Any foodie who has travelled to Delhi at one time or another has always wanted to visit the iconic Karim’s at Jama Masjid. It has secured the place amongst the top restaurants in Asia as per Times magazine. I have eaten at the restaurant many a times and differ with the general opinion that places the restaurant culinary skills to be so high.
At times your parentage or name can do wonder. You may not know how to act, you may not know how to dance, your expression may not change from one movie to another, and many of your pictures may flop but given your surname one is not only able to survive in the industry but do well too. Same is the case in the hospitality industry. Your competition may now be much improved, your prices do not justify the place and ambience, your service standards suck, and you have stopped reinventing yourself long ago. And still given the name one continues to draw crowds and keep minting money.
There are more than one examples that I can think of. Bade Mian at Mumbai, Bukhara at Maurya, and Karim’s are just few of them.
I was told that Karim’s has opened an outlet at Gurgaon’s Global Foyer Mall. This mall known for Mercedes showroom, Striker pub and few other luxury brands, also houses Karim’s that has never been my favorite. I do like their seekh kebabs, but then Jama Masjid has so many better places to boast about. And though my mind rebelled, heart took precedence and I was off to check out the newly opened Karim’s.
Located on the ground floor, the place is cramped and is done at three levels which could barely cover some 30-40 guests at a time. We were in time and easily got a seat and though the service is not warm, it was at least more attentive than its Jama Masjid counterpart. The seekh kebabs (245) were small but juicy and succulent. Undoubtedly one of the better ones I have had at Gurgaon.
The mutton burra (440) was dry and charred at places. I agreed with my friend dining with me that it used lot of lean meat making it so dry. Masalas were intact but given the dryness we did not appreciate the taste. It had to be dipped in accompanying mint chutney which though was runny was full of flavors, and was the saving grace that helped us finish the burra.
Moving on to the main course, the Nihari (320) was nowhere a Nihari. Neither did it taste nor looked like one. Nihari is a breakfast dish which is cooked overnight on slow heat making this dish a delight. I have not had a good Nihari in Gurgaon so far and this one was a disappointment too with gravy as thick as Mutton Masala.
Keema Kaleji (325) lacked character. It looked like two different ingredients are mixed together where love is still missing. Keema seems to be machine made while kaleji wasn’t fresh. Even the accompanying Khamiri Roti (27) which is a must on all my visits to Jama Masjid was not only smaller but the first lot was served cold too. That flakiness which comes when khamir properly raises the atta and helps it bake wasn’t done well.
The outlet is still new and is drawing good crowd without much publicity. Now, one does not need to travel to the bylanes of old Delhi to eat an average meal, they can do it in air-conditioned comfort. In the absence of any serious competition in Gurgaon, no doubt that people will keep thronging to this place and make it another success.
Rating out of 5
Food: 2.5 | Ambience: 2.5 | Service: 3.0 | Overall: 2.5
Meal for two: Rs. 1200| Alcohol: No | Credit Card: Yes | Timings: 12 Noon – 11PM
Address: Karim’s, GF-4, Global Foyer (Next to Mercedes), Gofl Course Road, Gurgaon | Phone: 9971047588
Disclosure: This review was done after an anonymous visit, the food paid for by the reviewer.