In a nutshell:
Pretty good Awadhi food in a nice ambience with live Qawwali Music.
Address & other details: Kingdom of Dreams
Meal for 2: Rs. 800 onwards
Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:
Apologize in the beginning for not having YUMM food snaps as u see in all posts on www.yummraj.com. There was a ‘no photography’ policy at this restaurant. I was told by another foodie friend that this policy cud b exempted for us if I wud have said I was a food blogger. But that is precisely what I hate doing. If I tell I am a food blogger, I might get a lot of extra attention which an average diner wud not get. As mentioned in ‘about’, I believe in dining like any normal diner & passing on the feedback to u in my posts so that it is as unbiased as possible.
This Restaurant is inside Culture Gully, the food court cum shopping area of the Kingdom of Dreams. One has to buy tickets for Rs. 750 (pls check exact amount as it keeps changing) per person & can spend the same on anything from food to decoratives. If u are not able to spend the full Rs. 750, a part of the balance is returned.
The Restaurant is very beautifully done – traditional Green & white decor with outstanding intricate designs in everything from the walls to the pillars to the furniture, right up to the cutlery. The look & feel is like a Nawabi Court of the Olden days.
The center of the pillared hall is devoted to the Qawwals who sing throughout the evening. They are ‘theth’ as in as ‘rustic’ as one can get – not the polished Bollywood inspired Qawwals that we come across these days. If u dislike Qawwalis or Sufi music, u might be irritated but for a Qawwali fan like me, it was an excellent experience.
The waiters are Old School – They are knowledgeable, smile less, are not smooth talkers & the types u come across old restaurants that have been around for say 50 years.
The food has been good & we had always liked the Awadhi Dum Biryani on all occasions sans the last. Kababs are good as well.
Detailed Description – In case u have the time to njoy reading:
As u wait for the food to arrive, an excellent green chutney is seved with onions. Its a Dahi based chutney – strong & good to taste as it is. I did not try it with the kababs as I always find the taste of good kababs being ‘interfered with’ in case I dip it in chutney.
For starters, we ordered Murg ke parchey – It was flattened breast of chicken, cooked with cashewnut & ‘Lazzate Khas’. The chicken pieces were soft & mildly sour . Had a very nice spicy aroma. Liked it.
Post the parchey, came very good super soft kakori kababs – this had a a thin layer formed outside the kabab unlike the one served at Kainoosh. The thin layer ensured that the kabab did not disintegrate at the slightest provocation – like the ones at Kainoosh. The kababs were flavourful & very tasty. I was told that these were charcoal fired. Loved it.
For maincourse we ordered Rampuri korma. It had poppy seeds, pepper, Saffron, lazzate taam, slices of onions, & a ‘bouquet of spices’ in a tomato based gravy. I was a bit apprehensive of the tomato based gravy but it turned out to be good – not tomatoee. The result of all those varied ingredients was an excellent taste & texture of gravy that was finger licking good. Inspite of such a good job on teh gravy, I was surprised to find that the mutton pieces were stiff – It seemed that the goat that we were served used to be a body builder (super stiff & strong muscles) . Very disappointing.
We enjoyed the Rampuri Korma gravy (after putting aside the siff & fibrous mutton pieces) with Khamiri roti‘ – ‘rare leavened whole wheat bread’ baked in tandoori.
The Mutton Dum Biryani was All good but for the stiff mutton – unlike in the past. On every other occasion in the past, this was never a problem but the last time we ate here, stiffness of mutton was a big issue. The rice was independent strands of long flavourful & tasty & was almost perfect. The mutton pieces turned out to be a spoiler. Tunday’s Biryani that is at 1/3 the price, is much better than this.
We ended our meal with phirni as dessert – it was good but nothing special.
Overall – We have been to this place quite a few times due to the Good Awadhi Biryani that was difficult to find in Gurgaon. Now, there are other good options & the one here also turned out to be ‘not good’. So I guess I will give one more chance & test if I want to continue going here.