Mumbai: Taste the true flavours of Delhi at this new Khar eatery
A new eatery serves North Indian food that is true to its character: masaledar, wholesome and satisfying
"Akhir mein Dilliwali hi kaam aayi, na?" is the response we receive from our co-taster, a lover of all things Delhi, for an invitation to join us for a meal. We head to Tamak, a new restaurant in Khar helmed by chef Vikram Arora.
The 20-seater space with chic interiors comprises blue and lemony glass panels and warm yellow walls. We gear up for a joyride around the capital's streets as we tuck into Dilli ki chaat (R225) with six shots of gol gappe, dahi bhalle and tawa aloo chaat, all served on a wooden table. The spicy gol gappe water makes us cough, so Arora offers us a milder version. The dahi bhalle come with a gingery and sour saunth ki chutney, and a green chutney that has an earthy zing. The aloo is deep fried and dusted with black salt and chaat masala. It is flavoured with a lip-smacking combination of spices like jeera, amchur and ajwain.
The fish Amritsari (Rs 375) includes four pieces of king fish with a gram flour crust, sprinkled with chaat masala and accompanied by a spicier and minty version of the green chutney. For the mains, we take the Rajasthani route via rasgulle ki sabzi (Rs 355). Usually, we try to steer clear of malai-based gravies because they tend to be dull. But in this dish the cashew nut-and-curd-based gravy has a touch of rose water and dum ka masala, giving it a burst of flavours. The rasgullas have been pressed to reduce sugar and give it a paneer-like texture.
Next, we head to the Jama Masjid neighbourhood for a Delhi 6 chicken ishtu (Rs 365) cooked in khada (whole) spices and curd. The onion garlic paste is treated with fresh coriander, garlic and red chillies and cooked on a very low flame. This peppery-garlic dish is served in an aluminium pateli for authenticity. We lap the dish up along with the khamiri roti (Rs 60) that has been garnished with toasted poppy seeds.
Our Dilli girl is filled with glee when the chef offers us phalse kulfi (Rs 245), a seasonal fruit available only in May and June. We prefer the jamun version over the icy dessert because it has more depth and texture. Next, we call for jalebi with rabri. Our friend approves of the light orange and crispy dessert made with kesar. We happily surrender to the sugary sweet rabri. Just like the many variants of kheer available such as lahsun, and gosht ki kheer, halwa, too is not restricted to doodhi (gourd) and gajar (carrot).
So, we try the simla mirch ka halwa (Rs 225) — a unique dish that makes use of green capsicum, which is reduced in milk and sugar and flavoured with cardamom. Served with varak and kaju, we barely realise that we're eating a vegetable, for the warm halwa is just as sweet as any other dessert we love. Arora plans to add flavours from the kitchens of Kashmir as well. And this becomes fodder for our next visit as we leave hoping to return again soon. That too, with our Delhi crusader finally content with what Mumbai has to offer.
Time: 12 pm to 11 pm
At: Saraswat Colony, Vithaldas Nagar, Khar West.
Watch video: Chef Ranveer Brar shares his unique recipes at a new Mumbai eatery