In a nutshell:
One of the best standalone (non 5 star) Restaurants in Gurgaon that serves an honest & almost authentic Awadhi (Lucknowi) food in a very beautifully done Dining Hall with massve attention to detail on every aspect of the decor.
Address & other details: Kitchen of awadh
Meal for 2: Rs. 800 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:
We came to know of Kitchen of Awadh thru a facebook friend of YUMMRAJ (never met him in person). He had suggested to go & eat at Kitchen of Awadh delhi. Pls read the review of Kitchen of Awadh Delhi here. Loved the food & ordered many more times, got it home for friends etc.
Gurgaon has very few good, authentic mid segment restaurants. So when we heard KOA is in Gurgaon, we jumped out of our sofa straight into the restaurant & ended up spending a lovely evening there.
The Restaurant is located in the crowded supermart DLF ph4 which now houses quite a few very good regional food restaurants – Ki Hangla, Biryani blues, Bernardos & Mughlai restaurants like Al Karam etc. Signage of the restaurant is distinct & is visible very well from a distance.
The décor has a Mughlai filigree style detailing on the window, side panels and on few other places.
A nice chandelior creates a nice pattern on the ceiling.
Furniture is modern, basic, wooden and good for sitting 2 hours.
Menu card is worth a mention. I have come across very few such beautifully designed menu cards in this type of restaurant.
Sharafat ka zamana wapas – They write at the back of the menu card that they serve RO water & guests do not really need to buy bottled water. However they can buy a bottle, if they wish to.
Waiting staff is nice & well behaved but will need quite a bit of rigorous training to face the ‘demanding’ guests of Gurgaon.
Food is the center of attraction here. Good ingredients make their presence felt. Attempts to b as close as possibe the the real Awadhi food was visible.
Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:
We started our evening with Mutton Galouti Kabab. It was super soft melt in the mouth , as expected. However it was so soft that it was quite a task to transfer the kabab from the tray to the plate.
Spices made their presence felt. The kabab was not overloaded with oil (like in the road side Kabab parathewalas of Lucknow) but was quite tasty inspite of that. Really nice. Rate it 4.5/5
We enjoyed this with an excellent ulte tawa ka paratha made with desi ghee. Flavors of the ghee were very enjoyable but the paratha was not ‘oily’.
A mild sweetness defined the taste. The paratha was soft within & had a crisp, flaky outside layer. Enjoyed this a lot & rate it 4.5/5
We moved on to Mutton Kakori kabab. I have had better kakoris at Kitchen of Awadh in the past.
However this one was very good as well. Strong flavors of spices, a hot aftertaste, a super thin skin formed during the grilling process & super duper soft inside were the characteristics of this kabab. Enjoyed it as it is & also with ulte tawa ka paratha. Rate it 4/5
15th Dec 2014
Revisited the Kakori – As good / even better than the best Kakori I have had at Kitchen of Awadh, Delhi. One of the finest Kakoris, to the West of Lucknow………………..Lajawaab.
The amazing flavours of spices, the taste of good meat, a thin smoth layer formed during making of the Kabab & the overall smoked feel – mind blowing.
Had the Nawab of Lucknow eaten this, he wud hv flung his pearl necklace to the Chef in sheer joy….:)
Rate this Kakori 4.75/5.
The next item was Shammi Kabab. I think this was the best shammi kabab I have had in a while. Usually most people end up making this hard & dry as they add more daal and less meat. At KOA the dal & meat were very well proportioned. Both the flavors were intact. Result – A very soft , not dry, very tasty , flavorful kabab. Really loved it. Rate it 4.5/5
We also tried a vegetarian galouti made from raw jackfruit (kathal). This was outstanding. Very close to the original Galouti, this kabab retained the flavors& taste of Kathal while giving a feel of the meat galouti. Very very soft – breaks off at the slightest provocation. Loved it & rate it 4.5/5
We finally ordered KOA special Chicken tikka (surely not awadhi). I know of the famous cock fights of Lucknow but this dish is pure Punjabi. Anyway, it turned out to be really good inspite of being a tad more sour. The inside was very soft & nice. The outer side was charred and good. Loved munching on this. Rate it 4.5/5
Next dish to hit our table was Mutton Dum Biryani. It was served in an earthen matka, wrapped with an aluminium foil. Once I unwrapped the foil, I found the cover of the matka sealed with atta. As soon as we opened the matka, the aroma of good biryani spread.
The biryani had long aromatic grains of rice that were independent. The rice at the lower layer had broken a bit & the one at the topmost layer was 90% as soft as it shud ideally have been.
The mid part was marvellous. As we pointed this to the waiting staff, they apologized & offered to change the biryani. We said ‘no’ coz we were quite full by then. Rate the texture 2.5/5
The taste of the biryani was awesome. As good as it cud get. Rate it 4.75/5
Flavors & aroma were too good as well. Rate that 4.5/5
The mutton pieces were soft & tasty. The cuts cud have been a bit better. Rate them 4.25/5
Overall rating of biryani averages out to 4/5.
Went back months later & re-tried the Goshth biryani few times in succession.
This time it was perfect in every way. The pictures will tell u that story.
Last dish we had was Bhuna Goshth. Loved it. Sweetish taste from lots of onions, thick gravy, very soft & nice mutton pieces & really nice overall. Rate it 4.5/5.
We finished our dinner with the legendary unmissable phirni of KOA. If u miss it, ur tastebuds wud just curse u. Thick, rich, full flavor of good milk, creamy texture & right sweetness. A class apart. Rate it 4.95/5
Overall rating of food at KOA averages out to 4.5/5
I wud surely revisit here. What r u thinking? Write in….
Update 1st November 2020
Saw a social media post by kitchen of awadh that they are doing trials for kolkata biryani & that they have limited portions to offer. With the speed of light we arrived at the restaurant & ordered this biryani.
For the uninitiated, kolkata biryani is a version of Lucknowi biryani that has evolved over the last 170 years. When nawab Wajid ali shah of lucknow was exiled by the British from lucknow to kolkata in mid 1800s, he came with his best cooks. Biryani came with them & over the years it acquired a new form & evolved into what we now know as kolkata biryani. Potato & boiled eggs are addition to kolkata biryani over The Lucknowi counterpart.
This was surely the best kolkata biryani I have had outside of kolkata. Unexpected. Unmissable. Pleasantly shocked as to how they got the rice 95% as good as the best in kolkata & the meats as good / even better than some of the best. The rice was long, independent grains of aromatic rice that were soft & had just the right kind of moisture. The rice was 95% cooked (that slightly affected the texture).https://yummraj.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/img_5532.mov
Flavors were bang on. There was more real saffron in this biryani than I can remember seeing in any kolkata biryani these days.
Unlike the large riyazi goat meats used in many restaurants in kolkata, at kitchen of awadh they had got pieces from small goats. This ensured that the meats were soft & falling off from the bones when nudged.
We finished off the biryani to the last grain of rice.
Super impressed, I asked if this will be in the permanent menu. The waiting staff informed that from next week this will be there twice a week & seeing the success, it might find a place as a ‘special’ in the menu.
Rate the dish 4.75/5
Update – 17th March 2015
Revisited many times since I wrote this post & over time have tried some other items as well:
Jimikand ke kabab – A melt in the mouth , Galawati style kabab with nice balance of spices & excellent flavors. It needs great imagination & expertise to come up with such a nice dish from the humble Jimikand.
However for non vegetarians, Mutton Galawati tastes much better than this. For vegetarians, this is as close a substitute as it can get.
We also tried tried Dal ke kababs. These were good & soft but not as soft as the jimikand or Kathal.
Loved the way the outer layer was crisp & the softness inside.
An item that I found good several times was Lucknowi Murg masala. Super soft & tasty chicken pieces with an excellent gravy with lots of onions in it. The onions add an element of sweetness that is totally enjoyable.
Also tried the Paneer Tikka on few occassions. Love it. Super soft melt in the mouth paneer with the right amount of spices & perfect charred texture.