Rajasthan is the land of sand dunes and beautiful palaces; a land of traditions, of vibrant colours and above all wonderful people. The people of the land pride themselves in being one of the most hospitable people in India and live by the adage “Atithi Devo Bhava” (Guest is God).
I got to experience a bit of this beautiful hospitality at the Andheri West outlet of Panchvati Gaurav. The restaurant is a popular thali restaurant with branches all over the city and serves Gujarati and Rajasthani vegetarian dishes. Currently they are hosting a Rajasthani festival where the menu comprises completely of dishes from the Rajasthani Kitchen.
The day I went there on an invite from the restaurant’s management, there was some miscommunication and the outlet was not informed of my arrival. When I reached there, the outlet incharge, Mr. Bhanwar Singh, complete in a royal Rajput garb, attended me and despite not having knowledge of my arrival, greeted me with a lot of love and regard.
I guess hospitality runs in the Rajasthani blood stream as Mr. Bhanwar Singh went out of his way to make me comfortable. The same, however, can’t be said about the rest of the staff (who I believe are locals from around Mumbai), as they just could not match his affectionate hosting nor were they as prompt with their service as one would usually expect at the Panchvati Gaurav outlets. This could also be due to the place being extremely full during lunch time.
The décor of the place is very ethnic and sets the mood for the ethnic meal that is to follow. The food is served on large steel thaalis and small bowls lined around it. For snacks they served samosas and patraa which was a bit surprising as I was expecting Kachoris or mirchi pakoras along with the samosa, instead of the Gujarati Patra. The samosas were not as khasta as I would have liked them to be, but the filling of potatoes and dry fruits, was quite delectable.
In the mains, there was a myriad of vegetable dishes ranging from capsicum sabji (which was decent), a white peas dish which I just loved for its subtle spices and rustic flavour. The aloo sabji was also quite nice, but the best for me was the onion kadhi- tangy, spicy – just the way one would get in Rajasthan. The dal baati was average, in my first helping I wasn’t offered desi ghee with it and got a dry baati with spiced up daal. In the second helping I was offered the ghee but somehow I believe the kind of ghee they are using at the restaurant lacks the typical aroma of desi ghee and doesn’t lend the required punch to the dishes.
For the Rajasthani festival, I was informed that the desserts would be Malpua with rabri and Pineapple halwa; instead I was served a thick boondi laddu (which they called motichoor) and pineapple halwaa. The halwaa was good, but once again, I missed the desi ghee aroma which is characteristic of the sweets from that region.
Though many of the dishes were average, the pooris, kadhi and white peas sabji were great and made up for the experience. Added to this, the gracious hosting of Bhanwar Singh certainly made the whole dining experience quite memorable.
The Rajasthani Marwar festival will continue at Panchvati Gaurav for another seventeen days, do visit to get a taste of Rajasthani hospitality and some great dishes as well. Ghani Khambaa…Padharo mhaare des!
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 3 | Ambience: 4 | Service: 4 | Overall: 3.5
Meal for two: Rs.1000 | Alcohol: No | Credit Card: Yes | Timings: 12 Noon to 3:45 PM, 7 PM to 10:45 PM
Happy Hours : N/R | Wheelchair Access : Yes
Address: 2nd Floor, Infiniti Mall, Andheri Lokhandwala, Andheri West, Mumbai
Tel: 022 30151599
This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.