. The kakori’s skin is slightly dry and firm to the touch while the inside is just how a kakori should be- smooth and homogeneous. The galauti is supposed to be softer than the kakori- however, perhaps an overenthusiastic chef had decided to keep them on the pan for a little too long.

Do try the biriyani there. They’ve recently started the ‘handi’ type- one where the biriyani is placed in an earthen pot, sealed with dough and then baked. Also, the korma is recommended.

Top Tips:

  • If you dont get parking in the service lane, park on the road itself. Dont worry about cops- they’ve probably been paid off.
  • These guys dont accept cards. Thankfully, there are a couple of ATMs next to the diner
  • These guys usually have a full house. And the waiters do sometimes forget your order. Patience!
  • If you need a cola or something- just go get it yourself.
Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 2
Ease of access 8
Service 6
Quality of food 8
Value for money 7
Would I go back there? Midnight fancy for meat? sure!
Meal for two Rs 500 (without alcohol)
Serves alcohol No
Credit cards No

Al Jawahar (Jama Masjid) 6/10

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Move over Karims, there’s a new kid on the block. And what a kid! Karims may have the branches in Noida and Nizamuddin and the history, but sacrilegious as it may sound,  Al Jawahar is miles ahead.

To add insult to what could be very injurious to Karims’ flow of clientele, its situated right next door. So its the same pushing through the crowded streets of Chandni Chowk, soaking in hundreds of years of history, until the deft rickshawallah brings you the little lane of gastronomic pleasures. One of the first restaurants on the left is Al Jawahar.

Their family room is on the third floor- after a series of confusing staircases. Thankfully its air-conditioned (the first two floors are not). The service is friendly and efficient. They might not ask your opinion as to whether your meal was satisfying, but they will come back to ask if you’d like another naan or roti.

We tried the mutton burra kebab- something that every self-respecting mughlai restaurant will have. Perfect. No other word for it. Wonderfully marinated, charcoal grilled, sticky and almost falling off the bone. Just what every mutton burra kebab aspires to be.  That was followed up by sheermal and the chicken jahangiri- standard items that you would find in every mughlai eatery. While the sheermal was a little on the dry side, the jahangiri was everything that the name makes it out to be- fit for a mughal emperor! I was expecting the gravy to be swathed in oil (which it was to some extent), but surprisingly less compared to other restaurants serving similar food. The lightness of the gravy probably contributed to the fact that the portions could be slightly larger. The firni was just as light and a good finish to a wonderful meal.

Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 4
Ease of access 2
Service 7
Quality of food 9
Value for money 9
Would I go back there? Certainly, although I might think twice about venturing into the Old City
Meal for two INR 600
Serves alcohol No
Credit cards Not accepted

Top Tips:

  • Getting there and getting out is a pain. Forget about taking your car- there’s no place to park and you wouldn’t want to wade through such traffic.
  • The easiest option is to take the Delhi Metro (Yellow Line- towards Jahangirpuri if you’re coming from south Delhi) and get off at Chawri Bazaar (and not Chandni Chowk). An open rickshaw will charge upto INR 20 to take you to Al Jawahar. Just say Jama Masjid or better- Karims. They know where to go.
  • The rickshaw ride can be bumpy- hang on tight!
  • Careful of your belongings. Those are fairly crowded streets.
  • Appreciate the Old City- take a walk down Chawri Bazaar or into the Jama Masjid and soak in hundreds of years of history.
  • I wouldn’t trust the drinking water- even if it comes to you in a ‘sealed’ bottle. Open a bottle of Coke instead.
  • Restrooms aren’t exactly acceptable, but when you gotta go… well, you gotta go.