In a nutshell:
Excellent Bihari food served in a nice setting by pretty warm people – I developed a small temporary potbelly as I walked out of this place after eating loads of irresistible food.
Good place to catch up with friends, a lunch date or just a nice place to hang around.
Address & other details: the potbelly
Meal for 2: Rs. 700 onwards
Cuisine type: vegetarian & nonvegetarian
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
Like in all other restaurants , I visited this place in anonymity. The climb to the 4th floor thru narrow bright colored (bordering garish) was the only disgusting part. Once up there, it was really enjoyable. I was appreciating the way in which a simple property has been converted to a nice restaurant seemingly without too much expenditure.
The floor extends to both sides of the staircase. On the Dining Hall to the right, there is a non alcoholic bar:) area – actually a serving counter.
On the left side there is a small dining area that also leads to a open air area in 3rd floor. The walls r all glass & that makes it good due to plenty of light & also good view outside. The decor of the open air area is good with a great view as well.
The furniture is mix & match – no two chairs around a table r the same. On the wall hang loads of empty frames sans pictures.
The menu card is very colorful & quite informative as well – good explanation to the names of the dishes.
Passion for excellence exudes – I felt this throughout during our lunch at Potbelly. Without the passion, all items ordered during a particular meal cannot b simultaneously good.
The staff member who was serving us was very warm & helpful.
Detailed description – In case u have the time to njoy reading:
We started our lunch with Litti chokha & Khada masala mutton combination. For the uninitiated, Litti is a whole wheat ball stuffed with sattu (coarsely powdered Bengal gram). I have enjoyed this several times at my friend’s house & have loved it. The litti at Potbelly is a sophisticated yet super tasty version of the rustic litti I have had at my friend’s house.
As soon as the litti was served, it smelled of good desi ghee. The outer layer of atta was layery, somewhat crispy & flaky. The sattu within was cooked before being stuffed – as a result it changed color from golden yellow to toffee brown. Texture also changed due to this. The pungency of mustard oil in the litti at my friend’s house was missing here.
Taste was excellent & inspite of the differences from the puritanical version, I loved it as it is. Rating is 4.5/5.
The chokhas were of two kind – aloo & baingan. The aloo was made from boiled potato – spiced & hottened up perfectly. Super loved every bit of it. Very few people can transform the humble aloo to something so good. 5/5 on the aloo.
The baingan was smooth, non hottened, did not have extra masala but was superb. Needs calibre to get to this stage with a vegetable. I wud give this a 4.5/5.
The khada masala mutton had whole spices, as the name suggests. The gravy was thick, not too oily & tasty. The meat pieces were not melt in the mouth but soft enough to b enjoyable. I give this a 4/5.
Overall the score for litti chokha mutton adds up to 4.5/5.
While we were enjoying our litti, we ordered two interesting drinks – Sattu cooler & mirch masala soda. Sattu cooler was a thin drink made from sattu, with a hint of lemon, hand powdered masalas , coriander leaves. The drink was very enjoyable – It wud have been more enjoyable on a hot sunny day. However, the taste of sattu was overpowered by the other elements mentioned above. I wud give this a 3.5/5.
Mirch Masala soda was less mirchi (hot) than I expected but was enjoyable. It was robust than the usual banta soda. I give this a 3.5/5.
Post litti we went for Maher – it was a spiced yoghurt based hot rice dish served with garlic potatoes, fried papad & pickle. This was the first time I had a curd rice (that too piping hot) & loved it. The perfect balance of salt, sour & chillies contributed to this. Nut garnish on the top added to the feel of the dish. Once again 4.5/5
The chutney was outstanding – not too pungent but not flat either. Once again all elements had perfectly fallen in place.
The humble aloo was again transformed into a super dish when cooked with garlic & spices.
Overall – 4.5/5 for this dish as well.
The last dish in main course was Mutton Chaap (lamb chops). This was served with thin but layered , ghee fried laccha paratha – so good in taste that I ate quite a bit of it just like that. I give it a 4.5/5.
The chaap gravy was one of the best I guess I have had in the last 1 year – better than many big names & many traditional legendary restaurants that have been around for decades. The gravy was thick, perfectly cooked, the khus khus was making its presence felt & the flavours were perfect. Gravy gets 5/5.
Something went wrong with the mutton pieces. One of the 3 pieces was perfect – cooked with the gravy for long & hence the juices & flavours had reached the meat. The rest two seemed to have been cooked & added separately later. Reason – Though they were soft & had perfect texture, there was no sign of the juices & flavours in the meat. Liked it but with a pinch of salt & hence wud give the meat 4/5.
Must mention here that something funny happened – After 45 minutes of accepting our order for chaap, we were told that it is not available coz someone by mistake ‘parcelled’ the small portion of chaap left unsold. We said OK, let us finish our Maher & then we will think. By the time we finished Maher, Chaap was offered to us. I guess, in this confusion, they wud have made it up in a rush & it cud not have been better if this was the case.
Overall the dish gets 4.5/5.
For dessert we settled for Makhana kheer – I personally like thick less sweet kheer. This one was a bit thin & had a bit more sweet. I was told by my co diner that this is how it usually is. I wud give this a 3.25/5.
Overall score for food & beverage at Potbelly adds up to 4/5. Just the food sans dessert adds up to 4.5/5.
I wud surely b revisiting this place. How about u?