In a nutshell:
I was told about Raja Café’s impressive Culinary heritage & we liked food that they served – Inspite of a decline from the time it was a ‘Legendary Restaurant’. It is surely not the best in its category in the current day but surely worth a visit.
Meal for 2: Rs. 600 onwards
Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:
I had heard a lot about this place from friends who had visited Khajuraho before – ( 8 – 10 yrs back). As I started chatting with people in Khajuraho, many mentioned the Legend of Raja Café – started by a European couple & used be be a superb place to eat & hang out….in those days. I was also told that it was much better earlier than today.
I was pleasantly surprised as I entered the place. Very nice & casual décor – options to sit outside as well as inside the a/c dining hall. There are two entrance gates on two sides & they r beautifully done. The ‘sit outside’ section has beautiful Garden chairs & the area was dimly lit. The ‘sit inside’ area was brightly lit – good for me coz better lighting means better food snaps. Before coming to this place I thought it wud b plastic chairs & tables like Mediterraneo & other eateries in Khajuraho but it turned out to be pleasantly different.
The staff member who served us was good, quite prompt & served us with a smiling face. He handled our queries (about the menu) well. I wud say that he was as good as one cud get in this part of country.
They had quite a huge menu card – ‘Fresh from our Bakery’ section starts with apple pie, croissants, muffins, lemon tart, Brownie etc. drinks like different kinds of coffee including the likes of cappuccino hazelnut, different kinds of tea, many options of shakes, vegetarian & non vegetarian club sandwiches, the usual list of beverages, Indian, Continental & English breakfast, omelets of diff kind – European & indian, Chinese soups & main course, a huge section of continental – 16 to 18 dishes & a list of North Indian approximate 10 vegetarian & 10 nonvegetarian options. In Tandoori section they had approximately 12 diff tikkas, nans & kababs. Apart from this they offered 4 kinds of south indian dosas. For desserts one cud choose from a long list of pancakes, waffles, banana flambé & banana fritters. They also had Indian Fixed menu & the most interesting named item – ‘European thali’ (grilled mixed veg, pasta with tomato sauce, rice pudding, mashed potato)
The large menu was very balanced menu with almost equal number of vegetarian & nonvegetarian food on offer in each section.
Food was good but not outstanding. Good place to spend some time & eat some good food when in Khajuraho – Food at Mediterraneo was far better.
Detailed Description – In case u have the time to njoy reading:
As we glanced thru the main course menu, we were contemplating grilled fish. However, we cud not see the confidence in the eyes of the guy when we asked ‘Is the fish fresh’? Realizing that Khajuraho is not typically a fresh fish place, we decided to give it a pass.
We settled for Chicken stroganoff. It turned out to b pretty bland, no twist to the taste & nothing in it that cud make it wow. It was not bad though. It was penultimately salted & over subtle – maybe due to the high population of Europeans in Khajuraho.
Next we ordered Hungarian Goulash. We chose the mutton option & the order was accepted. After 5 mins our waiter came back & said ‘sorry sir, we have run out of mutton today’. So we had to shift back to chicken – in absence of fish & mutton.
This disappointed us but the food did not disappoint at all. It turned out to be excellent. The boiled vegetables alongside the chicken was very interesting – plain, non spicy but simply magical.
The chicken pieces were spicy (not Indian kind of spices) & had amazing unusual (to Indians) flavors. Infact it was quite strong in taste, I won’t say chatpata, little buttery & really really good to taste. Neither flat nor overtly spicy.
The boiled vegetables were not just plain boiled & served. They were done in an extremely good sauce. It had orange carrots, some very tasty potatoes & was overall outstanding except the beans. The Beans were senior citizens & it seemed that the beans had been around on this earth for a long while.
Super loved this dish – finished it off till the last drop. The chicken & the vegetables complimented themselves like Yin & Yan.
Post this we went for chocolate brownie with ice cream. Before ordering, I asked if the brownie was made by the Restaurant themselves & they confirmed in the affirmative. The chocolate sauce served with the brownie was thinner than the Barista variety. I wud not say the sauce was great but it was just good to taste.
The Brownie was crispy on the outer side & reasonably soft & moist within – I wud say it had an optimum texture. I wud have preferred the brownie to be a bit more dark but this was good on its own. The brownie had Almonds in place of walnuts. Taste & flavor became different due to this change in nuts. The vanilla icecream was not bad – it was not the cheap varieties that u find all around. Good overall.
Overall – The ambience, the service & almost everything was a very good attempt to give a great experience to the diner…..… I wish the mutton wud have been there / some other good option for non vegetarians wud be there………. & if only the food wud have been ‘great’ in place of ‘good’.