In a nutshell:
YUMMRAJ was bowled over by the simplicity and genuineness of YUMM food at this spartan, neat & clean restaurant situated in a very unlikely place. A hidden gem of Gurgaon.
Address & other details: Maach Bhaat
Meal for 2: Rs. 500 onwards
Cuisine type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
Heard about Maachh Bhaat in Gurgaon from fellow foodies and decided to give it a try. For the uninitiated, Maachh means fish & bhaat means rice – essentially fish & rice. Most people I have talked about regarding this place mistook it for a Bengali eatery but it actually serves Odia cuisine. While there is a lot of commonality of ingredients of food in these two neighbouring states, there r subtle and at times major differences in cooking styles.
The restaurant is located between the two gates of Maruti factory (opposite footpath) on Old Jaipur Road, Gurgaon. Pretty easy to spot while driving thru that road.
It has a simple large dining room with comfortable basic cane furniture. A section of the wall is painted with traditional tribal painting. A few pieces of traditional wooden furniture & traditional Odisha handicrafts cud b seen all around the Dining Hall.
The kitchen was at the back of the Dining Hall & cud b seen partially from where we were sitting – seemed pretty neat & clean.
While they had a printed menu card, there were 2 white board hand written menu cards hanging from the wall. We chose our entire order from there itself.
The food was being served in steel utensils. The staff were very very polite & ensured that we were comfortable thruout the stay.
Loved the food. It was almost like home cooked. It was just too good. The cabeat though is that Odisha food is not ‘on the face’ like Mughlai & Punjabi food. It is a lot subtle. So people used to just strong tastes might not like this much. For people who love fish, crabs etc, this is a super place. Quite a lot of options for vegetarians as well. Loved the meat dish that we had here.
Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:
We started our lunch with Dolma – An Odia Daal preparation. Thick daal with veggies in it. We have surely had much better dolma at Dalma. The basic balance of the dish (sweet/salt/sour/hot) was not right at Maachh Bhaat. I am unable to pin point whether it is a recipe issue or a pure executional issue. I rate it 2/5. Fortunately this was the only average dish that we had in that whole afternoon.
We ordered Chuna Maach bhaja as snack & that came out to b outstanding. Chuna maach refers to small fish of a particular kind that is approx. 1-2 inches in size. Since it is so small, it is not possible to separate bones from the flesh & hence it is eaten as a whole as it is. Here it was deep fried very very crisp with green chilly & browned (fried) onions & served garnished with red chilly powder. The texture of the fish, chilly & onions was a killer and so was the taste. I rate it a whopping 4.5/5. Loved how they transformed a humble fish fry to something as good.
We then moved on to Chinguri charchari. It was a dry preparation with small prawns. Once again, it was very good in terms of taste. Very good home-made style dry masala prawns – not overtly masaledaar, not less. Just perfect. I rate this 4.25/5.
Next dish we had was Fish bharta. Oh marvellous. I have never had anything like this. Raw onions, chilly, mashed bhetki fish, raw mustard oil – that’s it. Just the right proportion of everything. Pungency of the raw mustard was hitting us. The fish was perfect in texture & seasoning. Loved it & rate it 4.5/5.
We then ordered Maach thukuthuka. It was a mixed veggie curry with chuna fish (small fish described above). This was an almost impossible to believe dish from a commercial establishment. It was so simple, so non aggressive, so understated & so home-made. Very subtle. Liked it very much & rate it 4/5.
Post this we ordered Patua made with bhetki. Patua is fish wrapped in banana leaf & cooked in mustard paste. Awesome.
The strength of the mustard straight hit the sinuses. Very tasty, perfect texture, just brilliant. Rate it 4.75/5.
Last & final dish for the day was Manso kassa. Once again it was mind blowing good. There was a light sweetness from onions, hotness of good chilly, perfect salt & very good amalgamation of flavours of meat and masalas due to being cooked together.
Meat was amazingly soft melt in the mouth. There were little lumps of fat in the meat and that felt awesome when one wud bite into it. Super loved it & polished off every drop of gravy. Rate it 4.75/5
For dessert we ordered Chena poda. It was a bit over sweet (unidirectional) & it had intensity less than optimum. It was however good on its own. I wud rate it 3/5
Overall rating of food at Maachh Bhaat averages out to 4/5. Phenomenal rating with so many items tasted.
Will keep coming back to this place to NJOY all the other dishes that we cud not cover on day 1. Highly recommended by YUMMRAJ.
Maach bhaat day 2
We tried, among others, kasha mangsho with a chakuli pitha. This was kind of a roti made from rice.
Unlike some of such dishes in Southern part of India, this one had no fermented feel to it but was very soft & was perfectly seasoned. Loved having this with the meat.
For dessert we tried Malpua – It was Good, had a texture like home made.
Chaunf flavor was present. Sweetness was not excessive but unidirectional. A dash of salt wud have transformed it from good to great.