Food review: The Kabila Restaurant, Aurobindo Place

Syed Zafar Mehdi

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, goes the cliché. And when talk veers to Indian cuisines, one is bound to fall in love with the exotic aroma of the spicy, mouth-watering delicacies that toss your calorie apprehensions to winds.

The mere mention of Indian food stirs butterflies in me. This week, destination was the famed eatery in South Delhi, The Kabila restaurant at Aurobindo Place. Though it isn’t one of my favourite places to savour Indian food, many recommend it and lots of locals flock here too.

Nestled in a beautiful setting, Kabila is a fun experience for guests. The food is authentic enough that anyone not snobbish about Indian food will enjoy it. Ambience is alluring that flushes out positive vibes, and sets mood for a perfect dining. Pipe music in the background adds to the cool quotient of the eatery.

I am escorted to the seat in middle, facing the delightfully decorated ceramic objects. I fasten my seat belts. Menu is intimidating. Choices galore. In a jiffy, my table is choc-o-bloc with decadent delicacies.

Chicken Tikka, the traditionally baked skewers with small pieces of chicken in tandoor after marinating in spices and yogurt, is delectable. It’s followed by Murg Malai kebab; a yummy chicken preparation flavoured with spices and rounded off with malai. A munch of delicious Tawa Biryani, biryani prepared on tawa (cast-iron griddle) is hard to resist. Bhoona Gosht, succulent mutton pieces grilled in hot tandoor is another item that leaves one licking fingers.

For bread, you have Paneer kulcha and naan, cooked on an iron griddle. Naan is soft and fluffy, made from plain flour with a little bit of yeast. Then come the desserts. A sumptuous meal is never complete without gajar ka halwa, the perennial favourite traditional dessert of India made of carrot pudding. Gulab jamun, milk balls made in sweet syrup and kulfi, flavoured frozen dessert made from milk almost complete the feast on sweet note.

The bottom line: At Kabila, food stands up to the hype, an ideal sit-down option for high-quality Indian food. I would say this is a basic Indian restaurant of well above average quality. They aren’t doing anything wondrous here, just offering the basics better than anyone else around.

Aurobindo Place, Hauz Khas, New Delhi
Contact: 011-26568494
Average cost: Rs 800 for two people

 

 

 

 

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Food review: Park Balluchi

Syed Zafar Mehdi

An idyllic place nestled amid spectacular Deer Park, with scampering rabbits, strutting peacocks, and innocent looking deer all around in well-manicured lawns, Park Balluchi stands for customer-friendly ambience, sumptuous food and the vintage feel.

This award-winning, fine-dining barbeque restaurant, with stone floors and cast-iron furniture, is housed in a glass structure that looks out on a lushly landscaped park. There is wide variety to pick from. Apart from world-class wine, scotch and beers, you have best of Afghani, Mughlai, Hyderabadi, Awadhi and Punjabi cuisines on offer.

Afghani-style murgh-potli, chicken breast stuffed with minced mutton are delicious. The specialty at Balluchi is the lazeez dohra kebabs, tantalising combinations of two meats (chicken and prawn marinated in herbs). Newer favourites include raan sikandari, roast leg of lamb marinated in herbs, spices, and rum and then grilled in the tandoor. Samundri Sher, the fresh tiger prawn marinated with exotic spices grilled in tandoor, is sumptuous.

The Murgh Achari, the Bhuna Kadhai, Lahori Tandoori Chicken, the Nawabi Shola are worth a shot too.  For vegetarians, there is mewa paneer tukra, a stocky Indian cottage cheese stuffed with raisins, walnuts, and other ingredients. Preparation of this dish takes at least 12 hours, they say.

At Park Balluchi, it’s as good as it gets, and certainly lives up to its name and hype.

Park Balluchi
Hauz Khas Village
Cost for two: Rs 800-1500