There are times when u want nothing else but a Naan and a Dal makhani from that favourite restaurant of yours round the corner.... and there are times whenu're inan experimental mood and wanna have food that u've never tasted b4...
Well I was in the mood for the latter... checked around on the internet, called up my well informed loyal advisor for food and finally zeroed down on a place in the by lanes of Lajpat Nagar called Mazaar... Though there was a time that i thought that Lajpat Nagar was only synonymus to "Repair Nagar".
Parking my car at the first place i found we walked around to figure out this place. Most of the ppl knew about Kabul.. another restaurant that serves Afghani Food... But i was hell bent upon going to Mazaar... So we took a rick and reached this place.
Well the place, quite contrary to what I had expected, was very nice. The place was well lit unlike those dingy dark sheds that ppl have restaurants in these days, and was very neat and somehow really comfortable and inviting. For a while I dint feel that I was in a restaurant but at someones Home in their dining hall or something. The others that were seated found us to be strangers. We looked like the foreigners out there, and after a while of uncomfortable stares and whispering, when they saw how indifferent I was to their unsaid remarks : ' you dont fit here'... they let us be and got back to slurping their Shorbas and ripping their meats.
The menu dint describe the food quite well, it only had the names and the same written in Arabic. So that dint quite work, so we called the server whowas this young boyish, fair guy who looked perfect in his pathani kurta and pyjama to help us out. We asked him straight and simple what should we have and he suggested the mutton tikka seekh, Borani Banjan and a Mantu, since we specified we were maasahaaris ( meat eaters) and we din wish to have rice.
The food took a while to arrive but was worth every second... The server had specified prior to the order that the food here was mildly spiced and was not high on heat at all...
So that made us quite ready for what was to arrive... TheMutton tikka seekh came in individual skewers which was quite aneye candy( me clearly ignoring the ghas phus beneath it). It was as explained low on spicy very unlike our traditional mutton seekh which at times either tastes of innumerable no. of spices or just the heat which takes away any flavor from the mouth. This was quite a relief and you could actually taste the succulent mutton with a hint of garlic and definately marinated in curd or sour cream.
The mantu was quite a twist in the tale. It turned out to be mutton mince stuffed momo's served like a chaat.. i.e. it was covered with curd and the final twist was that it was topped with dal. The description dint seem very inviting to me so I kept away from it for quite a while till i realised that my buddy was quite enjoying it. I finally gave in and tried a portion. Hmmmm... the Momo I would give a pass i've had way better but surprisingly i really liked the curd and dal combo which was laced with mint...
Finally, the Borani banjan was actually forced upon... for quite a few reasons... Its an Aubergine/ Egg Plant/ Brinjal based dish... Ppl who know me will be shocked, super shocked.... super duper shocked if I was to tell them that i Liked the dish. Well i did. :) It was actually really really nice. The aubergine were roasted in Sesame oil and preserved in the same... The dish was basically this marinated roasted aubergine peeled and scattered around topped with Sour cream and dried mint and the sesame oil poured all around... It tasted outstanding with the Bread that they provided with it. At the first look the bread looked humungous and thick and not palatable. But the minute i ripped it and soaked it into that oil it just transformed into a gourmet delicacy.
Well we had had enough to brag about but b4 we headed out we had to try the dessert but the options all spoke about ice cream.. and we were in no mood to be fed a scoop out of a 5L Mother dairy industrial ice cream pack ( thats what most hotels and restaurants serve u in their fashionable glasses). But then i had a glimpse of what was actually written Afghani Ice cream. So now i had to try that out. The ice cream tasted quite like our Kulfi but was more creamier and smoother and richer and cardomomy and just superb. Served on a bed of Ice and topped with nuts it was divine... though my buddy found it toooooo sweet ( he still finished all of it) i thought it was an A++++++++++... I hope u get my point.
And the best part was the food was pretty light, dint feel lethargic or super heavy post the meal. Was actually majorly excted about the bragging i was about to go ahead with...
So, the place is worth a visit for sure.
Where: E 86, Lajpat nagar 1.
What : Afghani Food
How much : We spent Rs. 700/-