On reaching the new Phoenix Market City, Kurla we discovered a huge mall by Mumbai standards, not yet completely occupied and practically deserted. It is easy for hard core Mumbai-ites, not being used to space, to get lost in an area such as this. It is but natural that we took a few wrong turns before we arrived at our food destination – the Rajdhani restaurant.
Rajdhani is a fairly popular restaurant chain in Mumbai, dishing out unlimited thalis with a mix of Rajasthani and Gujarati vegetarian cuisine. They are holding a Rajasthani food festival, called ‘Rangeelo Rajasthan’ from Feb 15-29, 2012.
We entered a brightly lit and cheerful restaurant, albeit sparsely occupied given that it was a Friday afternoon.The staff was very warm without being overbearing, serving us food as we would at home, but with a bit more khaatirdaari. Our thalis were filled with an oxymoronic mix of efficiency and languidness. It required a bit more restraint than I am known for, to wait till all dishes were served. I am glad I waited – the thali looked very pretty all filled up.
There is a lot to be said for the Thali – the sheer variety ensures that there is something for everyone. The chaach hit the spot completely – just the right temperature and sourness. The kesar drink – a welcome drink, however left a lot to be desired – too sweet, watery and not cool enough.
I myself loved the farsaan, which had the gawar phalli dried and roasted with a very spicy masala! Yumm! Among the other farsaans, the dudhimuthiya had a nice spicy kick, but the samosa with shev lacked personality. There was a raw papaya salad which was also interesting, having been lightly tempered with jeera/rai.
The main dishes were a mixed bag – by far the best being the tomato shev, a dish I have never eaten before. It is made out of green tomatoes with rajasthani shev, giving the right balance of crunchiness and pungency, without an overpowering masala. Loved it enough to take three helpings! Along with that, I thoroughly enjoyed the Koba Roti, a thick whole-wheat roti, slow cooked on a tawa, taken with the requisite amount of ghee! Even the gatte-ki-subzi had a comforting taste – not the star of the show, but proving capable backup.
What was disappointing was the food festival dish of the day – Dal-Bati-Churma. The dal was flat and the churma extremely dry and lacking flavor. Even the regular dals were having a bad taste day. I have eaten at other Rajdhani outlets, and their dals always taste the same (good). Alas, that was not the case this time, the gujarati kadhi and the sweet dal were ickily sweet, and the spicy dal not spicy enough.
I must not forget to share our feedback on the khichdi. The khichdi is a dish that can easily go wrong, if the balance of softness and blandness is not achieved. I normally look forward to the khichdi in the thali so that I can mix the gujarati kadhi in it – it rounds up my meal perfectly. This time, even without the kadhi, the khichdi was purrfect!
The deserts! The Jalebis were crisp, the shrikhand had just the right tang and the gajar halwa was soft and comforting.
Actually, comforting is a word that I would also use for the entire meal. As with home food, you choose the dishes you like and focus on those. The masalas did not overpower the other raw materials, and you came away feeling replete, not just from the food but also the warm service (and the food festival goodies – agarbattis, bangles, khichdi recipe cookbook).
Ratings out of 5
Food: 3.5 | Ambiance: 3.5 | Service: 4.0|Overall: 3.5
Meal for Two: Rs 600 | Alcohol: No | Credit Card: Yes| Timing: 10:30 AM – 12 midnight
Address: Phoenix Market City, LBS Road, Kurla, Mumbai | Phone: +91 9819555204
– Apoorva Murkumbi