In a nutshell:
A Retro Indian Restaurant that serves good North Indian food in a nice ambience with live Ghazals on all evenings – The whole setting & even the menu reminds one of eating out experience two decades back .
Address & other details: Earthen Oven
Meal for 2: Rs. 2000
Cuisine type : Vegetarian & nonvegetarian
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Short Description – In case u r in a Hurry:
Situated inside Fortune Excalibur run by Welcomgroup, this restaurant differentiates itself from the moment u enter this place – an old world charm. A great place to catch up with friends & relatives & to enjoy some good food. Recommended for taking ur non Indian friends, to give them a taste of India. There is a long nicely done bar area on one side & wooden furniture seating on rest of the hall.
The first thing that strikes is the live singing stage at one corner. When we entered at 7.30 pm, the stage was empty & in around 15 minutes the artists appeared. They were welcoming each new guest who wud walk in, with a ‘song of your choice’. Very unexpected & enjoyable experience that came straight out of the eighties & early nineties. The guys on the stage were real good – as good as one can expect in such a setting.
The staff members were very knowledgeable about the items on the menu & ended up giving some good suggestions as well. They positively contributed to our experience at Earthen Oven. They were very proactive in refilling water, serving the food & clearing plates, without being intrusive.
The vegetarian offering was wide & had loads of very interesting items. There was a small Jain section as well. The nonvegetarian section was obviously good with too many ‘pick me up’ items on the menu fighting for our attention. Menu card had very focussed ‘traditional North Indian Restaurant’ items, with little twists & turns. Portions are huge. No one serves so much any more – Even this aspect is retro
Taste of food was good overall with a few exceptions.
Detailed Description – In case u have the time to njoy reading:
We started our evening with Keema kaleji katori. I have had loads of Keema Kalejis in different places. While the ones at the likes of Jawahar & karims in Jama Masjid area / Jamil Hotel near Chatori Gali Bhopal / Kake da Dhaba CP Delhi serve the rustic, robust taste & flavors but are of ‘dripping oil’ kinds, the ones at many Indian Fine dining places are mellowed down sophisticated versions. The Keema kaleji at Earthen oven was kind of best of both worlds – It was not oil dripping but it had rustic & robust taste & flavors – Super loved that. What was interesting is that the keema kaleji was served in katoris made of papad!!!!! I wud give this a 4.5/5
Kashmiri Roganjosh – I have had loads of meat curries all around that have the name ‘Roganjosh’ but few have the real feel of Roganjosh in them. Roganjosh is one of those dishes whose name has been used recklessly without any regard to what it really stands for. The saunf flavor & the non oily relatively thin but super tasty gravy is what differentiates the real Roganjosh from its fake namesakes. The one at Earthen oven was as close to real as possible. The meat pieces in this were excellent as well & super soft. We finished off he gravy of this authentic, tasty & flavorful Roganjosh to the last drop. Needless to say it gets a 4.5/5.
Post this we tried Dum Aloo Patiala – The problem started with Dum Aloo Patiala having suboptimal salt. I wud say it was 70% of optimum salt level. The texture of the gravy was thick & nice, the stuffed potatoes were perfectly done & the stuffing was not falling out all over. On adding salt, the taste of the gravy was excellent & so was its unique flavors. Loved this vegetarian dish & give it a 3.5/5 (due to salt issue). Had that not been the case, this dish was surely 4.25/5.
Dhaba Chooza – Amazing gravy but bad meat that smelled. The gravy was in fact so good that once again we ended up polishing it off till the last drop. However the chooza (baby chicken) pieces were mixed – some were OK, others were over refrigerated / not properly refrigerated & had started smelling ‘unfresh’. Not expected at a Welcomgroup Hotel Restaurant though. For the gravy I give 4.5/5 & for the meat I give 1.5/5. That adds up to 3/5 for the dish overall.
For dessert we tried Khubani ka Meetha – Have tried this in many Awadhi places. Conceptually this is Khubani in Sugar syrup. I guess originally it used to be just that but over time people started balancing the extreme sweetness with a dash of lemon / adding cream. At Earthen Oven, they had added cream but that was too little to tame the sweetness of the sugar syrup. I wud give this a 4/5.
We washed down the meal with very nice fresh Watermelon juice & Orange juice. Very balanced taste. Rating wud be 4/5.
Overall rating for food at Earthen oven adds up to 4.04/5. I will surely get back here. How about u?