Mughlai restaurants are not uncommon in Delhi. Perhaps the Mughals have left an everlasting impression both with their bravery as much as with their food. However what most restaurants sell in the name of Mughali cuisine is oil laden gravies that are a calorie bomb and unsurprisingly the youth is getting away from this lovely cuisine.
I stay in Gurgaon and any drive towards the other side of town, i.e. Okhla is to be planned much in advance. I am at Mughal Food at Okhla on an invite to review the winter menu. The restaurant is like an oasis in a desert. With furniture market and small shops, it certainly isn’t one of the markets that can compete with swanky south Delhi malls. But then the quality of food these malls serves is anyone’s guess.
Expecting rich gravies and poor interiors I enter inside the 90-seater Mughal Foods. I must admit, the Mughal Foods took me by surprise. The tables are neatly laden; there is enough leg room and space between tables, old filmy music, and interiors that is inspired by any traditional Muslim home. I am taken to a spot that is slightly away from the main hustle-bustle of the restaurant and the huge window shows the outside area giving a feel of openness.
Rizwan Ul Hasan, the owner, made a sweeping statement, “We want the food to be low on cholestrol and use minimal oil to retain flavours. Infact we use Nutralite or olive oil in most dishes”. Wow, this was most unexpected at this place. However if the food would pass the test of taste is still to be seen.
The Mutton Yakhani soup (60) is lukewarm and insipid. I could not take the second spoon. “Am I at a wrong place’, I heard my voice telling me. However, what came next kept subtly tingling my taste buds with delight. Fish fry (169) made with sole fish, Mutton Seekh (99) is soft and flavourful (it shouldn’t have any cream, which this one had), Mutton Barrah (99) has a lovely uncharred bite, and chicken kalimirch tikka (159) is equally interesting. My wife, who is a vegetarian, is happy with her Paneer Achaari Tikka (199). The Mughal Foods have lot of options for non vegetarian but lacks much option for vegetarians in starters.
The main course brings even more joy to me as a foodie. Urad Dal Gosht (180) is rarely available these days, Haleem (120) is just as per my liking, not very pasty and retains a bite, mutton Nihari (199) served with lemon, green chilly and julienne of ginger. I am not a big fan of biryani. For a change I even like the Mutton Biryani (119) which isn’t artificially colored. The aromas are all intact and mutton retains all juices. Rogini naan (Badaami naan) done in olive oil remains my preferred bread for the evening.
The delightful meal is ended with badami halwa (110), kesari phirni (40) and an innovative coconut phirni (45). At these prices I am willing to become a regular. Wish I lived any closer. Mughal Foods is already doing well and I am sure as soon as the word spread in East Delhi and Noida, it will soon see big waiting.
Ratings (out of 5)
Ambience: 4.0 | Food: 4.5 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0
Alcohol: No | Credit Card: Yes | Meal for two: ₹700/- | Home Delivery: Yes
Address: D-23, Kalindi Kunj Road, Thokar No 3, Abul Fazal Enclave, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi-25 | Phone: 011-43850255, 65183999, 29947809, 8826198283