Serves: Lucknavi food
Blurb: a text book example of a perfect eatery
Atmospherics: the ultimate neighbourhood market in this corner of Gurgaon, no shop of restaurant can be above a certain size, and Kitchen of Awadh fits admirably into that space. You’ll find every demographic there, dining on the best kebabs you’ll get outside a five star hotel, at laughably low prices. Neither the owner (who has a Lucknow connection) nor his wife are remotely from the F&B trade, but I will leave them to tell you their remarkable story. Suffice to say that he cooks and she mans the till. There’s not a master chef in sight: Kamal K Veer, the owner, has learnt from them and faithfully replicates each dish with consistency, flair and scrupulous attention to the best raw materials. Half the business is in home delivery.
Table talk: here’s one place where you can order away and pay a surprisingly low amount: the most expensive dish is ₹350! My favourites included dal gosht (₹350) that had meat from the ribs in a gravy made with aromatic spices in which chana dal had been simmered. Slow cooking is the name of the game here, probably on coal fires, because the meat acquires a gelatinous tenderness and the dal is imbued with the flavour of the mutton. It was the same for the gosht biryani (₹300) made with real basmati. Most players in the market use golden sela for biryani, but in my opinion, the refinement that comes with basmati is lost. Order this dish here and you’ll be able to discern the rich flavour of meat in every grain of rice. However, it is for their kebabs that Kitchen of Awadh is chiefly famous. When khandani bawarchis from Lucknow cook galawat ke kebab (₹275), the mince is sometimes made to go the extra mile with the addition of fillers like grated lauki, besan or even cheaper cuts of mutton. You certainly won’t find such practices here: the owners are meticulous about their ingredients. Don’t expect the galawat ke kebab to hold its shape: it is as soft as pate, and as delicate. I preferred the kakori kebabs (₹275) with the fine as gossamer crust and more nuanced spicing. They hold their shape without trouble.
Plus and minus: comfortable as it is, it’s not a place to linger: there are others waiting.
Must try: seekh kebabs, special chicken tikka, kesri phirni
Food: 3.75, Service: 3.50 Décor: 3.25
A 208 Supermart 1, DLF Phase 4, Gurgaon
Open: 12.30 to 4.30 and 6.30 to 11 pm
Credit cards accepted; no alcohol served
Meal for two: Rs 1000