Coriander Leaf needs no introduction. Located at the heart of Gurgaon city, behind DT City centre mall on the MG Road, Coriander Leaf restaurant has always been a preferred destination for Indian and Pakistani cuisines in a fine dining format. I have personally been to the restaurant several times, and I was happy to be invited to review their independence week special food festival. In the Phillipines and few other countries, the Independence day food festival is celebrated with much fanfare through out the country, and I was glad to note that standalone restaurants in India are making efforts to celebrate the day. However, this day still remains a big untapped opportunity for all in the food business which is a mandatory off for most of the working class.
To celebrate the 64th anniversary of our Independence, Coriander Leaf has come out with a new menu with 64 dishes covering the length and breadth of the country. The selected dishes from various state comprising of Kashmir, Rajasthan, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Sikkim, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh among others were included in the special menu which was printed in the shape of the Indian map. The special menu has most of the items different from the regular menu highlighting the restaurant is not only marketing it well but packaging it differently too. The decor, with small Indian flags centred at the table, patriotic songs playing on a low volume, and servers dressed in traditional Kurta, payjama, and Gandhi cap set the mood perfectly for Independence week food festival if a trifle predictively.
Obviously it would have been an impossible task for me to try out all the dishes, I asked the corporate Chef R.K.Reddy to suggest the food. I am a hardcore non-vegetarian and to balance it out, I was joined by my friend who is a vegetarian. We started by having some Mattha (Maharashtra), Chicken 65 (Karnataka), Tabak Maaz (Kashmir), Bhopali Kabab (Madhya Pradesh), and Paneer ka Soola (Rajasthan). I have never been fond of grilled Paneer. It usually is too bland, chewy, or not marinated properly. But I must admit the Paneer ka Soola at Coriander Leaf was a welcome change. Even Chicken 65 and Bhopali Kabab were as authentic as they could get.
|Makhane ki Kheer|
In the main course Chef suggested we go for Mutton Vindaloo (Goa), Vegetarian Stew with Malabar Parantha (Kerala), Dal-Bhati-Churma (Rajasthan), Prawn Xacuti (Goa) and Chicken Keema Parantha (Delhi). All other dishes except Keema Parantha (too dry!) were excellent with special mention to Dal-Bhati-Churma and Prawn Xacuti. So soft, so juicy and so traditional. Malabar Parantha with vegetarian stew is a must must recommendation for all vegetarians. It is a welcome change from the ubiquitous Dal Makhani and Shahi Paneer which we north Indians are so used to ordering every time we go out.
The desserts were again full of options from across the country. We tried Malai Ghewar (Rajasthan), Dal Payasam (Tamil Nadu), Bhutte ki Kheer (Madhya Pradesh), Seviayan Muzaffar (UP) and Makhane ki kheer (Bihar). Bhutte ki Kheer was very innovative and I had it for the first time. Makahne ki Kheer and Malai Ghewar topped with some fresh Rabri also needs a special mention. These were absolute melt-in-the-mouth.
The festival is over but I recommend all the food lovers and people to try out Coriander Leaf’s Mughlai and Pakistani cuisine when ever they get the next opportunity. I look forward to more such happenings to experience traditional food that offers a great fine dining experience wrapped in a delightful ambiance.
– Pawan Soni
For reservations contact: 0124-4062121
Editor: The review is dated and was done on 14th Aug’10.