Buffet at your table
Serves: Indian food
Atmospherics: Formerly, this restaurant was Earthen Oven with a show kitchen and an a la carte menu. Since it has become India On My Plate, the concept has changed significantly, though the décor remains the same, with a few new accessories. There still is an a la carte menu, but the real unique selling point of the restaurant is its buffet at the table. Just tell the server whether there is anything you do not eat, and the rest will happen like clockwork. The price is so compelling that it is doubtful if the a la carte menu can match it. Let it be said that I trawled through the a la carte menu and could barely find a couple of things that I would have liked for my dinner. The cyclic menu, by contrast, is laden with gems like Malvan Rawa Machhi, chukandar dahi bhalla and Kashmiri rista. The music is at a suitably pleasant volume and the playlist is Jagjit Singh’s ghazals.
Table talk: Each buffet on the table menu is one page long. Available only for dinner, everybody who opts for it, receives a plate of Ram laddoos – the ubiquitous street-side eats that remains firmly under the radar. They are quite close to the real thing, especially the grated mooli and stingingly spicy green chutney. There are five vegetarian and five non-vegetarian starters, eight main courses that include biryani, six types of breads and five desserts. I challenge anyone to go through the entire menu, but the concept is that you will be served a portion of everything and second helpings too, if you so wish. The majority of the menu is composed of North Indian (Punjab, UP, Kashmir) with one or two offerings from the southern states. The present menu (they are changed every month) has one starter each from Karnataka and Kerala. By the time the main courses were served, I wished that I had the appetite to ask for second helpings of rista, made by their in-house waza. At the moment, across the NCR, this has to rank as the best value for money meal, and to think it is in a hotel that carries the ITC name!
Plus and minus: come with a large appetite. However, they need to make their vegetarian offerings more attractive and also represent other parts of India.
Must try (a la carte): tandoori chicken, dal IOMP, paan ice cream
Food: 3.75; Service: 3.50; Décor: 3.50
Fortune Select Excalibur, Sohna Road, Sector 49
Open from 12.30-3 pm and 7.30 -11.30 pm
Credit cards, alcohol
Meal for two: Rs 2,400 plus taxes