Restaurant Week happens twice a year and we took part in the last edition. The list of restaurants were interesting, as were the menus. This time round too, several of the restaurants were a repeat from the previous set with a few new ones thrown in. Our idea was to head to those that we had never tried out before, since most on the list were already done and dusted by us.
Baluchi was one place we wanted to try especially since our waitlist the last time round did not work out. This time I made the booking as soon as things went live for the general diners at midnight (one of those rare occasions I was actually awake at that time). Since my parents were visiting, we all went on together. Ours was the 7:30PM reservation and the restaurant did call in the afternoon to confirm our visit.
Once seated and the menus handed to us to make a choice - our work was rather simple - since we were non-vegetarians, everything in the non-veggie section was going to be served to us. A young lady chef (I wish they wore name tags) came out from the kitchen and asked what I would like for Anoushka. Considering her minuscule appetite, I was just planning on feeding her off my plate, but chef would have none of that. I requested that she go very easy with a single kebab, a roti and some dal, but then I was talking to a chef and I should know better - Anoushka's plate was laden with much more than that. She also did a very good job in polishing off most of it. Baluchi therefore already has my seal of approval.
There is something very rustic about such crockery
Masala papads while we waited for our courses to come
Zatoon Murgh ke khush kebab - this was the complimentary starter - chicken slices cooked on a charcoal pit but served chilled. It was marinated in yogurt, lemon and had a stuffing of olive paste. The chicken was soft, it made for a nice cold mouthful and the olive paste gave it a lovely texture and feel.
We ordered mocktails: Crimson Tide, Fruity Colada and a Cinderella. All of them nice
Then came the three starters (L to R) Zatoon Murgh ke khush kebab - this first one was the hot version of the cold appetizer that we were served. Its amazing how varying temperatures can create such a difference in tastes. The chicken, though the bone was soft enough to cut through with a butter knife. The tanginess of the yogurt cuts through right away and it is the olive paste that acts as a tempering. The next was the Dorei wali seekh, where the mince was hand pounded just as described. I personally found this a little dry, but the spices added were just right. And then came Tawe ki Nazuk Machli, which just as the name suggests was treated very gently and the taste told the whole story of how.
Main courses were a more elaborate affair, with the Ghosht Rogan e Nishat - minced mutton served on a puff pastry being exquisite. The mutton was spicy, not as much as the color of the dish would suggest, but enough to get you going. At the risk of making the dish sound mundane, it was like a deconstructed meat puff, which worked fine for me, since I love to break down puffs to the thin layer just before the meat and then eat it. This served my purpose well. The Dal Baluchi in the background was creamy, tasty, but I prefer the dal served at Tattv and Jamavar.
There were two more to the main course - the Anar aur Chachundar ka Murgh that you see in front. This was chicken done in a beetroot sauce and honestly the beetroot was not overwhelming. I can tell simply because I don't like beetroot and wouldn't touch it with a 10ft wooden spatula, but this one I ate without argument, more so because I did not read the description in the menu. Things may have been different otherwise. The dish in the background is the Kacche Koyle Ke Kharghosh - I got two pieces of this since my mother is averse to eating any game meat. It tasted just like slightly tough beef would. Nevertheless, it was spicy, slightly oil as the picture tells you and really nice.
All of this was served with the Ulte Tawe ki Paratha, which was on the sweeter side, am not sure why, but it did go well with the dishes.
The meal was wrapped up with a Gumta Ja, spiral version of the gulab jamun and Gulabo - a rose petal infused kulfi. Two of my favorite desserts and now apparently two of Anoushka's favorite as well.
Overall we loved this first experience of ours at Baluchi. The meal was well presented, was not stingy on portions and was delicious. Totally VFM. There was live hindi music being sung and it was from the classic era which made my dad a very happy man... Mohammed Rafi ardent fan that he is. The meal was Rs 799+ taxes per head and with the drinks included the bill came close to the Rs 4000 mark. Well worth it!
Address: The Lalit Ashok, Kumarakrupa road, Highgrounds, Bangalore
Cards Accepted: Yes