An Imperial Experience @ Indian Kitchen
There are great dining experiences, and then there are the ones which are an experience of a lifetime. Indian Kitchen, standing tall on the heart of Mahatma Gandhi Road is not just another restaurant serving North Indian cuisine, but is undoubtedly one of the Top 3 in this genre. I had the privilege to be invited by Chef Shaikh Ishtekhar Mohammed, Executive Brand Chef of Indian Kitchen for a private tasting of their delectable delicacies.
Chef explained in detail to me about their numerous specials, the ones that are marked in the Menu distinctly. The bright and colorful interiors added to the pure joi de vivre that any good meal calls for. I knew I was about to embark on a gastronomic journey of pure decadence and unmatched excellence.
We started with the Mocktails from the chef’s signature mixes and are gaining widespread acclaim from its patrons. The Baba Ji Ki Booti, Masat Amrut and the Ganne ka Juice made me crave for more. But it was not until their flagship Cocktail Dhichkiyaon arrived, I was simply spellbound. Presented in a mockup of a Sheesha, this unique blend of Vodka, Gin and Tequila along with a Sweet and Sour mix topped with ample ice cubes creates an impression. One needs to suck on to the straw by turning the tap like attachment on the other side for the drink to pass through. Semi stiff in body, but purely decadent and Diva-esque in its appeal and taste, this one is a Blockbuster from the Menu.
The Appetizers arrived in a few. Each and every dish was special and hand-picked by Chef Shaikh himself and bore trademark of his excellence in the domain of essential signatures from North India.
The Vegetarian section comprised of a Palak Papdi Kabab, Makai Ki Phool Kachodi and Aloo Moti Tikki. The Makai Ki Phool is undoubtedly the most flavorsome and is not available anywhere else in Bengaluru. In the Non Vegetarian selection, The Chicken Tikka and Kala Ghosht made their humble yet powerful appearance. The plating is quite simple and elegant with Stainless Steel used for all Vegetarian Dishes and their Non Vegetarian counterparts served in Copper. It is a proven fact that meat attains its taste in full glory when served in Copper utensils. The earthy flavor of the Chicken Tikka and the usage of Poppy Seeds in the Kala Ghosht accentuated the essential flavors. The Kala Ghosht again is an Indian Kitchen specialty and is not available anywhere in the city.
As we spoke about food and blogging and everything in between, I was awestruck by the Raan Biryani served at a neighboring table and could not help but ask the Chef about its portion size. It is cooked with a Kilogram of Mutton Leg and Basmati Rice and the portion is more than sufficient for about 5-6 people of conventional consumption capacity. For someone like me, it is enough for a week’s consumption. Needless to mention, I knew I was going to savor this dish at the very end of our ongoing progressive meal.
It was time for the Mains to make an appearance and Chef has already mentioned to me about the various types of Flat Bread that he wanted me to taste. The Bread baskets were twofold, one containing the Thepla, Saatpati Roti and the Thalipit Roti, all delicacies from Gujarat and Rajasthan. The other comprised of the famous Parebaric Naan, known for its humongous size that it can alone cater to a parivar or a Family (in Hindi) along with the Masala Cheese Naan and the Pudina Laccha Parantha. The Paneer Makhani and Indian Kitchen Murg Makhani were served along with the breads. Now every restaurant I have been to, big or small, famous or not so popular make the same curry for Paneer and Murg. But here in Indian Kitchen, one can identify how very different they should taste. The Paneer is more relatable, but the Murg was a total knockout. With subtle use of roasted Cashew and a right proportion of the Butter with the Chicken Gravy, thick and viscous as it should be. The myriad of flavors in this dish are by far unparalleled to anything I have ever tasted before. Dear Chicken never tasted so good!
The Raan Biryani was worth the wait with its unique presentation and strong earthy flavor. I was able to savor this delicacy with a few extra servings, just enough to leave some room for the mysterious Dessert that was on its way.
Chef did not reveal to me before it arrived, and the surprise was totally worth it. It was again an Indian Kitchen Exclusive-Raabri Malpua, a steamed delicacy with its roots in Bengal, but re-created by Chef Shaikh in his unique style. The sweetness of this pure sin made me refuse to finish my drink simply to retain its taste in my mouth. I was in food heaven, and the fact that they are in my neighbourhood made me ecstatic. This was by far one of the best North Indian gastronomic experiences ever and I cannot stop myself from going on and on about it. Go on and try them out, but be careful-chances are you will not go back to your earlier favorite after you have had a taste of Indian Kitchen.