For someone who has grown up in Delhi, feasting on its flavours and aromas, especially from Pandara Road (a block in New Delhi, where restaurants serve authentic Indian food), to learn of a restaurant in Mumbai that borrows its name and that also claims to serve authentic dishes in this style of cooking, actually meant windfall. So, without wasting time, we made a trip to savour Mumbai’s version.
It was easy to locate, thanks to its big bright yellow and green board. Standing amid a few small shops in a government colony, this Pandara Road was a far cry from the spacious outlets at the capital’s Pandara Road. However, we didn’t want to judge a book by its cover. The place was small with few tables on both levels and we chose the seating downstairs for our Dilli darbar.
A scan of the place revealed that the owners didn’t borrow the name but were also keen to replicate the mood inside. The walls bore frames of this famous Delhi locality while the tables had mats with nuggets of information about the place. Ravenous by then, we started off with appetisers: Hara Bhara Kabab (Rs 70) and Tandoori Chicken Lollypop (Rs 120) along with a Jeera Chaas (Rs 30). Our excitement about the food began to fade away because of the waiting time that ensued. Despite repeated reminders, the starters took approximately 40 minutes to arrive. Since both the dishes were lip-smacking, we chose to forget about the delay, and concentrated on the food instead. The preparation and the taste earned full marks.
Since time played a huge role so far, we wasted none of it while ordering the mains. We chose a Mutton Curry, but we were told that the dish was unavailable, so our next option was Mutton Rogan Josh (Rs 185) with Rajma and Rice (Rs 90), Matar Paneer (Rs 99), Vegetable Raita (Rs 45) and Lachcha Paratha (Rs 25). Again, it felt as if a trip to Delhi could’ve been sneaked in, with our endless wait. In fact, by the time the raita arrived, we were nearly done with our mains. Time factor aside, the mutton tasted tender and was well-cooked, with the right amount of spices while the Rajma and Matar Paneer were up to the mark as well.We rounded off our food soiree with delicious, hot Gulab Jamuns (Rs 35). It helped that we didn’t have to wait for these delights.