Tacos or tikka, Kakada Ramprasad has us saying cheese to both!
I have often said that the true test of an Indian vegetarian outlet lies in the perfection of their paneer. Well, Kakada Ramprasad passes with flying colours. What’s more, Ravi Kakada, the founder’s grandson, shares that the cottage cheese is made in-house. Right from the achari to the haryali, the paneer tikkas were soft as cloud and delicately seasoned. Meanwhile, the refreshingly crisp virgin paan mojito was sweet with flavours of the typical meetha paan – and it was no surprise when I found out later that they actually blend in the real ingredients of betel leaves and the aromatic filling, to make this concoction. The more than 60-year-old brand, known for their chaats and Bengali sweets, expanded into the city about a year ago, by setting up shop in Kilpauk, and is as busy as their first outlet that is buried deep in the lanes of Sowcarpet. “The clientele is different,” admits Ravi, adding how folks here are looking for contemporary flavours along with traditional ones, and also linger over meals with their families. While the Sowcarpet outlet on the other hand attracts the busy working class and passing shoppers, always in a hurry.
While their menu already boasts a healthy mix of traditional fare, like the North Indian thali and continental offerings like their sizzler section, last week the Kilpauk outlet has added about 20 new dishes. “We have gone by the demand of our regular clientele. Known as a family restaurant – we draw all age groups – and hence all kinds of palates. It took us 40 days of trial and research to finalise these new recipes,” says Ravi, explaining how their new pasta section has an instant following and so do their veggie-loaded sizzlers – especially the new Indian and the Mexican versions. In the chaat section, a couple of filling Mumbai favourites find a place like the popular ragda patties and vada pav. The latter is stuffed with authentic chilli garlic masala chutney and comes with that delightful fried green chilli.
For mains, I pick the malai aloo gobi, a creamy, rich curry smothering bite-sized cauliflower and potato cubes. The masala kulcha that accompanies the dish turns out to be soft and ghee-laden – I agree there is no other way to enjoy kulchas! I barely do justice to the tall chocolate sundae that is loaded with chewy caramel, wafers, brownie and choco chips. Just remember that you have to walk through their generous sweet and savoury section when you leave – and a portion of their pepper cashews and Mishri Mawa is a mandatory purchase,
Meal for two Rs 700