Most Punjabi’s love to show off. I may not be ‘BIG’ but am certainly one of them. Anytime my firangi friends come to Gurgaon one place I always take them to is Kingdom of Dreams. Having travelled across many parts of globe I can say with conviction that Kingdom of Dreams is not only at par with any similar place in the world but it is much better. Luckily soon my friends realise I am not showing off, but it is a place worth showing around.
The culture gully in Kingdom of Dreams has stalls like Delhi Haat but in an air-conditioned environment. Apart from the normal food court style stalls there are few restaurants as well.
Having eaten at almost all stalls, we tried Lucknow restaurant this time. Décor is reminiscent of Mughal Era in hues of greens, blues and usage of mirrors. A small stage is set for ‘Qawwals’ who I am told perform starting 8pm. Since our show of ‘Jhumroo’ was to begin at the same time, we opted for an early dinner.
Chef at Lucknow stall, Chef Irshad Ahamed Qureshi, is real nephew of Imtiaz Qureshi known for his Dum Pukht cuisine at ITC Hotels and has some of the similar magic which his uncle could recreate with food. Fortunately he was present and I got a chance of having few words with him. On his suggestion we opted for Galaouti Kebab (Rs 300). I am not exaggerating when I say it was simply the best. I have had it at several restaurants and this one was class apart. A melt in the mouth preparation going beautifully with ulte tawe ka parantha, it is a must try dish at Lucknow restaurant at Kingdom of Dreams. Gimmikand ke Kebab (Yam Kebab; Rs200) is an equally good option for vegetarians.
After starting on such a beautiful note, I ordered for my favourite Nihari (345). This is meant to be a breakfast dish, but whenever I get an opportunity I cannot resist. Nihari was cooked well but the gravy was tad thick. Also, I like the way traditionally Nihari is served – with ginger juliennes, finely chopped green chillies and lemon. Most restaurants don’t serve it like this anymore but eat it this way and it will enhance the flavours of Nihari many fold.
Paneer Matter Makhane ka quorma is still being introduced in the menu but the chef was kind to get us a taste of it. Being so engrossed in Nihari and later Ghosht Biryani (320), I hardly took any note of the dish. However my wife and kids seemed happy.
Ending the meal with Shahi Tukda (120) we quickly rushed to our show of Jhumroo in Nautanki Mahal. I have watched Zangoora here which is beyond words can describe. Luckily both the shows have completely different themes. One is about royal fantasy and the other is about commoner dream. What brings them together is splendour, the music, the sets, and the actors who show similar energy level show after show. Undoubtedly it is the biggest tribute anyone can ever pay to one of the greatest singer of his time – Kishore Kumar.
Kingdom of Dreams is a delight. It is India’s answer to Las Vegas of US, malls of Dubai, Broadway show of London and like. I can keep going there without getting monotonous, I can keep eating there without repeating the dishes, and I can go there with friends, family or colleagues and it still manages to excite all. Magnificent!!!
Ratings out of 5
Food: 3.5 | Ambiance: 5.0 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0
Meal for Two: Rs 1000 (Without Alcohol) | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes| Entry Charges to Kingdom of Dreams: Tuesday – Friday: Rs299, Sat-Sun: Rs499, Monday: Closed. These charges are fully redeemable on food or shopping, Children below 12years free | Timings: 12.30PM – 11.30PM
Address: Kingdom of Dreams, Auditorium Complex, Sector 29, Gurgaon | Phone: 0124-4528000
– Pawan Soni