-By Salmoli Mukerji
Mughlai cuisine" is often times misinterpreted in the Calcutta perspective. Being the city that celebrates the deposed Nawab of Awadh, Wajid Ali Shah's legacy of the biryani with a potato as its pride; a new, posh south Calcutta "Mughlai" restaurant opened by 2 non-industry buddies automatically entices the palate of the contemporary diner.
A modest façade leads into a huge hall with uncluttered seating. The high ceilings, two gigantic wooden handcrafted mirrors and Calcutta cityscape watercolours enhance the aura of the interiors. Indian style seating with sink-in sofas along the walls, no frills table setting (knives only on request) make it an ordinary experience. Old fashioned cast iron and wooden tables come in a flexible combination of twos, fours, sixes and more. A smallish bar counter at the far end, now serves only a variety of mocktails on the cards, till they get a bar license.
As a diner, I belong to a segment which likes to explore lots of tastes rather than just one dish and this menu promises to live up to my expectations. Though it starts with the legendary Calcutta Biryanis, we go on to order the out of the ordinary in the menu. Our first choice of Mutton Kacchi Biryani single (Rs 160), Mutton Ghee kebab (Rs. 150), Pomfret Tandoori (Rs. 175) are all not there. Disappointed, as most of these dishes are either not available or not introduced yet we settle for the Malai Til Chicken kebab (Rs.160), Mutton Bara Kebabs 3 pieces (Rs. 175) and off the menu, but recommended Sarson Fish Kebab (Rs. 180), followed by Kabuli Naan (Rs. 60), Double Mutton Biryani (Rs. 230) and a tempting Brain Masala single (Rs. 150).
Plus and Minus
We get chatting with one of the owner-partners in the venture, courteous enough to ask after our meal. We discover that the food and service might not be the strength of the place as yet, but there is no dearth of intensions, enthusiasm or honesty from the management. A candid conversation leads us to the kitchen issues and training a set of new cooks, frankly reflecting on our overdone Chicken Malai kebabs and slightly under grilled Fish kebabs. The Mutton Barra on the other hand is just right, tender and moist. The double Biryani came with extra potato and eggs, and two pieces of mutton and is delightfully light and dry, summing up to no dalda and no overpowering keora essence. But, we've had better Brain Masala. We wrap up with a helping of a smooth Firni (Rs. 50). I will return in a few months for the taste of their specials - the Mutton Mussalam (Rs.7500) and Tengri Kebab (Rs.1500) - both on advance order.
Biryanis, Mutton Pasinda, Chicken Bharta, Vegetable Jhal Frezi."
Review posted more than 6 month ago
This was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. Went Ta’aam with few of my friends. It was my treat and we wanted to go some good and new place in the city. Ambiance was very simple and plain. Wooden tables with wall linked sofas and no proper table arrangements. Though the place was very simple, but there was some charm which was attracting us. We ordered Mutton Kacchi Biryani, Malai Til Chicken kebab, Kabuli Naan and Chicken Bharta. The food was average, but kebabs were soft and delicious. I liked visiting there, but they need to add some more spice to the biryani.
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