Mughal mahal (7, Sethi Bhawan, Rajendra Place, New Delhi)


In a nutshell:

A fading Legend, this restaurant has a complete retro look, has ‘non smiling’ servers who have been around for a while & serves average food.

Mughal Mahal Restaurant
Mughal Mahal Restaurant

Address & other details: Mughal Mahal

Meal for 2: Rs. 1200 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 the individual item 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:

I have been hearing about this place from friends who have been living in West Delhi for Decades. This place is something many people have grown up with, they have a lot of memories attached to this place.

Long back I was listening to a speech in which I had, for the first time heard the concept of ‘Love brand’. ‘Love is blind’ they say – It is an irrational attraction towards something or someone not backed by rationality, measurements, comparisons & logic. A brand becomes a ‘Love brand’ when people really start getting attracted to it beyond what the brand’s sole purpose is. Their attraction enhances also due to their personal experiences surrounding the brand.

butter chicken
butter chicken

After eating at Mughal mahal, I realized, this had become a love brand for many – Dine outs with family in childhood, Dinner catch ups with friends etc – things that r beyond just the taste of food. A ‘rational’ food critic like me who compares food served at different places & has no emotional link to this place howver wud not necessarily agree to what the patrons say about it.

The interiors of the restaurant in today’s standard are retro, not becoz it was designed that way but probably becoz they did not change it ever from the time it was made. I loved the cool bar area in the corner, the huge mirrors on the wall and the heavy wooden furniture.

The dining hall
The dining hall

The menu card was pretty straight forward. It had a crisp 2 page menu list with no description of the dishes.

The Staff, looks like, has been around for decades. They have a ‘No nonsense’, ‘I have seen enough’ look on the face, generally bored look, almost no smiles but very efficient & perfect service. This seemed to be a result of doing the same job for years and years I guess.

IMG_7101
Murg malai tikka

The only guy who seemed enthusiastic was the guy at the main gate – again a middle aged person but with lot of enthusiasm, he greeted us with a huge warm smile, spoke a few words and bid us farewell as well when we were leaving.

Food as I mentioned above, was average with a very high standard deviation!!!!!

Kadhai Paneer
Kadhai Paneer

Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:

We started our lunch with Murg malai tikka. It was soft, slightly fibrous, slightly juicy & a tad more sour than ideal. The extra sourness was however balanced off by the masala sprinkled atop. I wud say it was Good & I rate it at 3/5. Compare it to Havemore & u know the difference.

Murg malai tikka
Murg malai tikka

For main course, we ordered Butter chicken. This was a culinary catastrophe. I felt like going thru a torture session in the hands of medieval Zamindars. The Gravy of butter chicken, unlike others, was not visibly tomatoee. It was very creamy & pale coloured, very sour again. Salt and sweet proportions were way behind and sourness was the clear winner. The balance of taste (salt, sweet, sour) in the dish went for a complete toss. I rate this gravy at 1/5.

Butter chicken
Butter chicken

Coming to the chicken pieces. A bite into it was stepping into hell. It smelled of unfreshness – stale chicken. I threw my bite back into the servng plate & did not eat the rest of the piecw. Mentioned that to the waiter, just to get blank looks – as if I am talking to the wall. He just cleared the plate & left. Non fresh chicken making inroads into kitchens of erstwhile famous restaurants!!!!! I give this meat 0/5. Rating of Overall dish averages to 0.5/5.

The next dish that we had was Kadhai paneer. Contrary to the earlier dish, this was excellent. Loved the paneer. Super soft, melt in the mouth, fresh paneer. Very good. The curry was excellent as well. Very well cooked thus leading to a mix n match of flavours and taste. Bell pepper was added late and hence it was somewhat crunchier than rest, just as it shud be. Loved the texture of veggies and this taste of the gravies. Flavor of full dhania ruled. Robust, intense taste was enjoyable. We wiped off the serving bowl till last drop. I give thus a 4.5/5

Kadhai paneer
Kadhai paneer

The curry served to us in the name of Roganjosh was not even directionally roganjosh. Roganjosh is a Kashmiri dish that is made in two ways – the Muslim way by adding onions, garlic etc and the Hindu way is to use yogurt or curd, fennel (saunf) powder and asafetida . The latter obviously has a distinct flavor and taste. The color of roganjosh comes from ratanjyot, which is some variant of cockscomb flower.

Roganjosh
Roganjosh

Needless to say that the curry served to us was neither if these. It was an average mutton curry. The mutton pieces were soft and good. I give those 3/5. The gravy in addition to being not authentic, was not anything good on its own either. It lacked the ‘josh’ that a true blue roganjosh has. It lacked the punch. It was a non intense, non robust average tasting meat curry. I give the curry 2/5. Overall the rating for this dish averages out to 2.5/5.

After such an experience we were frightened to order desserts. So we settled with a glass of limca.

The rating of food at this restaurant averages out to 2.6/5.

Wud look forward to ur comments on this post.

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7 comments

  1. Your rating for mughal mahal butter chicken is totally false rating i m sorry…… they have authentic recipe. Please don’t comparison with others restaurant.

  2. I have been dining at Mughal Mahal for almost a decade now and they make one of the best butter chicken in Delhi, the only few other good places apart from them for butter chicken are Minar ( CP ), Kays Barbecue ( Pitampura, Ashok Vihar & Rajouri ), Gulati & Havemore.

  3. eating at mughal mahal since 1980, fantastic receipe though yumraj is partly correct on its current status. but not as bad as being depicted. still rate it 3.5/5

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