Occasions where a name alone can make you drool are rare of sorts and I recently had one such experience when #TheBTeam got an exclusive tasting invite at Makrana. The place is situated in Prime Rose mall in Baner in the same building where you have Replay sports bar. The name itself tickles your taste buds and the experience was no different. The place is over 14 months old and had made the most awesome of start thanks to Chef. Currently they are operating in a small premise but are planning to shift to bigger one soon. The place is well known among Baner crowd who are regular with parcel deliveries. So there USP? I would say one of the best chicken/ meat used in town. I keep going to places big and small and let me assure you even some of the most reputed names in hospitality can end up having average meat as raw ingredients but not them. The moment I had a bite of any of the lovely dishes that came up, I fell in love over the sheer fresh, soft and juicy chunks of meat that lay beneath. One of the two owners, Mr. Deepak who was our host for the night, gladly acknowledged our appreciation with a spark of satisfaction and content in his eyes. There will be tons of people who boasts and claim that they do no compromise when it comes to meat, purchase or wash them in person……blah blah…..but Deepak didn’t have to say anything, the meat he served was singing the poetry for him.
So onto the food, the first dish would simply have to be their signature dish and sought after inspiration – The Makrana kebabs.
Makrana Kebabs: Extremely moist, flavorful and fragrant. They are sure to invoke your senses once they make an entry. The marination was perfect and the charring just adequate without letting it turn black anywhere. The color was slightly on the yellowish side and these were the ones that came absolute close to the ones at Marrakesh. Now Marrakesh won’t deny that Makrana tandgi kebab is their signature dish and as such they have a very strong competition from these people. The difference you ask? Well, these kebabs were meant to be mild than what you get elsewhere and at the same time extremely rich in flavors. Secondly, they don’t need any cream dripping onto them because they are too soft and delectable already – thanks to the quality of chicken used.
Tandoori Nisha came in next. Basically a variant of tandoori chicken with overnight marination. Spicy and tangy leg pieces this time slightly more than makhrana kebabs. Perfect contrast and a great start.
Murg Lasooni Tikka came in next which in one word was heavenly. The moment I savored this wonder, I quickly complimented Mr. Deepak; for the chef did an absolute justice with the dish. I say this for the simple reason that never ever until now had I tasted the lasooni tikkas with such strong infusion of garlic flavors. The sheer aroma that was creating an aura around was speaking for itself. Its times like these that you simply know that the dish has turned out perfect even before you hog on it. The texture was also slightly cheesy although it didn’t use any cheese but it was as if you were breaking open a chicken cheese nugget.
I was planning on being a tough and challenging guest and as such requested them to get Mutton Galauti kebab, to which Deepak agreed readily. Infact he ordered galuati and Gilafi seekh along with the special surprise he had planned for us – The shammi kebab.
Galauti kebab: I had been in search of good galauti for like ever in pune and I had no go to place yet but now I can atleast have one place where I get good galautis. My benchmark for galuati happens to very authentic Lukhnowi home made galauti’s which are hard to beat but Chef did a commendable job with the Galautis. The use of raw papaya was very rewarding and it made the texture stand out. Although Galauti won hearts that night but still Shammi was the star studded attraction by all means.
The Gilafi sorry to say was a lot more meaty and lacked flavors. IT was heavy on meat part but then it didn’t absorb any flavors or alter its texture from marination whatsoever. This was promptly noted by Deepak and he discussed on how we can improve this.
The shammi kebab was meant to be a special treat just for us and it was made after lot of batches being wasted that afternoon. Deepak was in kitchen all noon trying to perfect shammi kebab with his chef and boy o boy, did it pay well. They turned out to be exemplary quiet literally. The texture was just right not too brittle and at the same time dissoluble once made moist form the touch of your salivating tongue. The flavors were very promising. He wasn’t sure if it can go in menu and there wasn’t a tad bit of doubt left once we were done wiping off the plate. #HighlyRecommended
For the mains we asked him to keep it lite and highly contrasting to the starters we ate. So we were served with Murg tikka lababdar, Methi dum jhinga along with a mixed bread basket.
The murg tikka was made as thick gravy with generous use of sun dried tomatoes and onions. It had mild dash of sweetness. The use of pepper could have enhanced the flavors even more but the dish was good for mains.
The prawns in fenugreek gravy were again a disappointment mainly because of the prawns that had to be used. The market was low on prawns catch that day and Deepak couldn’t manage to bring in good prawns or fish that day but since we had insisted on sea food dish he agreed and offered us this. The gravy however was well made with its sour creamy taste and was convincing enough to be tried again in some different avatar.
For our desserts we had a big soft juicy gulab jamun. Made from pure khoya this was soft and melt in the mouth types. Just enough to complete the meal on a sweet note.
Had a great time savoring to some lucknowi recipes and I am surely gonna hit this place anytime I have a craving for mutton kebabs.