This kebab festival at Bharat Bistro in Chennai promises oodles of flavour
This November, it it is all smoke and fire at the Bharat Bistro, the pan-Indian restaurant off Cenotaph Road. With 14 kebabs on their special Kebab Bazaar menu for this month, we sip on a refreshing Jasmine Sherbet as we wait for the first dish to arrive. Meanwhile, Nikesh Lamba and Japtej Ahluwalia, who are part of the trio that owns this restaurant, tell us how this food festival is about the celebratory season and the unlimited menu is designed as a hearty meal for big groups. “This is also about celebrating the mild Chennai winter with warm, comfort food from the tandoor,” says Nikesh.
The grilled mixed fruit bowl is a refreshing change — with guava, apples and pineapples tossed in a spiced marinade. The Chicken Paras Kebab is a platter of delicately spiced and perfectly grilled chicken wings, while the paneer kebabs are easy on the palate with the hariyali and regular version. It is only when the Butte ka bahar (baby corn) is served that we remember the interesting rubs provided at the table and pick the spicy paprika and sea salt to add some edge to the dish.
The barrage of chicken grills continues, with hari mirch murg kebab and the traditional murgh tikka working well with the yogurt and garlic dip provided at the table. However, Chicken Orni kebab has us licking our fingers with relish — it is succulent meat wrapped in soft, mildly grilled cheese. For seafood lovers there is fish and prawns, while from the veg platter the Shikampuri kebabs are tender cutlets stuffed with cottage cheese and the popular Malai Broccoli is cheesy as it is meant to be.
The mains turn out to be our all-time favourites like butter chicken, Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani and the delicious — Smoked Dal Makhni. Molly-coddled in a bamboo basket filled with live coals, the black dal exudes a distinct smoky flavour and works well with the assorted Indian breads. Again reaching for the tried and tested — we pick the Gulab Jamun and ice cream over the Bread Halwa. Evenly browned and dripping syrup, the melt-in-the-mouth mithai is a sugar junkie’s dream come true!
Ongoing till the month end, Kebab Bazaar is available for lunch and dinner, per head at INR 999.