Chef Imtiaz Qureshi Sahab is a name that is Respected and Loved not only in India but abroad as well.
Chef Imtiaz Qureshi Sahab is also the first person to get Padma Shri for his Contribution to Culinary art.
And when he opens a Restaurant of his own then it is bound to create Excitement and this excitement can also be termed as Great Expectations.
No I’m not talking about the Book great Expectations by Charles Dickens but the Great Expectations we all have from the Newly opened Restaurant by him called “Namak mandi”
I wanted to go there ever since I heard about it par mauka nahi mila tha.
But then it came, and I was so eager to experience Namak Mandi that I reached there before time and nestled myself into a comfortable seat at the restaurant and loved it’s rustic Interiors and open Kitchen.
While looking at the Open Kitchen, I could see some smart chefs busy in getting the food ready for the evening ahead.
The Glasses on the table are woh Madira waale glass that reminds us of an era gone by.
Basically Namak Mandi is a town in the Pre partition Indian City of Peshawar. Peshawar of today is in Pakistan on the border that connects with Afghanistan.
Best part about the Food habits from this region that covers Iran, Afghanistan, Peshawar, Kashmir is that the emphasis is on flavours and not mainly on spices. The food is rich and lots of Saffron, Dry Fruits etc is used.
Arre haan, did I tell you that my Grandfather was from Peshawar too and had a shop in Hoti Mardaan in Peshawar. And then post Partition he moved to Delhi.
Ab you can well understand ki how much I wanted to be there and try the food.
So, I picked the menu and ordered a Thandai for myself. Sabse pehle uske bare mein hi baat karte hai.
This is my Top Recommendation. Thandi Thandai with so many Almonds pieces in it ki har sip mein thore se ayenge and that will enhance the taste. Reasonably priced at Rs 195.. When I’m in that mall for shopping, I would specially go there to have this Thandai. Aap bhi zaroor order karna jee.
Fir hui Shuru Kebab ki baari
Pehle aaye Joojeh Seekh.
This was a perfect combination of Minced Chicken laced with Onions, Tomato, Capsicum, Green chillies and grilled in Tandoor. Very Juicy and flavourful dekhne mein bhi acche lagte hai.
Lahori Fish Fry was the milta julta Bhai of the popular Amritsari Fish we have. And kyu na ho…. Both Towns are separated by just a few kilometres. Acchi thi.
Kahi na kahi, as soon as it was placed on table I knew kuch garbarr hai. Somehow pehle to acchi pic bhi nahi aayi (Not that ki meri baaki clicked pics acchi aati hai). And doosra I love my Chicken Tikka from the Thigh potion of the bird. And this was from the breast portion which may have more protein but is chewier. Now I can’t Question the decision of Chef but I didn’t like it. Will ask him when I meet him or his Son Ahsan Ali Qureshi Bhai about this choice.
I love places that are Fine Dine kind of places for the Luxury they offer and the extra attention on details they have. And Somehow I feel that this kind of Restaurant should have Cloth napkins and not the Paper- fibre ones that are served as of now.
I gave my Feedback on my Entire Experience to the team and they were more than happy to review them and make the desired change.
One thing that stands out at Namak Mandi is its serving platters. Heavy ones with lots of delicate work. Looked Handmade to me and matched with the concept.
In Main Course we had Nihari, Roghan Josh and other dishes and each one was perfect. They have these special FAMILY NAANS that is a delight to see when it’s presented on the table.
Do have them with great breads like Khameeri Roti, Khurmee Naan, Warzi paratha etc.
They have a Dish called Karachi Bohri Pulao. And that is one good dish and one can notice lots of detailing going into making it. Thora Khatta meetha swaad hai. Eat with an open mind because this is unlike your normal Biryani and after 2-3 spoons you will not only start appreciating it but also loving it.
Namak mandi is a Good place to go with your parents, To Celebrate Special occasions, to go when you want to eat REAL GOOD FOOD.
One more suggestion that I gave them was to work on the uniform. When one talks about Frontier Province Dressing habits then Pathani Suits aankhon ke aage aate hai and here the Denim Shirts look of servers do not match.
I always look forward to eating Desserts as that is the most important and also the most ignored course of the meal nowadays.
We ordered 3 of the 4 mentioned in the menu.
Narangi Kulfi – A Simple Orange Flavoured Kulfi served in a Actual Orange Shell . Isko dekhne ka bhi maza aaya aur khaane ka bhi.
Khurbani ka Meetha – Have always been my favourite Hyderabadi Dessert. It is Saffron and Cinnamon Poached Apricot served with lots of thandi malai and Almonds on the top.
Kesar Malai Phirnee – Phirnee Sabko hi acchi lagti hai and jab woh Sikore (Earthern katori) mein serve hoti hai to maza aur barr jaata hai as usme fir woh mitti ki khushboo bhi aa jaati hai.
Cost wise it may seem that they are marginally higher from the similar eateries, but the kind of Ingredients they use are very Rich and would make you feel content by ordering less than usual.
Cost shall be Rs 1200-1500 for 2 people for a super laid back, Meal.
Jaiyega, Bataiyiga apna Experience.
PS: This review is based on an Invitation from them. The views would be the same even if I had paid for it. We are not mentioning about Service here as the Team Knew who we were and special attention was taken in this regard.