From Kheema Bati to Laal Maas, dine like a royal at this new Rajasthani restaurant
You find yourself standing in awe, admiring the vibrant colours that have been painted on the walls of RK Salai's newest Rajasthani restaurant, replete with brightly painted windows and giant doors that resemble those of a haveli. Now get a chance to savour the cuisine royal Rajput style at Royalasthan, a spanking new thematically curated spot for those who love North Indian cuisine.
Word of caution before you head to Royalasthan; Get there early and book your spot because the waiting period can be quite a bit. After impatiently twiddling thumbs for 45 minutes, we are ushered into the dining room. The interiors area cornucopia of colours, Rajasthani puppet dolls and tiny trinkets from the state. We go through the menu and come across a variety of mouthwatering dishes that seem to be packed with flavour. Most people have the misconception that Rajasthani food is only vegetarian, when there's actually another sect of people who predominantly eat meat. So while Marwadis are purely vegetarians from Marwar, the Rajputs are non-vegetarians who moved to Gwalior and Indore. Chemmal Manian, owner at Royalasthan chimes in on this. "It's authentic food right from the kitchens of Jaisalmar, quite literally,". Chemmal adds that all the kitchen masalas and even the staff are from Jaisalmar. He even took the help of a friend who belonged to the royal family. "It took us six months to set up the place with trials running for over a month. The core ingredient is mutton and the cooking style basically has less water and copious amounts of ghee."
For the Shakahaari Shuruwat (vegetarian appetisers) we get Hara Bhara Kabab and for non-vegetarian starters we have Shammi Kabab. While the former which is a spinach and sweet peas cutlet is crunchy and chewy, the latter is a tad too salty for our tastes. Chemmal explains how the garam masala that is used in cooking isn't the usual one. "It's not really strong so it doesn't overpower the flavour of the meat."
Spoilt for choice
Next came the Rajdhani chicken and the Kheema Kaleji - both fiery dishes. While the Rajdhani chicken is strong and flavourful, the kheema is slightly lower on the spice level and is filled with curried minced lamb and liver. Royalasthan's stand-out dish is their Laal maas (red meat), a favourite of the erstwhile Rajput royals. The dish is prepared with whole spice, chilies and simmered for hours exactly as it was prepared for the royalty.
A signature dish we felt was the Royalasthan Thali which had three varieties of Rajasthani vegetables, the softest paneer curry, Ker sangri (unripe fruits and beans picked from two types of trees in Rajasthan, cooked to a pickle consistency by soaking in turmeric water and then mixed with mustard oil and pickling spices), baingan bartha, papad sabji (a must-try!), besan halwa, chaanch (spiced buttermilk) rice and phulka.
If you cannot zero in on what to order, we recommend the thali which comes with the best of all their signature dishes. We also recommend the Dal Baati Churma which is a classic combination of three dishes eaten together ; the panchmel dal, baatis (dumplings) and churma (sweetened cereal powder made by frying whole wheat flour and ghee).
Meal for two : Rs 1000
Lunch from 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm
And dinner from 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm