In a nutshell:
Legendary in the 1950s & 60s, this eatery impressed YUMMRAJ with quite a few dishes.
Address & other details: Royal
Meal for 2: Rs. 200 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 of course heard the name of Royal many times but never had really taken the trouble to go there due to the mixed reviews I used to get. People wud say that ‘it used to b good but not that good now. Arsalan is better’ etc. So when my friend & connoisseur of Mughal food recommended me to go here, I decided to take the plunge.
Well, for us, to have good food no amount of challenge is a challenge. We chose a weekday (assuming it wud be relatively less crowded) & drove to chitpur. Trying to park the car there can b a nightmare. So it is prudent to take public transport / go in a car with a driver.
The restaurant is in different levels. It has a large signage outside & is difficult to miss. Even if u miss it, everyone there knows about Royal. So to find the place is not a big deal I must say.
The Ground floor is (my version) Economy Class. It has fans to cool the diners, has tables & chairs in a congested way & is full of activity all day long. This is infact where u get the real; feel of the place. A part of the Kitchen is also visible from here.
A narrow flight of stairs takes one up to level 2 which is a bit more ‘family restaurant’ kind. This one is non airconditioned. When I say narrow I mean only one person can go in one direction. The rest wait at the other end of the staircase. I guess there r close to 30 steps in the staircase & that makes for a good little workout before u delve into buckets of greasy food.
A level above is the airconditioned section which is more of a regular A/C restaurant feel. Waiters here r more seasoned & are pretty trained to deal with people who r paying more for the same food that is available in all three levels.
The menu card was short & crisp – 2 pages & focused. It just listed the iems. No description, no pictures of dishes. There was an interesting section called specials of the day – Some dishes were offered only on 1 / 2 days of the week. Mutton handi was the special dish for tuesday.
There was an interesting writeup on the back of the menu card.
I loved the taste of the food in general. Liked some curries more than the fabled Biryani. The dish & all others at this restaurant was made with ‘dalda’ – they tasted good but wud solidify if not eaten hot. Surely not the best thing for health but who cares about all that while being nice to the tastebuds. I usually look forward to opportunities in the next few days to workout extra & burn the extra fat.
Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:
We started our lunch with Mutton chaap & roti. This is a signature dish of royal. It had numerous small pieces of mutton some boneless & some with rib bones. It had a peppery, grainy, minimalistic gravy that was dark brown in color. The taste was very spicy, robust & very rustic. Super loved it & rate it 4.75/5
Post that we moved to Mutton tikia. These were large tikias, the size of burger patty. These were made the traditional way – Not machine minced but hand minced.
That was evident from the taste & texture of the meat. Thus the patty was very juicy inside & had robust taste & flavors. I rate it 4.5/5
Mutton handi was a mutton gravy dish & was just outstanding. There was makhana & full red chillies visible in the gravy. Rest of the masalas had been well cooked & none retained their original look. The presence of a lot of onion juice had ensured that the gravy had a mild natural sweetness. The balance of the dish was super awesome – salt, sweet & hotness. It being one of the best dishes I had this Pujo I rate it very high at 4.9/5.
Mutton biryani was different from the version that Shiraz & Arsalan have. The long grains of aromatic rice were soft but not melt in the mouth. The biryani was greasier & spicier than the one at Shiraz. The spice mix was a tad different & there was a ‘hot’ aftertaste.
There was no aloo or boiled egg in the Biryani (characteristic of Kolkata Biryani). One plate Biryani had only 1 piece of mutton. Arsalan has an option of ‘Special Biryani’ that has 2 pieces in 1 plate. No such option was available at Royal. I rate the rice of the Biryani 4/5
The lone mutton piece in the Biryani was quite big though. It was just outstanding. It was super soft,melt in the mouth & totally non-fibrous. It had an intense taste to it. I rate the mutton in the Biryani 4.8/5
Overall the flavors of the meats, spices & rice intermingled well & we were happy with our Biryani. I rate this 4.4/5
For desserts we tried Phirni. This was thick, subtle in flavors & unidirectionally sweet – Not too sweet. The extent of cashew & milk was less as compared to the best I have had. I rate it 3/5
We also tried Shahi tukra for dessert. It was sweet but had a nice hint of salt in it. The base was of course bread & atop was a 1.5mm thick layer of inhouse made milk cream. The shahi tukra was garnished with super super thin slices of almonds that started looking like kesar from a distance. Liked it quite a bit & rate it 4/5
Overall the rating of food at Royal averages out to 4.25/5. I am super keen to get back there to try the other dishes. Till then alvida………………..