Tag Archives: reasonable

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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Gunpowder (Hauz Khas village) 6.2/10

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One flight of stairs is fine. But four stories? You’ve got to be kidding me! The food better be worth it. These are are thoughts that would undoubtedly cross your mind on your way to Gunpowder. But more on the stairs later. Getting to the entrance itself is a bit of a problem. Hauz Khas village is a maze of tiny alleys and lanes that twist and turn all over the place and will, more often than not, lead you on a wild goose chase that’ll get you back to where you started. But here’s (hopefully) a helpful way to get to Gunpowder.

Start with the main entrance- leading to Naivedyam. Go past Naivedyam on your left and continue down the alley. You should pass a newish-looking Mediterranean place on your left and the lane curves to the left. Take the first right again and follow the curves of the lane. This should lead you down very close to the boundary wall between the village and the Hauz Khas lake. Follow the boundary wall until you see a sign for Gunpowder- its a fairly nondescript door, so keep a look out.  Then come the stairs. All eight flights, four stories of them- a tough climb for many. But purgatory is worth it. The balcony gives you a panoramic view of the Hauz Khas lake and the surrounding woods, which on a winter afternoon is a most pleasurable sight.

Onto the food then! Gunpowder has firmly established itself as a fantastic place to get Malabar/ Konkani/ Hyderabadi food and more. And the best part is- its not just vegetarian. For from it in fact. For starters we ordered the Buff Fry (buffalo), the Mutton Fry, the Aila Fry (mackerel) and the Koothu Parantha with chicken. The Buff Fry was an instant hit- except for the fact that it might come across as a little too spicy. The Koothu Parantha was bland in comparison, but just as awesome. What blew us away though, was the mackerel and the mutton fry. The mackerel was firm, smoky and came off the bone like butter. The mutton on the other hand was soft, succulent and easier on the spicy scale.

Between the five of us, four starters were enough to put a massive dent in our appetites- the portions are that huge. So it was onto a very small order of the mains- Chicken Gassala and the Iddukki Pork. The Gassala is refreshingly light, tangy and zesty- we just couldnt get enough of it. However, the flavours didnt seep into the chicken much- rendering it slightly insipid. On the other hand, the pork was unacceptable. Not marinated enough, overcooked, dry and fibrous. To top it off, the four out of the five that had the pork all have upset tummys today. Not recommended.

However, you can usually count on the backwater prawn or a malabar curry. Plus, given the portions and the overall quality of food, I’d say Gunpowder, minus the odd hiccup like the pork, is still a first choice at Hauz Khas Village.

Top Tips:

  • Get reservations. Seriously.
  • The climb up does work on your appetite.
  • Lunch on the balcony on a winter afternoon- few others beat that
  • If you get lost, dont check your gmaps. Ask.

Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 5
Ease of access 5
Service 6
Quality of food 8
Value for money 8
Would I go back there? Without a doubt- everytime
Meal for two Rs 1000 (without alcohol)
Serves alcohol Yes (just beer though)
Credit cards Accepted

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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

Ichiban (Pandara Road) 4.9/10

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An old haven for Oriental food seekers, usually late at night, Ichiban provides acceptable food, but is not likely to burn a hole in your pocket.

After a walkaround at Dill Haat, we headed over to Ichibaan on a cold December night mostly in search of soup to fend off the chill. While the restaurant is small- 20 guests at best, it does have a warm, cosy feeling to it. The soft lighting and the almost-hidden citronella oil dispenser does add to the ambience.

For starters we ordered the chilli potatoes and the crispy lamb. Since there were three of us, we figured to go with two starters at least. Both were acceptable, but I’d still prefer the honey cilli potatoes at Zen in CP. One must note here- the portions are HUGE. One plate of anything, whether it be soup, starters or the main course will easily provide for two people. We didn’t know that- ah well.

Onto the soup. Having ordered the Mie Bakso (an Indonesian soup with meatballs), the chicken hot ‘n sour and the seafood/seaweed soups, we were disappointed with all but the seafood soup. The Mie Bakso has this weird burnt flavor to it and the meatballs weren’t really cooked through. The chicken hot ‘n sour is acceptable at best, but no better than the ones you’d get in any roadside Chinese food stall or even at Majnu ka Tila. The high point really, was the seafood soup. Even though it had the seafood flavours- it had none of the pungency that one would usually associate with seafood (see my comment on the Miso soup at Sushi earlier). Perfect!

Ichiban serves a variety of Oriental cuisines, including sushi, much to the delight of fellow foodie Rukmini. So sushi it was for her. Also fellow foodie, chef par excellence and mother Sahana looked up and down the menu, searching for a Thai red curry with fish. It wasn’t there. Upon request, the chef did agree to make a fish red curry. Highly commendable, I say! I ordered a dry lamb.

I would have to say that the food is up to par. The Sushi did come with the dipping bowl, wasabi and ginger. The red curry was excellent and the fish cooked just right. The let down was the lamb- a little overcooked and therefore too stringy.

But, like I mentioned earlier, we didn’t know how large the portions were going to be and ended up over-ordering. The food just described would be enough for 5 people. We ended up packing most of it.

 

Top Tips:

  • The Pandara Road eateries are quite interesting. Do try out Gulati’s sometime
  • The service is woefully slow. From taking orders to serving.
  • Parking is an issue. Most weekend nights will have you hunting for parking space along the narrow bylane. These guys should get together and have a valet parking system

 

Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 6
Ease of access 3
Service 3
Quality of food 5
Value for money 7
Would I go back there? Sure, just not often though. Would probably head to Gulati’s instead
Meal for two Rs 1200 (without alcohol)
Serves alcohol No
Credit cards Accepted