There is very little in the way of Mughlai food in Gurgaon. This is the venture of a Gurgaon-based entrepreneur with a taste for the culinary treasures of Old Delhi.
Atmospherics: on the ground floor facing the road is this modest sized eatery with a bhatti and a tandoor outside. It looks contemporary enough but the cooks are all from Jama Masjid and the tastes hark back to that area. Do be aware that there are no compromises in taste. Also, because of the market forces, the little eatery caters to corporates during lunch time and families and those with adventurous palates at dinner time. Hence, only half the menu is available at lunch time. Also, if you are planning a party and have a special request, do let them know the previous day. Al Karam does home deliveries in the neighbourhood which is a good option in the day time. And don’t expect too many vegetarian options: this is a carnivore’s paradise.
Table talk: To be sure, the entire menu is far from uniformly delicious. Purani Dilli style special chicken tikka (Rs 250) is the tastiest offering. Roast chicken tikkas with minimal spicing is napped in a yoghurt sauce. A slight variation has tandoori chicken with the same sauce (Rs 120/220/380 for quarter/half/full). Equally enjoyable is the chicken seekh (Rs 120/220 half/full) that is melt in the mouth and succulent at the same time. And about the most interesting tikka is the Al Karam’s special fried chicken (Rs 120/220/380 quarter/half/full) that is crisp on the outside, juicy inside and packed with flavour. The kebab section does have its share of duds, unfortunately. The mutton shammi kebab (Rs 130/230 half/full) has absolutely nothing to do with the Muslim traditions of Old Delhi: minced meat and dal have been formed into patties and deep fried. Tasty enough, but not shamis by any stretch of imagination.
The mutton stew (Rs 120/220/400 for quarter/half/full) is the best gravy dish of what we tried. By comparison the mutton qorma (Rs 120/220/400) seemed to have a touch of tomato in it and the biryani (Rs 120/230/350) had not a trace of mutton stock in the rice.
Plus and minus: Do not miss the habshi halwa. It is outstanding.
Must tries: Chicken/mutton dhaga kebab; mutton kakori kebab; baqarkhani roti
Food: 3.00 Service: 2.50 Décor: 2.50
A 133 Supermart 1, DLF Phase 4, Gurgaon
Tel: 9818838230, 9910087760
Open from 12 noon to 11 pm
No alcohol served; no credit cards yet
Meal for two: Rs 600