There are times when, after the day’s chores are done, I wish for nothing more than a chilled beer and a good meal. This time, my wish was granted – by the Kebab-e-Bahar open air restaurant – of the Taj Banjara Hotel.
A food festival that is complete value for money is the Beer and Kebab promotion being held at this open air restaurant. Dining al fresco with some cool breeze, the burning frankincense emitting a smoky, subtle fragrance, clever lighting with candles and loads of greenery, and Bollywood’s hit songs from the sixties and seventies, ensured I relaxed almost immediately.
A chilled beer and crisp rumali rotis whetted our appetite even as we wondered how the restaurant would take us through the meal. We were spared the trouble of choosing from a menu as a sizzler tray, emitting smoke from the very hot food fresh off the tandoor, was placed in front of us. I had opted for the non-vegetarian platter which included kebabs like Mutton Shikampuri, Pathar Ka Gosht, Anardana Machli Tikka, Murg Nisha Puri and Murg Malai Kebab. These were served with a bowl of Dal Banjara and a rumali roti, the soft variant this time.
Each kebab that I had was seeped in flavours that made the meat succulent and spicy. While the Anardana Machli Tikka had the tell-tale sourness of pomegranate seeds, the Murg Malai Kebab was subtle, yet tasty.
The vegetarian platter that was served to the vegetarians at the table included – Veg Shikampuri Kebab, Makai Sheekh, Chatpate Aloo , Adraki Paneer Tikka and Tandoori Gobi. I checked with the vegetarians at the table, they were raving about the Veg Shikampuri Kebab and the Paneer Tikka too seemed to be a winner.
But the piece de resistance was undoubtedly the Dal Banjara. Everyone at the table loved it. Apparently, the signature dish of this restaurant that is open for dinner only, the recipe for this dal is a closely guarded secret, passed down only from one Executive Chef to the next. Creamy, with the soft texture and taste of the dal that had probably been cooked for hours on end, it just melted in the mouth, leaving me craving for the next bite. Getting this dal right is not something every restaurant can do easily, but Kebab-e-Bahar seems to have achieved perfection with this dish.
Some delicious kulfi and khubani ka meetha for dessert was a sweet end to a filling and truly delicious meal.
The festival is on till the 5th of June and the restaurant is open for dinner only. Prices for 4 pints of beer and the platters are Rs 1299 plus taxes for the non-veg and 1199 plus taxes for the veg one.
Taj Banjara, Road No. 1, Banjara Hills
Tel: 040 66669999