Cuisine: Anglo Indian food
Atmospherics: Right on the main road at the busy Adchini T-junction is this rather gracious restaurant. Though it has been around for a while, it has just been given an extensive makeover: new interiors, new menu, even the initial concept has been slightly altered. The menu is extensive and there are plenty of choices that begged to be tried ‘next time’: my grouse is with restaurants with so few interesting options, that you’ve covered them in a single visit. Underlying the premise of Days of the Raj is the collision between two cultures: that of the British memsahib and her desi khansama. To the former, finger chips were just French fries; to the latter, how could he not display his culinary skills by adding a few tongue-tingling spices! The food here is hearty and a satisfying blend of pure Indian and a touch of English.
Table talk: Bukhni kebab (Rs 400) is a must for all lovers of ultra-spicy food. Finely pounded minced lamb made fearfully spicy with red chilli oil, shaped into kibbeh-like ‘bombs’ and cooked in the tandoor. It is one of the highlights of the menu and an unusual touch to have an item from the North West Frontier Province, which of course was subject to the same British Raj influence as Shimla, Delhi, et al. The other unmissable preparation is grilled lamb cutlets, served with a side of garlic rice and gravy. The cutlets are made of coarsely minced lamb and retain their succulence. India and England march side by side in this one as rosemary and green chilli co-exist perfectly. Do ignore the misleading description and order the khichada (Rs 400) that manages to be almost a gravy, albeit one with a toothy bite. Kingfish, chips and salad (Rs 525) comes with deliciously perked up fries.
Plus and minus: The restaurant would do well to have parking valets or a clearly marked valet counter. There is parking along the side road, but you might have a long walk back to the restaurant. Perhaps being a restaurant with new staff, there is a lack of familiarity with the items on the menu. On the plus side, it is inconceivable that a haven like this exists on that busy stretch of main road.
Must try: Club style baked vegetables in pineapple shell; empire roast chicken; Days of the Raj special pudding
Ratings: Food: 3.50; Service: 3.00; Décor: 3.50
Qutab Residency, 1st floor; 81/3 Aurobindo Marg, Adchini
Open from 12 to 3 and 7 to 11 pm
Alcohol, credit cards
Meal for two: Rs 2,000