Every so often I enjoy pairing kebabs with dal makhani and rotis. For some reason, this simple meal is so very comforting, and tastes brilliant with just a little piquant green chutney, a few slivers of raw onion and a nice, big squeeze of lemon over the lot. The last time this craving struck, I was at India Habitat Centre concluding a meeting, and scheduled for an evening of fine food at the Indigo Deli. Unable to resist, we padded over to the food court, Eatopia, and surveyed our options.
Kebabs are both easy and tough. Let’s say we have the recipe in place and have done all our prep properly, there’s still a possibility of ruining the batch. It could be overcooked, resulting in dry, leathery kebabs; undercooked, over-seasoned, under seasoned, kept in holding too long waiting for other components (dried out) and so on. Similar is the case for other elements of the platter, which can easily go south for a number of reasons. A good meal therefore should be the subject of appreciation, than one of expectation.
And there it was, the Tikka Town (doesn’t it sound like a game app?!) logo, with a menu that promised exactly what I desired. Of the two non-vegetarian Tandoori Sampler platters, I chose the one that offered tandoori chicken, chicken tikka and mutton seekh kebab (INR 299). All sampler platters being served with lachha parathas and dal makhani with a mound of raw onions, that’s what I was given too. My colleague chose a Paneer Tikka (INR 209) platter with the same accompaniments as mine.[quote]There’s this indescribable comfort about wrapping chunks of mildly charred, tender meat in pieces of soft, smoky rotis, accompanied by a piece of raw onion, the whole dunked into creamy and rich dal makhani. The resulting melange may be thought of by some as a cacophony. For me, it was nothing short of a symphony. [/quote]
If this is the kind of quality Tikka Town is able to dish out in a food court environment, I see no reason to visit an expensive restaurant, unless one is looking for fawning waiters and glassware. The tandoori chicken was perfectly done; moist, flavourful, tender and delicious. The chicken tikkas were similar and the mutton seekh kebabs too were succulent, well shaped and very good to eat. The dal could have held its own against any other dal makhani I’ve eaten in the past and as a whole, the meal per se could have been pitted against any starred facility.
That’s what one looks for – food that’s prepared with a view to cost and quality, without letting one seriously compromise the other, in addition to maintaining service standards, which is what the management of Tikka Town has managed to do. Tell me, why would I visit an expensive restaurant and pay 4 times the amount, when all I want is a great meal and Tikka Town delivers it flawlessly – a meal for two in INR 600. Why would you?