Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Dum Pukht Jolly Nabobs @ ITC Windsor - Restaurant Week India

If you are living in Bangalore, Mumbai or New Delhi, you ought to know this, “Citibank Restaurant Week India is back”. This bi-annual 10 day celebration offers you a chance to savor some of the finest culinary delights in your very own city. The culinary fiesta commences on 23rd September and is on till the 2nd of October, 2013. The reservations for the same open at 12:00 AM on 18th September and can only be done online.

During this period, over 24 restaurants (both specialized restaurants from the star hotel chains and the finest of the stand alone) in Bangalore alone craft a special 3 course prix – fixe menu to showcase their signature creations. This special menu across participating restaurants in Bangalore is priced at Rs. 750 ++ for both lunch and dinner.

As a prelude to this, an invitation came my way for a special preview dinner at ‘Dum Pukht Jolly Nabobs’. This Lucknowi restaurant housed inside Windsor Manor offers a truly regal ambiance. In no time, it felt as if we were transported into the world of the Nawabs of Lucknow.

We were presented with 2 menu options each; vegetarian for my wife and non-vegetarian for me. What we loved about the menu was; each option listed a prix – fixe 3 course meals which included a signature appetizer, a series of mains, accompanying Indian breads, biryani and desserts. It can’t be that I don’t write and share with you my experience but click here to take a look at the online version of the special Restaurant Week India menu.

Yes! Choose any of the 4 meals and you get everything listed under the chosen one.

What we ate:
Puja a vegetarian and I a non-vegetarian, choose our respective meals and the food courses kept flowing for the rest of the evening. Of course, while the food was being prepared the roasted papad with the spicy mint chutney and the lovely sweet chutney made with papaya, raisin and Gudd provided some solace to our hungry stomach.

Soon to arrive was our first course, ‘Khus Khus Kebab’ from the vegetarian and ‘Murgh Chandni Kebab’ from the non-vegetarian prix fixe menu. My wife absolutely loved the ‘Khus Khus Kebab’ that were prepared with minced veggies, poppy seeds and spice. It was fragrant, delicious and for sure a win for any vegetarian.  

‘Murgh Chandni Kebab’ – tikkas of chicken presented under a blanket of edible silver sheet (silver warq) looked fabulous and succulent. The chicken was unimaginably tender and moist; the secret being that it was first grilled on a tandoor and then finished on dum. Flavor-wise, I found it a tad bit bland for my palate and wished there was more flavoring coming from the cumin.

What followed were the mains. It was an extravagant affair with each menu offering at least 4 main course dishes accompanied with 2 types of Indian breads and a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian biryani to follow.

A common feature on the vegetarian and the non-vegetarian menu is ‘Subz Miloni’ and ‘Daal Qureshi’. ‘Daal Qureshi’ was a lovely preparation of mainly daal and burnt garlic as it two main ingredients and ‘Subz Miloni’ a medley of fresh garden vegetables in rich and creamy spinach gravy.
'Subz Miloni' (Left; 'Daal Qureshi' (Right)

Another common feature is the nice and flaky, ajwain flavored multi layered bread - ‘Warqi Paratha’ and another house special for the health conscious; ‘Naun-E-Bah Khummach’ – baked on a tandoor, made with leavened semolina bread sprinkled with poppy seeds and aniseeds. Between the breads both of us tend to favor the super flaky and crisp ‘Warqi Paratha’ over the healthy ‘Naun-E-Bah Khummach.

In the non-vegetarian meal, there is a portion of ‘Mahi Dum Anari’, ‘Pomegranate Chaap’. ‘Mahi’ (Fish) was cooked in a pomegranate sauce and fish stock. The preparation ensured that it did not overpower the flavor of the fish which was really fresh. ‘Chaap’ (mutton chops) was nice and tender; cooked in a pomegranate sauce which was quite different in taste when compared to the sauce used in the fish preparation. It was cooked in a mutton broth and sufficiently spiced to tone down the sweetness from the pomegranate sauce.
Mahi Dum Anari
Mutton Chaap

The vegetarians are not left out too. Their menu includes ‘Dum ki Khumb’ an aromatic gravy with a generous inclusion of button mushrooms and ‘Guncha-O-Keema’; a semi dry preparation of cauliflower, capsicum and tomato in a kastoori methi based gravy.
Dum Ki Khumb

When it comes to Lucknowi cuisine, there can be no better end that being served a lamb biryani which is aptly called ‘Dum Pukht Biryani’. The biryani cooked on dum came in a vessel sealed with dough to all it too cook on dum. Once the seal was open and the lid taken off, the aroma was unimaginable. I could no longer wait to dig into it. The basmati rice cooked in the mutton stock was bang on in flavor, the lamb meat was easily the juiciest and tender most meat I have ever eaten. The biryani served was perfect to be eaten as is without any accompaniment. The burrani raita served along could not succeed in changing my stance. If it is the lamb biryani for the non-vegetarians, the vegetarians are served a ‘Subz Biryani.
Dum Pukht Biryani - Sealed with Dough
Lamb Biryani - On My Plate

We were stuffed to our throats and had no appetite for any more food. The Staff literarily convinced us to not give it a miss. We are glad we didn’t. We were served ‘365’; rich caramel custard and the classic ‘Shahi Tukra’ for which we requested for the sweet bread and the rabdi to be served separately. Both were really nice and made for a good end to a lovely meal.
Shahi Tukda

The service was flawless. On the food front, they definitely score full marks on making you feels totally pampered. My wife and I had a great evening. We enjoyed every aspect of the evening; be it the plush and rich ambiance, the fabulous service, the wine and the unforgettable food. Unforgettable for two reasons – (1) every dish exudes richness, freshness and use of the finest quality of the ingredients and (2) wide array of dishes and really large portions got us really tired of eating; indeed a rare situation.

This menu specially designed for the 10 day Restaurant Week comes wonderfully priced at just Rs. 750 plus taxes and charges. It’s a steal! Go for it

Quick Tips:
What I love about this festival is that, the finest of the restaurants serve the finest of their food at the most affordable prices.

The online reservation opens on 18th September at 12:00 AM for the Citibank Restaurant Week India that runs through Monday, 23rd September to Wednesday, 02nd October 2013.

It was a lovely meal at Dum Pukht Jolly Nabobs and I look forward to visiting a few more restaurants during this festival. A visit is highly recommended. Here’s a link to make an online reservation.

Address: ITC Windsor, 25 Windsor Square, Golf Course Road, Near Sankey Road, Bangalore
Phone Number: +91 80 2226 9898


  1. i live in mumbai can u tell me in mumbai which place this fest is going on`

    1. Naved.. Here is a link to the list of participating restaurants in Mumbai - http://restaurantweekindia.com/rwi/rwm_sep_2013

  2. I like shahi tukda as i am vegetarian. I will definitely try it.