Very satisfied customers!
Restaurant Week India claims to be a “celebration of the culinary scene in each city”. Ever since its inception in 2010, this bi-annual, week-long fest has been extremely popular. It’s the ideal way for people to try different restaurants without breaking the bank. It also gets the restaurants attention from a fresh audience.
Restaurant Week (RW) currently takes place in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore; perhaps the cities with the largest number of eateries. The selected restaurants keep changing, though certain classic joints are always on the list. Spots at the trendy restaurants fill up fast, so it’s advisable to reserve a place well in advance. Once you’ve visited RW, you’re automatically added to a mailing list, which notifies you the dates.
Dum Pukht, ITC Maurya
The participating restaurants offer a 3 course meal of specially curated dishes. People can select one dish each from the Appetizers, the Mains and the Dessert courses. Accompaniments such as breads or rice are also included. Prices vary depending on the city you’re in. This year, a complimentary Bira 91 beer was included in the deal. One can choose between a lunch time slot and two dinner time slots.
Being a foodie, I enjoy getting a good deal at my favoured restaurants through RW. This time we chose Dum Pukht at ITC Maurya, Delhi, for a North Indian fine-dining experience. It offers an elaborate style of Awadhi Court cuisine, where the food is cooked on a slow fire in sealed earthenware pots (known as dum cooking). This lends a completely distinct flavor to the food, a feat of masterful cookery. It’s for good reason that Dum Pukht is the winner of Asia’s first “Golden Fork Award” and is counted in the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants”.
The world’s best kakori kebab?
For appetizers we ordered the Seekh Gilafi Dumpukht, a chicken seekh kebab with a delicate combination of diverse flavors; and the signature appetizer Kakori. Words won’t describe the beauty of this kakori kebab. It melted in the mouth leaving an after-taste to be cherished. I’ve never eaten a softer, more delicious kakori.
For the main course, we chose the yoghurt-based Murgh Rizala, chicken served in a light and tasty gravy; and the Dumpukht Koh-e-Awadh, the chef’s special qorma which was a star in its own right. Khamiri roti’s, whole wheat sour-dough breads, were the perfect accompaniment to the rich food. For dessert we ordered my beloved sumptuous Shahi Tukra. The Bira 91 Blonde was a refreshing drink on the side.
The delectable main course
The restaurant was completely full and though we arrived 10 minutes prior to our time (as had been suggested by the organizers), we were asked to wait for a bit. Perhaps for this reason, the staff included a couple of complimentary dishes in our fixed meal. We got to try the Dal Dumpukht, which was an arhar based dal with a luscious smokey flavor, as well as the flavorsome Gulab ki Kheer. I’d like to thank the attentive and courteous members of staff for this generous move.
The Nawabi-inspired ambience and live instrumental music made the evening absolutely magical. I would highly recommend a visit to Dum Pukht any time of the year. If you can still get reservations for restaurant week, even better!
Dates: 4th to 15th October.
Lunch slot: 1:30- 2:30 p.m.
Dinner slots: 8:00- 9:30 p.m. and 10:00- 11:30 p.m.
Prices for a meal in Delhi: INR 1100++ for lunch and INR 1300++ for dinner, and INR 62 as a reservation fee.
Participating Restaurants in Delhi:
Guppy, Lodhi Colony
Olive Bar & Kitchen, Mehrauli
Eau de Monsoon, Le Meridien
Dum Pukht, ITC Maurya
Ottimo at West View, ITC Maurya
WD House, GK 2
Baluchi, The Lalit
A Ta Maison, Sunder Nagar
Tian, ITC Maurya
Restaurant rating: 5/5