I have eaten at Turquoise and Peshawari Tandoor a couple of times and have always enjoyed their food. The restaurant plates their food beautifully and after seeing some pictures of the Sunday brunch captured by my fellow foodie Harsha (of the FB group Bakasura) I had to go and get click crazy! The reason I haven’t written about it for so long (almost a year!) has been two fold (a) My forgetfulness – which includes leaving the camera at home and (b) the
low ‘mood’ lighting in their Indian restaurant. (It’s done up with multi-hued ceiling to floor chandeliers!). Mood lighting encourages romance but does NOT a good picture make!
So I happily trumped in on Sunday with my camera and my friend Shwe in tow – expecting to go photo crazy on their buffet table. Unfortunately, they informed me that the Sunday brunch has now been stopped L (Lesson learned for being a procrastinator!). Luckily they had a Signature Tasting Menu of all their best dishes and we were more than happy to sample the same. And the best part – they were going to serve each dish at the table, so I could relax and let the party come to me!
I made two small requests – firstly, can we be seated at their sunlight restaurant on the 2nd floor? and secondly, I wanted a seat next to the large window. Since I mostly eat out at night, I was not going to pass up the opportunity of clicking pictures in daylight! Now that we got the basics of a good lunch in place (I’m a food blogger… what do you expect?), we settled down to be entertained.
They serve a complimentary glass of red/ white wine with the tasting menu. I ordered a Grovers Chenic Blanc and Shwe decided to be content with a Lemon-Soda. The Lime-Soda was apparently perfect. (She really forced me to write this!).
Our first starter was a Dahi Ke kebab which came shaped in the form of a heart! Since Shwe and me are Chaddi buddies, this ‘romantic starter’ had us giggling like schoolgirls. (Inside jokes :P) I liked the subtle flavor punctuated by a hit of fresh green chilli and cardamom. However Shwe (who’s not a fan of elaichi) wished that there wasn’t any!
Next the Murg Gilafi Kebab and the Peshawari Paneer Tikka arrived. The Gilafi Kebab was fascinating to look at – red and green peeking out of the chicken sheek. I don’t think I’ve seen peppers being used in a sheek before, but this one made a pretty picture. The Peshawari Paneer was coated with a light spice paste and grilled. The owner informed us that they make the Paneer in-house with Buffalo milk. No wonder it was nice and soft!
The Kumbh Khazana which is mushroom stuffed with creamed spinach and grilled was something the vegetarians will be happy about. Or maybe I’m biased because I love mushrooms in any form. The Galawati Kebab was fantastic. Super silky spiced mince served over a special paratha soaked in ghee. Decandent? Well obviously!
This was my favorite starter of the day – the Barra Kebab. Lamb Chops in a spicy marinade chargrilled to perfection. We started to attack it with our fancy forks and knives when the owner stopped us midway. ‘The only way to fully enjoy this is with your hands’, he said. Who are we to argue – we dug in with abandon! I could have eaten many more of this but I knew we had something special coming along for main course.
Nalli Ka Salan! The sheer beauty of seeing slow cooked lamb shanks standing proud in a thick, creamy, fatty, gravy is enough to give me the shivers! And this one din’t disappoint. It was served with a Khameeri Roti. Shwe commented that it was like a version of Pita bread – you could definitely smell the yeast. Both made good lunch companions J.
Peshawri (or North-West frontier cuisine) is famous for it’s Dal Bhukhara. Now ITC has almost single handedly raised this dish to iconic status. Dal Bukhara is a medley of lentils cooked overnight to achieve an almost homogenous effect, finished with tomato paste and dollops of butter and cream. (Though I think the last two ingredients are recent additions in the restaurant business). Shwe who’s not really a black dal fan, actually enjoyed this one. I on the other hand have always been a fan of this one and couldn’t stop loading my plate.
Of course the meal cannot be complete without a Dum Biryani and Salan. We got ours served hot at the table where they slowly cut into the dough to reveal the glistening strands of saffron and white rice. The aroma hits you in the face and then all you can do is grind your teeth to avoid yanking the dish from the waiter and start stuffing your face. The meat was cooked beautifully but what rocked the biryani into the stratosphere was the Burani Raita. It was sweet and spicy and creamy and yummy! We begged the owner for the recipe. (We are now proud owners of the same – though I have a nagging doubt that he didn’t fully reveal the ‘secret’ of how the raita gets a faint caramelized taste!)
I was already stuffed. When the starters arrived I was actually disappointed that it was just one piece each. (Ok, Ok, the idea of a tasting menu is lost on me most of the time!). But I’m glad they restricted it, because there is a big risk of getting stuck on the starters and not even getting to the main course – which for me is a must try.
A trio of desserts arrived. The most awaited but the least impressive was the Qubani ka Meetha. I may be judging harshly but I would have much preferred it with a simple dollop of malai rather than the elaborate Rabdi they served it with. Too much sweet can actually be difficult to stomach. The Baklava on the other hand was just right – flaky pastry brushed with clarified butter encasing yummy crushed pistachios. (The owners wife makes these herself). The best of the three was the Badshahi Malai Kulfi. OMG yum! Best kulfi I’ve had in a long time. Period.
Koramamgala is a place that’s teeming with new players in the food space everyday. There is no dearth for novelty here – from Persian to Naga cuisine. And people love new and shiny things – fact. It’s sad to see, that a restaurant with such good food like Peshawari Tandoor, still needs to fight to retain its place in the spotlight. Will novelty or good taste win? – Let’s hope sense prevails and it’s the latter!
2nd and 3rd Floor,
#9, 1st A Main Road,
(Near Sukh Sagar)
5th Block, Koramangala,
Ph: +91 97399 42912/ 080 65776588
Cost: Rs.1150/- plus taxes for the signature tasting menu. Rs. 1400/- excld taxes, for a meal for two (without alcohol)
Parking: Valet Available