Khaaja Chowk has been synonymous for years with traditional, hearty North Indian and Mughlai food, and in their new and updated version 2.0, wherein they have positioned themselves as an Indian Café, the place has become all the more appealing.
They have revamped the interiors of the place, making them a bit trendier, and of course, how can one forget Khaaja Chowk’s trademark autorikshaw-shaped seats. They have also added some exciting new dishes to their menu, showcasing some traditional techniques such as claypot and dum cooking.
We started off with some drinks- Masala Shikanji, Ganne ka Ras, and Adrak ke Panje. While the shikanji was just about ok, the ganne ka ras, which they freshly squeeze on-order and mix with some lemon juice, mint and salt, was really delicious. But our favorite drink was the mocktail. It has ginger juice blended with brown sugar and fresh lemon chunks topped with coke, and was really refreshing.
We started our meal with some “Chakhna”, which were really tasty little snacks, which would go perfectly with a round of drinks.
The Chicken 65, a typical Hyderabadi dish, had morsels of chicken deep-fried and dipped in curd and whole spices, with crunchy curry leaves, and was really tasty. But what really blew us away was the Nawabi Murgh Seekh Masala, which had juicy chicken seekh surrounded with onions, tomatoes, and spices and served on a buttery kalonji mini-naan. This was a heavenly dish, and surely a must-try!
On the vegetarian side of things, we tried Sabudana Wada, which were fritters made of sago, peanuts, and potatoes, deep fried to perfection and served with mint chutney. The fritters were really crunchy and tasty, but the sabudana had a bit of a sticky texture, so it could have been soaked for longer to get rid of that stickiness. The Khurmi Naan was a delightful dish- a desi version of a pizza. It consisted of thin, crispy leavened bread topped with tomato ketchup and cheese.
We then had a dish from the chaat section- Jadavpoore Puchka Chaat, which was presented very nicely on a mini thela, with shot glasses filled with curd, topped with ried puffs, filled with a mix of chutneys, kala chana and sev, and some delicious, tangy and spicy golgappa water on the side.
Next, we ordered veg and non-veg kebab platters. The veg platter consisted of Paneer Tikka, Bharwan Aloo, Dahi ke Kebab and Hara Bhara Kebab. While the dahi kebab was a bit too heavily spiced, the bharwan aloo was excellent- they were stuffed with a mix of spices and nuts. But what we relished most were the hara bhara kebabs. They were made with spinach, and were stuffed with cheese, ground figs and green chilies, so they were moist and delicious.
The non-veg platter had Kalmi Kebab (a juicy stuffed chicken leg), Banno Kebab (tangy and spicy), Kastoori Kebab (delicate and vibrant), and Mutton Seekh (which had a nice bite to them and were well-seasoned).
For mains, we ordered their pièce de résistance- the Flaming Claypot Nalli Boti ki Bihaari. The dish was cooked in a clay vessel in the shape of a surahi, for a long time, and the presentation of the dish is very dramatic. It arrives at the tableside sealed and in flames, and the neck of the surahi is cracked open to reveal the juicy contents, which are then poured into a plate. The mutton was literally falling off the bone and was really succulent, and the flavors were spot-on. The dish was served with accompaniments like ginger, green chilies, chopped coriander and lemon wedges, which enhanced the flavor of the dish.
The other dish we went for was the Dum Gobhi Mussallam. Dum is a style of cooking wherein the food is cooked in a sealed vessel on a slow, gentle flame for a long time. The cauliflower floret looked extremely beautiful and it sat in a tangy, yogurt-based gravy which was extremely flavorsome.
Along with these dishes, we also ordered Chicken Lababdar and Dal Makhani. The chicken had been spiced nicely, but there was just a bit too much capsicum in the dish, but the dal was really creamy and had a robust flavor to it.
We devoured these dishes with Garlic Naan and Pudina Parantha. The pudina parantha was excellent- crisp and generously topped with mint powder, but the naan could have done with a bit more garlic.
We ended the lavish meal with some amazing desserts. The paan ice-cream had pieces of gulkand and candied fruits in it, and was quite nice. The Gol Matol Shaahi Tukda had crisp circular pieces of bread, slathered with mouth-watering rabdi. This dessert should not be missed here. We also tried the Beetroot Halwa, which was balanced in terms of sweetness, and was served with vanilla ice-cream, which made for a nice combination.
The service was also pretty prompt, despite it being a busy night. For a lovely Indian meal with family, Khaaja Chowk is a place worth visiting!
Overall Rating: 4/5
Location: 3rd Floor, Plaza Mall, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 124 4019112/13; 8130371861