In a nutshell:
An experience that is quite different than the experience at the original Karim’s near Jama masjid – be it much better ambience, ease of parking or the toned down food……………. Read on for more details
Address & other details: Karims
Meal for 2: Rs. 600 onwards.
Cuisine type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of theindividual iem ratings. What the ratings stand for : 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
Karim’s Jama masjid reminds of the absurdity of parking, noise created by collective sources of sound, jostling in the road to even walk, competing with rickshaws, motorbikes, occasional goats & fellow humans, entry to the restaurant thru a narrow lane, standing there fro getting into one of the many dining halls in that unplanned restaurant building, super fast service, waiting staff in maroon kurta pajama, very non-smiling ‘matter of fact’ look on their faces, small marginally airconditioned rooms, old furniture some of which might be celebrating their birth century & so on……………… Food at Jama Masjid Karims has also toned down a lot in the last 20 years I guess due to more & more foreign tourists coming in, but it still has some ‘sharpness’ left.
The Karim’s in Gurgaon is not just Karim’s. It is called Karim’s Food!!!! Does that mean it is a franchisee? I do not know. The board in the Gurgaon Restaurant also reads ‘Original from Jama Masjid’ & ‘Estd. 1913’.
The contrast of experience at Gurgaon starts with the address – Global Foyer. It is one of those swanky buildings that houses a Mercedes Benz Showroom, a huge Gym of MS Dhoni’ Gym chain Sportsfit, Striker pub & many more. The parking is as easy & effortless as in any good Office building in Gurgaon, of course no jostling, no noise & great ambience. Karim’s is locatd on the ground floor of this building. Nicely done interiors, proper seating, a see thru kitchen, English speaking waiting staff in Shirts, trousers & black shoes & like any other small swanky modern restaurant.
The dining hall is in two levels & seating is quite crammed due to lack of space. Do not discuss secrets while dining here – ur neighbor will b able to hear that. There is one particular seat on the top floor – 1st seat on the right as u enter the floor. Two people who sit here are facing the staircase & whoever is going up or down looks into their face. It feels as if u r sitting in the first row of Maruti Omni!!!! , waiting at a traffic signal & people are crossing the road in front of u.
Great option for taking family out (specially with kids), treating ur expat / NRI friend who wud not understand a seekh kabab from a kakori, modern day fitness conscious people who wud compromise a bit on taste but wud not eat fat -full food. Not such a great option for hardcore foodies like me who wud rather travel 40km to taste the real authentic stuff.
Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:
We started the evening with mutton sheekh kabab. The sheekh kabab of Karim’s is usually different from many others. This has a heavy masala flavor to it in addition to strong flavors of the meat. It is usually juicy & very soft. The kababs at Karim’s Gurgaon were as good – just that they had an extra pinch of salt. I wud give these kababs a 3.75/5. Cud have been 4/5 but due to the ‘salty’ benevolence.
We went on to Mutton Burrah. This dish is one of my favorites at Karim’s Jama Masjid. At Gurgaon restaurant, the Burrah looked dry & over charred the moment it was served. A bite into the same confirmed the dryness – is someone trying to use less fat for basting / using lean meat? Are there too many orders at the same time & hence burrah is getting charred? R the chefs here not the level of the ’ustads’ at Jama Masjid? Whatever the reason, the outcome was affected. The burrah at Paradise Hyderabad was way better. If I do not compare with Jama Masjid / Paradise, it was a jolly good Burrah though.
The flavors of masalas were perfect & so was the taste. Texture is the only guy who underperformed. I give this a 3.5/5.
Post this we ordered Nahari. Once again Nahari churns out so many memories of Karims Jama Masjid. Over so many occasions we left the home at 6.45 / 7.00 am in the morning to trael all the way to Jama Masjid from Gurgaon to have nahari – it was served only in the morning. At 8.15 the guy might say ‘ Nahari is sold out’!!!!! Now the opening time has changed to 9.00 am. To our surprise, Nahari was available in the evening at Gurgaon Karim’s.
This was a disappointment for sure. It seems once again there has been an effort to tone it down & it had sub optimal salt as well. Karim’s Jama Masjid is again not the best Nahari guy – Haji Shabrati Nihariwale is much better. If Jama Masjid Nahari is 4/5, Haji Shabrati’s Nahari is 4.5/5 & this one at Global Foyer is not a decimal more than 3/5.
The last dish we tried was keema Kaleji. I am myself shocked to say that the keema Kaleji at even Kake da Hotel, Connaught Place is better than this. The curry was quite bland, directionless (in terms of taste & flavors) & did not make its presence felt. It was a shadow of what a good keema kaleji is. I give this a 2.5/5.
We had the curries with Khameeri roti which once again was not as good. Khameeri roti at Jama Masjid is thick, straight out of the oven, so hot that is is difficult to hold it beyond a second, fluffy inside & mildly crispy on the inside. The flavor of the roti is also good. I like those so much that I end up ‘biting in’ a few times just like that. The 1st set of rotis served here at Global Foyer were not straight out of the oven. They were relatively thinner & the lower base had turned brown due to over heating. Bad. Second round was straight out of the oven but still had the ‘burnt’ issue & the ‘thin’ issue. I wud give this roti a 3/5 if I give the Jama Masjid one 4/5.
Last was Phirni. This was good – daanedaar, topped with grated dry fruits. I give this a 3.5/5. But anyone who has tasted the phirni made with no water & full milk at ‘Kitchen of Awadh’, South Ex, wud find this petty naïve.
Overall the rating of food at Karim’s Global Foyer Gurgaon averages out to be 3.21/5 for food. Ambience is good though.
Will be eager to know ur opinion even if u differ from me. Pls feel free to comment.