This is a review of Lucknowi food festival ‘Lucknowi Rivaayat’ from 15th to 26th feb 2016, curated by Dr. Izzat Husain (A Unani doctor & Chef from Lucknow).
In a nutshell:
In hindsight, with the same money, I would have rather bought a to & fro ticket to Lucknow, eat the same items & come back, the Lucknow ones wud have been way better or at least as good.
Address & other details: Maya
Meal for 2: 5000 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 got to know about this event by seeing a video uploaded by a fellow blogger on the social media.
As we took a seat, we realized that there was very slow service. For quite a while no one came to give us the menu card. Clearly there were too less people in charge of the area. Result is that they forgot to give us the papad basket that is customary as soon as someone sits. It came after 20 minutes. None of these are expected at a 5 star Hotel.
However, a little while later the service became awesome. The guy serving us was a gem & so was the lady who came a few times to interact with us. They made us feel at home. Kudos.
The menu card was made in the form of a folded announcement letter that were used by the Medeival rulers of India.Must say that the idea was brilliant. The fonts used were also kind of Old & classic.
The menu card had names off items & simplified descriptions of the food items that wud make it easy for foreign nationals to understand.
The restaurant was nice & cozy.
I never mind paying much more than this at Dum Pukth or a mere micro fraction of this amount on the streets of Lucknow.
The Chef might have carved out a brilliant menu & recipe but the guys who finally made it cud not keep up the standards. Also, must confess that I have never had Lucknowi food at someone’s house – have always had at restaurants.So in case this is how food is cooked at Chef’s house, maybe my comments are not justified. However, I will be rating this experience vs my other restaurant experiences.
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
On our server’s recommendation we ordered patta kebab ‘Minced lamb kebabs wrapped in cabbage leaves’ as described in menu card. It turned out to be a galawati kabab placed on (no wrapping around) a bay leaf and cabbage leaf. I tasted the cabbage leaf a bit. It was flat to taste.
The kabab was somewhat less ‘melt in the mouth’ than standard. The spices made their presence felt very well. Meaty flavour was missing probably because the meat mix had been kept for long. Infact I think that is why it kind of turned a bit more sour than ‘enjoyable levels’.
For making Galawati, raw papaya is added to the meat mix & the papaya helps in cooking the meat & softening it. I have heard Lucknow chefs say that the sourness happens when the ‘raw papaya and meat’ mix stays beyond prescribed time / if it is kept in the open / if there is too much humidity. This they say is the first sign of meat getting inedible.
The kababs were good to taste but the sourness stuck like a sore thumb.
We were told that this is chef’s signature. Am sure the intention was good & so was the recipe but the boys wud hv messed up.
Overall I wud say that the kabab was between average and good – surely nothing great. No comparison to kababs at Dum pukht or even the galawati kabab at kitchen of awadh. Rate it 2/5.
Honestly I wud have not ordered a Galawati had I known it was a galawati. The way it was portrayed, I thought it was something new.
The next dish we ordered was Shab degh nahari – lamb stewed overnight in a sealed pot with herbs and spices. This turned out to be very different from all Lucknowi & Dilliwala niharis (Haji Shabrati nihariwale, kallu nihariwale, Karim’s) I have had so far – in terms of taste, flavors, everything. However it was very good on its own.
The gravy was thick & sweetish. It had a good amount of fat in it that was floating around. The spices had given up their individual characteristics & flavors were that off meat & assorted spices. Very nice.
The meat was falling off the bone but not the softest of all my nihari experiences so far.
Rate the dish 4.25/5
We enjoyed our curry with an outstanding bread – izzat ki roti, made from multigrain flour. It was excellent.
Fluffy, coarse, a bit of fat on the top, sesame seeds that had turned crispy – outstanding. Super loved it & rate it 4.5/5
We then ordered Mutton zafrani biryani – ‘lamb and saffron flavoured basmati rice slow cooked in a sealed pot’ as per the menu card.
The biryani had many good things about it and quite a few flaws. Overall it failed to impress.
The rice tasted very good. However the rice intrinsically had a ‘rice’ smell that was peeping out from amongst the aromas of spice. The rice had long independent grains but they were not aromatic. The ‘rice’y smell overshadowed the aroma.
Funnily the rice was slightly less than optimally done. U can see that in the close up picture. The rice as u can see, was not smooth in texture as a result.
The amount of fat in the rice was lesser than what is usually used in Lucknow. All that led to the rice being slightly short of being the legendary Awadhi ‘melt in the mouth’ feel.
Rate the rice 3.25/5
The meat had its meaty flavours but was again not juicy, it was a tad dry. It was surely not melt in the mouth, It was soft though.Rate the meat 2.75/5
Overall rating of biryani averages out to 3/5.
The show stopper turned out to be the Shahi tukda. This is a traditional Lucknowi dessert in which a bread is fried & served with rabri on the top.
The shahi tukda was optimally sweet & the best part was that it had a pinch of salt – that prevented the dish from being unidirectionally sweet & balanced it out very well. The rabdi was awesome. Overall, every bite was pure delight.
Rate this dish 4.75/5
We were planning to go back next day for lunch to try the murg mussallam. However, did not finally garner the courage to do that, after the ‘not so great’ experience with the main course & starter.
Overall rating of food at Lucknowi Rivaayat , Maya, Trident averages out to 3.7/5
Look forward to hearing ur comments.