Gourmet Gallery, never known for the excellence of its cuisine, has just acquired a new Indian restaurant. Award winning food, a steal at the price, its elegant surroundings embody five star comfort.
Atmospherics: the small, elegant restaurant could give a five star restaurant a run for its money. Subdued lighting, the highlight is cleverly crafted strip lights along one wall in the shape of a motif, comfortable seating and an open kitchen. Attentive service by waiters who actually know the menu well and can make intelligent suggestions. On the minus side is the thumping music that wafts up from Cafe Morrison downstairs: not a felicitous combination. Dum Affairs doesn’t even have the fig leaf of its own music, so the heavy bass is louder than it need be.
Table Talk: all the glory is in the food. Galauti kebabs (Rs 550) were as melt in the mouth as rillettes or pate of the western world. The spices are what you would expect in a restaurant headed by a Qureshi chef, but there is no Qureshi chef in this kitchen! That is the wonder of Dum Affairs. Awadhi haleem (Rs 575) is a rather rich dish with a mere three accompaniments, as opposed to the traditional six. The dal was amalgamated skilfully with the slightly coarse mince and although nowhere is haleem eaten as diet food, this version was unnecessarily rich. The dum ki gosht biryani (Rs 650) is light, flavourful and a perfect marriage between long grain rice and stock. And though it is just the way it is supposed to be, no restaurant outside a five star hotel offers it. Certainly not at that price.
Plus and minus: To search for flaws in this gem of a restaurant is to nitpick. However, the gosht chapli kebab (Rs 550) ought not to be on the menu at all. It is a robust kebab from the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Or rather, it should have been. However the same fine touch in the rest of the menu has been given to the chapli kebab so that they’re neither robust nor Lucknavi! The best part about Dum Affairs is that in South Extension Market, there’s now a stylish setting for a North Indian meal at affordable prices.
Must try: Mahi and dill kebab; subz ki shaami; achaari mirch ka salan
Food: 4.00 Service 3.50 Decor: 3.50
E 12 South Extension II, 3rd floor Tel: 8826808855, 8826607755 Open from 12 noon to 3 pm and 7.30 to 11.30 pm
Alcohol served, Meal for two Rs 3,000