In a nutshell:
A super tiny neat & clean restaurant with a see thru kitchen that serves a whole list of Indian regional food (more North Indian options) that is good to taste but not necessarily authentic & surely not the ‘best I have had so far’ kind. Considering this to be a neighbourhood shop, it surely scores way above most neighbourhood shops of that size in Gurgaon. Infact it is the best Indian food joint in Vyapar Kendra for sure. Good for a low priced meal in a good environment.
Address & other details: Maal Gaadi
Meal for 2: Rs. 300 onwards
Cuisine type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
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Short Description – In case u r in a Hurry:
I was very impressed as I stood in front of the restaurant. At least someone had thought of opening a nice neat & clean eatery in Vyapar Kendra which otherwise is full of dirty & ill maintained food shops that extend their counters to the walkways & common areas. It felt good to have at least 1 restaurant that served nonvegetarian food in a decent ambience at Vyapar Kendra.
The tiny Dining hall has 4 tables with 4 chairs each. Wall paper on the wall is nice & so r the tiny paintings on the wall. The lampshades have nice tribal style painting on them as well.
They do a lot of home delivery & cater to ‘takeaways’.
The lone guy serving the 4 tables was very humble, had reasonably good product knowledge & good at his job. He also told us that this restaurant has opened up just 2 months back.
Coming to the biggest question – Who wud like to dine here? My take – People from the neighbourhood, people who think it is insane to go to Chandni Chowk to eat good food, people who think good ambience & eating out are compulsory together, Cleanliness of the eatery is very important, do not care about authenticity as long as the food tastes good. For hardcore foodies / those used to going to Gali Kababian in Jama Masjid area / Al Kakori Al Kausher / Kitchen of Awadh etc., this might feel to be a stretch.
Detailed Description – In case u have the time to njoy reading:
Gosth pudina paya tari. Strongly strongly ‘garlic’y is the first reaction as the soup lands in the mouth. The Mint cud not make its presence felt at all. Surprisingly there was keema in the paya shorba that is usually not the case. It was surely enjoyable to have the manually minced keema here. What was good was the intense base broth of trotters – made a whole lot of difference. Loads of minced lahsun, as mentioned before, made this dish very different but I Liked it quite a lot. I wud rate this dish at 4.25/5 just for the taste part of it & not so much for the authenticity part (assuming that the paya at all shops in Jama Masjid area is the authentic one).
From the starters section we chose Sikandipuri raan – ‘tandoor roasted leg of spring lamb’ proclaimed the menu card. We asked if it was good for 2 people & the answer was in affirmative. We expected it to be a dry roast as is served in most places. However, what came was quite a few pieces of lamb covered with a thick dark brown gravy _ yes, I wud not call it sauce but gravy. We were told that customers like it this way & enjoy this with roti.
The gravy was thick, robust, intense, very spicy & not so hot & left a strong aftertaste. Infact the ‘Hot’ was felt beyond the time that we were chewing on the food – the kind of feeling that one gets with food made with raja mircha (I do not think they used it though).
Meat mentioned in the menu card was baby lamb but we found that the strands of meat were quite thick in most cases. While we were discussing this strange situation, we found a nalli piece bone of small goat. That let us to discuss two theories – 1. Some shanks of small goats were used & the rest of the pieces were from normal sized goats. 2. All the meat was from baby goats but they had been going to Salman Khan school of Body building & hence had developed thick muscular strands!!!!
Inspite of having thick strands mutton was pretty soft. Smokiness in the gravy & the meat pieces was very interesting & enjoyable. Finished off the gravy till the last drop.
I wud give this a 4/5 – It cud have easily bagged a 4.5/5 had the texture of the meat been better.
For main course we ordered Laal maas. The menu card described it as ‘A rajasthani delicacy with charcoal smoked lamb & red chillies.’ Our experience of Laal maas is a story in itself – at Kachori Jodhpuree (which sadly has shut down). When we had been there, we were asked ‘do u want the authentic version or the toned down version’? We chose the authentic version & soon realized that we were up on smoke!!!! Super duper hot due to red chillies & that is how it is had.
The Laal maas at Maal gaadi was however the toned down version. It had a lot of tomato in it (I don’t know why) & that toned down the spiciness & the extent of ‘hot’. It also gave a sour tinge to the otherwise ‘just hot n spicy’ curry. The meat was soft & good to taste. I wud give this a 3.5/5 due to teh lacl of authenticity but on its own it is not bad. Recommended for people who cannot tolerate very hot food but still want to taste this.
We also tried a masala raita – Dahi sprinkled with masala. Way below standard as compared to say the lauki raita at Kake di Hatti. The masala at Kake makes all the difference. In case the owners of this restaurant r reading this, I wud suggest them to get hold of that masala & magic will be done. i give this a 3/5.
Rating for food at Maal Gaadi adds up to 3.7/5
Naali ka salan looked interesting as well but cud not have that due to lack of space. Look forward to trying that some other day & also the various chicken kababs. Will keep u updated. Till then good bye.
This time it was non vegetarian home delivery time.
We ordered Murg ke soolay – ‘Tandoor roasted boneless legs of chicken marinated with traditional Rajasthani Sooley spices’ said the menu card. I am usually averse to Home delivery but this was when we decided to invite a friend midweek. Home delivery food is surely not as good as compared to how the same food tastes straight out of the kadhai / tandoor. This kabab was very well marinated, soft, not juicy due to high degree of marination I guess & quite flavorful. It tasted good as well. I give this a 3/5 as it is but assuming it is a bit better if had sitting at the eatery, I give this a 3.5/5.
Next dish we ordered was Bhatti ke murg – ‘Yoghurt mariinated whole chicken cooked in a tandoor’ said the menu card. This was quite dry, a bit fibrous & not as good as most of the other dshes that we have had from here. I give this a 2.5/5.
…………….& yes, we did order the nalli ka salan that we had been eyeing from the day before. There were 4 pieces & not all of them were nallis for sure. The nallis were soft but not ‘melt in the mouth’ as most nallis – the most memorable one that I had was at Sheesha Sky Lounge, Indore. The gravy was quite spicy but not hot – generally good to taste with tomato base, cream etc – quite Punjabi style. I wud give this a 3.5/5.
Day 2 rating average came to 3.16/5
Day 3: Coming up soon:) – 100% veggie experience. Watch out.