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Archive for May, 2011

Tribute to Dad

Dad, being a big foodie as long as I’ve known him and heard stories about him, inspired me to become a chef. A good chef has his/her special ingredient but a great chef never lets out his/her ingredient. Dad always used to tell me although that person is great he’ll never be happy as that person will never understand the joy of sharing, most importantly sharing his/her passion. Dad tried sharing his passion through this blog but unfortunately short lived. A year and a half later, falling in his footsteps, although I’m not like him and will never be able to share his passion, but will try to make a pretty goddarn attempt! (pardoning the language!). This one is for you dad…

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I remember the good ol’ days after church when dad suddenly came up with plans of going out for lunch. The only thing that came to mind after deciding on an Indian cuisine was Urban Tadka (located in 7 bungalows in Andheri(West). I remember waiting for a quarter past half an hour just to get a seat, yet wouldn’t mind it because of the words – “Urban Tadka”. A lot has changed now though.

Last sunday was a harrowing adventure. Although we didn’t have to wait for a seat, but the seat provided was at the junction of the entrance and the side station. On request to be shifted, we were given an alternative of a table which was nicely soaked by a leaking air-conditioner pipeline. We obviously opted for the “junction table” with constant bangs from the stewards on my chair and the inconvenience & cacaphony of the entrance door. What a Welcome!

The decor was the same as it was 7 years ago. A whole experience of an Indian village with old wooden tables and plastic cane woven chairs, galvanised brass plates, dimly lit oil lamps, posters of old Hindi films, cots, slate board menus etc. It would be great if the stewards went along with the Indian theme rather than shirt, jeans and a tie. Moreover the staff were definitely not in a good mood guessing from their choice of music playing throughout the restaurant!

Now coming to the food. Took us about an hour for the food to reach our table from the time of ordering. Fiddling with their condiments within that time, I realised that since onion prices are back to normal, why aren’t there no pickled onions on the table. Upon asking the steward (who was pretty much bugged by then with us!) gave us a blatant no and directly (without asking us) served us sliced onions with lemon wedges. So much for the asking the guest!

We ordered Murg Makhanwala (Butter Chicken), Lemon Chicken, Tandoori Chicken, Kadai Paneer and Murg Peshawari Biryani. Tandoori chicken (2 per portion), was very well done with a rich texture and spicy flavour. Murg Makhanwala & Lemon Chicken, not only veteran dishes of Urban Tadka but never fail to appease the pallets. The sweet and soothing taste of Murg Makhanwala goes very well along with the tangyness of lemon chicken. Kadai Paneer will very well suit the spicy and garam masala pallets! As for Murg Peshawari Biryani, an innovatively prepared biryani, made in a small earthern pot (approx. 2 portions) sealed with dough. Cooking in its own flavours and aromas, Murg Peshawari Biryani was undoubtedly the showstopper of the afternoon

As I left that restaurant with my heart contended to the fullest, I forgot about all the things that grinded my gears. The saving grace being their food, Urban Tadka needs to work on small areas to make their guests feel pleasant to dine. Catching a glimpse of the restaurant as I left I couldn’t help noticing their award (flaunted next to their hoarding) By Times Food Guide for the “Best Indian Restaurant in North Mumbai.” I couldn’t agree more with that.

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