In a nutshell:
Indian fine Dining Restaurant with superb food, excellent ambiance but quite mismanaged when it comes to the whole experience.
Address & other details: Kasturi
Meal for 2: Rs. 1500 onwards
Cuisine type: vegetarian & nonvegetarian
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
If it had happened once, I wud have thought it to b an aberration. Since it happened twice, I smell a consistency in the pattern. The restaurant is on the first floor. First day we climbed up the stairs & reached there to find that a party was going on. There was no staff member either at the ground floor entrance or at the bar at first floor. Second day was again a similar experience – We climbed up to find no one upstairs. Waited for a few minutes & came downstairs. How can a restaurant in India not have a Human being manning it at all ‘open hours’?????
As we sat for the food we realized that there was only one server for the full floor of approx 16 tables. He was welcoming guests (in case he was in the hall when the guest popped up), taking orders, going to the kitchen (I guess down stairs), serving the food, clearing the plates, settling the bill & saying goodbye!!!! Must say that the guy was too good & very well behaved. But the overall service was getting affected coz he was running around. We were at the restaurant from 8pm to 9.45 pm & the status was the same. Is the lone waiter expected to b a superman to still deliver impeccable service or is it sheer negligence on part of the Management?
The interiors of the restaurant is very nice. A ‘golden latticework’ theme is seen throughout. The walls have large paintings of Nawabs & courtesans. I think the Nawabs in these pictures are 3 times slimmer than what they wud have looked like, when they lived.
I was however wondering why western music was playing in a Nawabi menu Nawabi look restaurant!!!
The menu card was beautifully designed – its cover was inspired by the lattice work mentioned above.
Prices of food are on higher side as compared to prices of these dishes in mid range restaurants. So I heard my friends comment ‘too much priced’ etc. However, as compared to other Indian fine dining places like Dum Affairs South Ex Delhi or Kainoosh, Promenade, Vasant Kunj, Delhi, the prices r totally justified.
I wud love to go to Kasturi again & again inspite of all the above coz the food is real good. Authentic to a large extent & impressive taste & flavour.
Detailed description – In case u have the time to njoy reading:
We started our meal with Gosth Pudina shorba. On a cold winter evening, this is what we thought wud make sense. What came was a pudina soup with chunks of mutton in it. The flavour/taste of the soup was strongly pudina without flavour/ taste of mutton. However, each time the mutton piece entered the mouth with a good amount of soup, it made sense. I wud give this a 3/5.
For appetizers we had Suneri bater. It was a tandoored full Quail (bird). I have not had bater in quite some time now & hence had no benchmark. This one was just too good. Soft, slightly juicy, no fat meat with tandoori masala flavours. The ends were charred to perfection – not less, not too much either. I wud give this 4.25/5.
Next appetizer we had was Tandoori boti – It was chunks of boneless mutton, marinated & grilled. It was soft within, juicy, slightly fibrous but had an enjoyable texture. There was a charred effect on the outside, making it crisp on the corners. Flavors were excellent & so was the taste. I wud give this a 4.25/5. It cud have bagged a 4.5/5 but for the fibrousness.
We also tried Kurkuri Machli. Menucard description sounded like it wud b a tawa fried fish. What was served turned out to b a deep batter fried fish. Keeping this inconsistency aside, the taste of the fish as it is was excellent. The fish used was sole, it was soft, very very juicy & was tasty due to the masala marination. The outer layer was thin & crunchy. In short, every bite was awesome. Rating straight away goes up to 4.5/5.
For main course we had Bunn Gosth. This was mutton curry cooked with loads of thinly sliced onions. The onions gave a sweetish taste to the curry. Salt in the curry was suboptimal – a slight sprinkling of salt transformed the curry from good to great. The taste of the gravy was so good that we finished it till the last drop. I wud give the gravy 4.25/5 – worth a 4.5/5 if salt was perfect.
The meat pieces were of two kinds. The thigh pieces were soft but fibrous. A choice of smaller goat wud have avoided this situation. The nalli pieces were however excellent. They were melt in the mouth & just perfect. I wud give the thigh meat pieces 3.5/5 & nalli pieces 4.5/5. That adds up to 4/5 for the meat. Overall Bunn gosth rating is thus 4.1/5.
The other main course that we had was Chooza Shahi Korma. For the uninitiated, Chooza is baby chicken. The meat was super soft, non fatty & just perfect in terms of texture. One of the pieces smelled of over refrigeration. The meat thus gets 4/5.
The gravy was heavenly. A light colored thick gravy with notes of different masalas speaking up one after the other. Wow. Again, finished this off till the last drop. I wud give this 5/5.
Overall, the rating for this dish adds up to 4.5/5.
We ended our meal with Nashiley Gulab Jamun – Gulab jamuns dunked in a peg of rum & set on fire!!! The gulab jamun itself was of good quality – tight, non-sooji variety. The rum in the glass was generous. The flaming Gulabjamun made for quite a scene & gave a good wow feel. Flavors of rum had got infused in the gulabjamun & taste was good as well. I give this a 4.5/5 for the overall experience & not just for the taste.
Overall rating of food at Kasturi adds up to 4.2/5
I wud love to revisit when in mood for good Indian food in Good ambience, take my guests there & specially Expats / visiting guests from other countries , to give them a taste of Indian food in a nice decor restaurant. Wud expect the Management to improve upon the service issues real quick.