Monday, September 17, 2012

Purani Dilli Ka Zaiqa; Are You Missing Something or Is it Just Another Marketing Strategy?

Name: Purani Dilli Ka Zaiqa Festival at Copper Chimney

Location: Oberoi Mall, Goregaon

Date of Visit: 16th September 2012 (Lunch)

Don’t you wonder when you read an ad about a festival at your favourite restaurant. Should I make a trip to Copper Chimney for this festival? Is it special? Am I missing something if I don’t make a trip before 12th October?

Let me answer all of these questions about Purani Dilli Ka Zaiqa for you.

Why festivals?

We all know about most of the items that exist in an Indian fine dining menu. The tomato based, nut based curries, tandoori chicken and a bunch of other kebabs. I bet I can name 70percent of the basic preparations in any restaurant menu before glancing at it. Festivals introduce change from the ordinary list to hopefully to an extraordinary selection of novel dishes. It also gives an opportunity to the restaurant to experiment and introduce new dishes. Often popular dishes from festival menus are later included to the regular menu.

Did the Festival Succeed As a Concept?

As a concept Purani Dilli flavours is a safe bet. Purani Dilli Ka Zaiqa brings the flavours of Old Delhi to Indian Fine Dining. This festival attempts to match the exotic flavours of kebabs, rich ghosht preparations as well as Dilli chaat varieties have been brought to the table. Similar items are already a part of the Copper Chimney menu. The selection of starters and curries is similar to what I have eaten before from their regular menu apart from one or two selected preparations, which stood out.

There is limited variety of items for vegetarians. This is acceptable because Purani Dilli mostly features boti kebabs, khameeri rotis along with preparations like kormas, keema and neharis. Having said that, many Dilli style preparations have been brought to the table to add to the vegetarian variety, including sweet potato chaat and chhole tikki.

Is It Worth making a trip to Copper Chimney for this festival?

There are a few highlights in this festival.

Must Try

Dilli Chaat

Shakarkandi Chaat – Have you ever tried sweet potato chaat? It is rarely available in Mumbai, but in Delhi and Punjab you can spot these little stalls with steaming hot sweet potato and masala, especially during the winter. If you have a palate for sweet potatoes you should definitely try this unique chaat.

Raj Kachori chaat was featured on the menu but we were told that it will be discontinued since the execution of the item had not been successful.

Chhole Tikki is also featured on the menu, although I have no doubt that its execution and taste can be trusted, I did not try it since it is easily available across Mumbai.

Tali Machhli

The advantage of having a Purani Dilli dish at a fine dining restaurant is this superb quality fish and a non-oily light preparation with subtle flavours. This was ideal since the delicate texture of the fish was worth being highlighted in the dish. This was the Star dish of the meal. Tali Machhli does not sound appetising enough, it does not do justice to this dish. The USP is that it has been prepared with vietnamese Vasa filets in subtle Indian flavours, making it a modern twist of Purani Dilli’s Tali machhli.

Jama Masjid Ka Ghosht Korma

Based on a full bodied mutton stock like nalli nehari, this cardamom flavoured red curry mutton preparation is full of flavour. Its ‘nehari’ quality base makes it a favourite on the festival menu. This quality and this style of mutton preparation however, is no different from the regular selection of items in Copper Chimney. This is a great dish but not big change for the palate.

Bread & Rice Selection

The typically purani dilli style rotis and rice preparations are worth mentioning. Although the peethi puri is similar to a dal kachori, the khameeri roti with its chewy texture goes beautifully with the mutton preparations such as the ghosht korma. Afghani Rice cooked in dum is among other unique items in this selection.

Kulfi Falooda

Kulfi falooda is served in many restaurants across the city yet, I loved this dessert for its presentation and flavours. The kulfi was smooth, flavourful beautifully combined with the falooda.

Not Worth It

Murgh Boti and Murgh Changezi did not work for me. They were like any other preparation, at any other restaurant. These preparations did not impress my tongue because they did not surprise me. Murgh boti was similar to chicken tikka and Murgh Changezi is a semi dry preparation tasting similar to home-style sukha chicken flavoured with whole spices.

Similarly, with the Mughlai Paneer I expect you to surprise me with something new but unfortunately this paneer preparation was just like other paneer preparations at Copper Chimney’s standard menu.

My Verdict

Vegetarians and those who are inclined towards poultry need not bother visiting specifically for this festival, unless you intend to visit Copper Chimney anyway because the food quality was consistent and top notch. For the Tali machhli preparation and khameeri roti with mutton I recommend this festival to all non-vegetarians.

It is an ala carte festival menu and you can order a combination of items from the festival selection as well as their regular menu. Purani Dilli ka Zaiqa brings Old Delhi flavours to your table in a contemporary style. Copper Chimney fans will not be disappointed. That thing about this place for Copper Chimney is always the consistency they have maintained over the years in food quality as well as service. The festival in particular doesn’t boast great novelty, having said that, it is worth trying Khameeri rotis which is a breath of fresh air.

(Please note that this was a review on invitation.)

Ambience: 7/ 10 Good

Value for Money (Festival): 7/ 10 Good

Menu (Festival): 7/ 10 Good

Food (Festival): 7/ 10 Good

Service: 7/10 Good

That Thing About This Festival: 6/ 10 Average

Good Ambience + Good Value for Money + Good Menu + Good Food + Good service + Average That Thing About This Festival = Good

Rating: 7/ 10

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