In a nutshell:
Master of curries, paneer & vegetarian Kababs, one of the best of its kind in Delhi NCR, with scope for improvement in Indian Breads & rice section. Worth a 1.5 hr metro ride for me to get here, hoping that some day they will open a restaurant in Gurgaon.
Address & other details: Indus Flavour
Meal for 2: Rs. 700 onwards
Cuisine type: vegetarian
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
The concept of food in the restaurant is ‘Food from the different places around the Indus River – From Rajasthan to Afghanisthan, North West Frontier food, etc.’ Though the river does not really touch Rajasthan or Afghanistan, some of the cuisines of those places have been included. Tibet & Ladakh have been left out.
Leaving Geography aside, the names of certain items are quite ‘for the sake of naming’. E.g. Harappan Aloo – Harappan Civilization existed approx 5000 years back & aloo came to Indian subcontinent as late as less than 250 years back.
A side of the Restaurant’s wall has a very well made Off white colored Mural map of the Indus Valley. The seating is bright Red high sofas, dark brown wooden tables & red seat chairs arranged in a row.
Tables are a bit near to each other & there is chance that u wud hear the chat in the next table. However that practically is not possible due to piped instrumental music in the right volume – not loud enough to disturb a chat at one’s own table but loud enough to inhibit clarity of chat on the adjacent table.
The service is good & it takes a while for them to get the dishes ordered. The finishing (if not fully) of every dish seemed to be done post placing of orders. That helped the food taste ‘freshly made’. The staff were constantly running around from table to table but they were keeping an eye on all tables as well.
The place was fully packed most of the time & I recommend doing a phone booking in peak dinner hours.
All the above aside, Food is the King here. I have never had so good paneer in Gurgaon so far except in very very few places in Delhi. The only vegetarian Tandoori platter I have had is the one at Bikanervala Gurgaon – The one at Indus Flavours is multiple times better than the Bikanervala version. I was told that Paneer is made inhouse & that makes a difference. It left a lasting impression on me – Anything paneer was good.
Detailed description – In case u have the time to njoy reading:
As we sat waiting for our food, we were given 3 chutneys & roasted papads : mint chutney, mango chutney & apple chutney!!!! The mint cutney was dahi based & very good. Apple & mango chutney (made inhouse) were unique & very enjoyable. On seeing us wipe it out with papad in a minute, the waiting staff gave us another round of chutneys.
We started the evening with a vegetarian Kabab Platter. It had a selection of 5 kababs from the regular kabab menu – Dahi ke Sholay, Multani Paneer Tikka, Amri Mushroom Kurkure, Malai Tikka Tandoori, Harappan Aloo. I guess by mistake we were served an extra kabab which I think is called Subz Sheekh.
Dahi ke sholay was delicately spiced hung curd wrapped with bread & deep fried. The deep fry ensured a crisp outer layer & the hung curd was super soft & creamy. The flavours in the dahi were subtle but good. I liked this as it is. My vegetarian friends who have eaten dahi ke kabab in many places commented that they like it but they have had better. I wud give this a 3.5 /5.
Multani Paneer tikka was ‘tender cubes of cottage cheese draped in creamy marinade flavoured with ajwain & then grilled grilled in tandoor, served garnished with kabab masala’ according to the menu card. I must mention here that the paneer was simply awesome. It was so soft & non brittle that I cud feel my fingers when I wud take a paneer in my hand & press it. This was one of the best Paneer tikkas I have had in a long while. Perfectly charred , not much not less, soft, flavourful (both the masalas & the paneer) & extraordinarily tasty. Let me tell u it takes huge calibre to impress a carnivore with vegetarian food & the Chef had managed to do just that. I give this a 4.5/5.
Amri Mushroom Kurkure was a unique mushroom kabab – It was Mushrooms stuffed with cheese, masala & herbs, marinated & batter fried. I loved the taste & also enjoyed the contrast texture of soft cheese in the mid & the crisp outré layer. I wud give this a 4.5/5 as well.
Malai Tikka Tandoori was soya chunks cooked in cashew nut paste & marinated with herbs, spices & roasted. This was I think the only item in the platter that can be termed ordinary. As compared to JB Chaap express Gurgaon, the taste of the soya chunk was much more subtle at Indus Flavors. The slight sliminess that one usually comes across in the usual soya chaaps was however absent in the one at Indus Flavors. To conclude, this was not bad , just about good – nothing beyond just good. I give this a 3/5.
Harappan Aloo was a potato basket filled with cheese, dry fruits & spices. Menu card suggests that ths is cooked in clay oven. This was the best stuffed aloo I have ever had. Wow. Once again it is a 4.5/5.
The subz sheekh kabab was soft, spicy & good. It had a very nice aftertaste. I wud give this a 4/5.
So rating of Kabab Platter adds up to 4/5.
For main course we ordered 4 kinds of breads – Mehergarh ki Missi Roti (made from wheat flour & gram flour), Mirchi Parantha (laccha paratha topped with red chilli powder) , Makke di Roti & Pudina Paratha.
The Mirchi Paratha was not bad but not great either. We were given the choice of green chillies vs. red chillies & we chose Red. I guess Green wud have been a better choice coz we wud have got fresh chillies in place of red chilly powder. It gets a 3/5.
Makke da Roti was good & it bags a 3.5/5.
Pudina Paratha was nothing more than good & hence gets a 3.25/5.
Missi Roti was quite good & hence bags a 3.75/5
Overall Paratha adds up to 3.4/5
This section surely needs attention by the Management.
We ordered Dal Indus – It turned out to be the usual kaali daal described as ‘amalgamation of black lentils, tomatoes, ginger & garlic simmered overnight on slow charcoal fire , finished with cream & served with a dollop of butter’. Though the dish was usual, the taste, texture & flavours were excellent. This was like having a plain home-made vanilla ice cream with real vanilla pods – simple, no twists but extraordinary. I was super impressed by the daal & we finished it till the last drop. I give it a 4.5/5.
We also ordered ‘Pakistani Paneer Korma’ from ‘Today’s special menu’ section. I don’t know what was korma about it but it had two stunning things – unbelievably good paneer chunks & a totally unusual & outstanding gravy. The flavours were new & so was the taste. Texture was creamy. I was bowled over by this & give a 5/5.
The third dish was Peshawari Paneer Tikka Masala. Once again the paneer was outstanding & the gravy was very good. It was not ‘new’ to the senses but it was thoroughly enjoyable. I wud give this a 4.25/5.
Post all this we tried the Subz Dum Biryani. Let me admit – it was the first time in my life I paid for a Subz Biryani – So far I had just eaten it at friend’s places / veg parties!!!! I love good Dum Biryani but that is always a Mutton / chicken / beef.
The Subz Biryani was served in a handi that was sealed with atta (the way Dum Meat Biryani is made).
The biryani was slightly dry, not melt in the mouth like traditional Dum Biryani & the flavours of rice were not obvious. When asked for feedback on food by the waiter we conveyed this feedback, the chef came to meet us & admitted that he had used sella rice in place of Basmati ( menu card mentions Basmati).
The Biryani was served with an outstanding burhani raita made from hung curd & a bit of cream. A salan was also served. The Biryani tasted quite good with the accompaniments though. I wud give the Biryani a 3/5, the salan a 4/5 & the raita a 4.5/5. That adds up to a 3.8/5 for the Biryani package.
Overall the numbers add up to 4.16/5 = 4.2/5 (rounded off) for food at Indus Flavours.
With the mouth freshner came gur – liked the gesture.
We travelled 40 km approx. each side to dine here & loved it. When in mood for good vegetarian food, will surely revisit. Hope that the owner/s read this & open up a restaurant in Gurgaon – I can vouch there is not 1 restaurant in Gurgain as of today that serves as good vegetarian food.
Try this out & look forward to ur comments.