The best part about Delhi’s dining scene is the side of the road segment where you can dine like a king without leaving the comfort of your car. Usually two people can dine for a three figure sum.
The Final Frontier is a take-off from that concept. It is on the side of a road: opposite the Don Bosco School main gate, and while you can dine in your car, you can also sit in the modest sized patio amidst sheesha-smoking youngsters. What you will get is a set of way above average kebabs that are succulent and expertly spiced, as well as real qormas and tawa creations. Not surprisingly, it is the work of the Qureshi brothers, sons of Chef Imtiaz Qureshi. The best part of it is that it is the modest prices. One sure sign that a restaurant is not out to fleece their customers is the presence of the half-plate. Many of the dishes in The Final Frontier are available by the half-plate.
Don’t miss the Kakori kebabs (Rs 140 for 2 pieces). The price versus quality, and that too, in a central location of South Delhi is a completely unbeatable combination. The kebabs are perfectly made, with the trademark spices that do not overpower yet add authenticity to the dish. The kebabs have a paper-thin crust on them and just about hold their shape, but melt in your mouth all the same. It is a complete steal at the price.
The galawati kebabs (Rs 140 for two) were one step down, having been made with a trifle too much raw papaya (used to tenderize meat) but at the price, even they’re good, besides being excellent value for money. What is unbeatable is the murgh Afghani (Rs 140). Unlike the same dish in other restaurants, (is there no standardization of our cuisine?) this is fairly similar to tandoori chicken and is highly recommended for its sheer succulence. Unlike the complex spicing of the galawati and Kakori, murgh Afghani wins with its basic appeal. Ditto for mutton boti kebab (Rs 190 for eight pieces). The mutton is tender and succulent, there’s no discernible chana powder to mar the texture (another favourite ploy of restaurateurs, to make the spices adhere to the tikkas, but one that lends a mealy texture).
As for the curries, the murgh qorma is as superior a version as you would expect from a card-carrying Qureshi: light, flavourful and great value for Rs 390/220 (full/half). The one item we ordered that was out of place was methi keema (Rs 250), a tawa speciality. Full of oil and redolent with the kind of spices that you’d associate with a Punjabi dhaba, it was a curious contrast to the rest of the meal. Whether that is necessarily a negative point would depend on your point of view.
I would not visit The Final Frontier if I was a vegetarian. There are vegetarian dishes on the menu, but let’s face it: the Qureshi clan is famous for their meat cookery. I can’t wait to try their dum biryanis (Rs 210/200 mutton/chicken). And I now know better than to order warqi parathi (Rs 35) which was as stiff as cardboard, and about as tasty too. Lastly, I will keep place for the delicate sikora firnee (Rs 40).
Shop No 13, Narmada Market, Alaknanda, GK II
Tel: 32951117, 32951118
Open from 12 noon to 11 pm
Credit cards accepted; no alcohol served
meal for two: Rs 1,000