It was my Father’s 62nd birthday and being devout Brahmin, my father ate only vegetarian and so did the rest of my family excluding me (thank god for that!). Searching for a restaurant that fits in all my family’s cravings and have me satisfied with the food was a task and excatly lead me to a quaint little restaurant by the sea. I was happy because we reserved a sea facing table for 4.
We arrived by 9:30ish on the 7th of May. Located on the first floor, it is a restaurant easy to miss had the sign board not been there. It is amazing how I had passed from that very road, perhaps more than a million times and yet missed this. Anyway, now that I was here, I was more than happy to be here and look forward to vegetarian food adventure. I agreed to eat vegetarian, because after ages my mum had asked me to do something for her (sigh!) and perhaps, she was tired of watching me tearing flesh off the bones with my canine teeth. The underlying challenge was the No spice month, I’d blogged earlier. When it came to such conditions, I didn’t know about how good (or bad) the food would be but, this quaint little place did look beautiful. As soon as I stepped in, I was greeted by their mascot Bhoji, the philosophy behind this that their belief that a well fed person is a happy person. This sent me off to a tangent thinking Food= Love. Where I would reiterate my motto when I see children: Well Read, Well Fed is Well Bred. Coming back to Bhoji, we were here to fulfill his motto and feed ourselves.
Being the type A control freak (when it comes to food) I’d done my research and knew what to order. First would alway be the starters and our round of drinks. For starters I ordered a dish called Makai Malai seekh. I was accustomed to the meat counterpart and vegetarian kebabs somehow never appealed to be, it felt faux to me as though a cheat trick for vegetarians, when they want to eat the non vegetarian counterparts. My Espresso martini and my sister’s Red wine Sangria was the first to arrive. I may not a subject matter expert when it comes to cocktails, but the Espresso martini could have been better.
By the time I was done taking two huge sips, a server arrived with a center piece of sides such pickle, lemons, raw onion rings, and chutneys which is a must have for every vegetarian thali restaurant. I chose to order of the menu, rather than having the thali, because I believe it gives you more freedom. Speaking of which my makai malai seekh arrived and it looked somewhat like this.
It was creamy with a regular consistency of corn in it with a hint of elaichi. The hint of elaichi was a part I didn’t really like but then again, it is out of a personal bias.
Then came the food with Balti se sabzi and Daal Bukhara. Everyone would agree to the fact that there’s something ethereal and comforting about daal. The thick rich cooked over night: Daal Bukhara, was an example as to why I love food so much. It was so good, I almost cried. While I moped up the daal and subzi with my naan and chewed it, I felt them glide to the tiniest crevices of my mouth. It was as though all my senses except my taste were fading out as I closed my eyes to adore the simplicity of food. Perhaps the ‘No Spice month’ was a good idea after all.
The next to arrive was the famous Vegetable dum biryani. It came with a rolled out dough to seal all the flavors inside, the roti they claimed was edible.
This is how it looked with the cover off
It wasn’t exactly slow cooked and the flavors was more or less like a mish mash of spices spices paired with the regality of the biryani rice. The biryani, perhaps not meant to be a vegetarian dish, could’ve been better because I’ve had much better biryani that can boast of delicate flavors of spices, saffron, and deep fried onion shreds.
Anyway, next up was the sweet ending to the complete meal, the Bharwan Gulab Jamun. One of the most famous desserts, Gulab Jamun stuffed with coarsely chopped pistachios were served rather pleasantly in a soup spoon. They came topped with almond shavings.
This sinful dessert was made out of dreams. It was the perfect end for a meal only that more pistachios could have been better.
The fine simple vegetarian fare I had was not only a palate pleasing experience. It somehow felt good to be a herbivore even though it was for a little while.
This restaurant is an amazing place to be at, specially because of the ambience and the spectacular view. The staff us polite and prompt. It proved to me that I can stay put on my challenge and enjoy it. Food is what you make out of it.
Love your food and it will love you back. To finish this piece I will add a selfie with the mascot of good eating: Bhoji
P. S. Please ignore my sister in the background (aka the serial photo bomber!)
Stay hungry. Stay inspired. Stay happy