-By Marryam H Reshii
A rarity: a bona fide North Indian restaurant with no irritating twists
At the rate cafes, bakeries, grills and Med lounges are opening, our own desi food is in danger of becoming obsolete. Not with the likes of Kasturi around though. It helps that it is in the homely confines of HUDA market.
Atmospherics: Unpretentious meets stylish in this first floor restaurant (the ground floor is a cafe). The murals on the walls are reminiscent of a Nawab's court and it is no surprise to find that the menu is largely Lucknow and generic North Indian.
Table Talk: Mutton galauti (Rs 550) are a good enough approximation of the real thing: there is a little too much spicing, true, but the full richness of the spicing and the butteriness of the forcemeat (it is too fine to be called mince) is a treat for the palate. Served on ulte tawe ke parathe it is quite a filling dish. The kakori kebabs (Rs 500) were not in the same league. Perhaps it was the spicing that was too watered down or perhaps it was the total absence of fat: every diner knows that kakori kebabs are not diet food, so to create a low-cal version is to miss the wood for the trees.
The nalli ki naheri (Rs 550) is the quintessential Lucknavi nihari (spellings on the menu go all over the place, as do the various descriptions: hand-picked spices, Indian spices, selective spices and secretly balanced spices) with a discernible thickness that comes from marrow bones being slow-cooked for the gravy. No short-cut however skilful can yield the same result, so it is the mark of a good restaurant where the trademark 'ek taar' consistency features.
Kacche gosht ki biryani (Rs 450) also displayed a degree of skill, having been made with lamb chunks and raw rice cooked together. However, perhaps owing to a trick in the marination, the rice and the meat had different spicing so it was rather like a puzzle for the palate! Palak soya (Rs 400) was a delightful dish, fragrant with dill, insofar as it was a far better choice than the usual suspects for the token vegetarian dish.
Plus and minus: Great, old-style service, unpretentious neighbourhood restaurant for the family and lots of parking at dinner time.
Do not miss: Nizami kofte (v), Bunn Gosht, Murg Mussallam
Review posted more than 6 month ago
Likes the atmosphere of the place, and yes, the food was also good. A typical Delhi ka khaana, with loads of spices and flavor. But, I was quite disappointed with the Biryani, as it was dry and didn't taste as good as shorba. The price was a bit high, but the overall experience was nice.
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