Kebab Court on the ECR serves Awadhi delicacies with contemporary decor
Expect succulent kebab platters and Lucknowi ghosht biryani
Galouti kebabs and motorcycle miniatures are rarely spotted at the same restaurant. But Kebab Court on the ECR, we discover, is not just any restaurant. It is the first restaurant that hospitality doyen Nina Reddy and her late husband Vijaykumar Reddy (under the banner NiVi) set up together over a decade ago. And re-opening its doors earlier this month, coinciding with his birth anniversary is an homage to the man behind dozens of restaurants, as well as some of the things he loved. One of which, as we find out over the course of our meal, just happens to be vintage miniatures.
“I think we must have a few thousands of these (miniatures) stored away in glass cases at Savera,” says Nina, who also happens to be the joint managing director of Savera, with a hint of nostalgia. This was one of the many things Vijay, collected — which later moved on to, “plants, music and at one point 20 different breeds of dogs at our house!” she recalls. We take this all in over generous platters of silken galouti kebabs and kheema-stuffed Mughalai paratha squares, served by their elderly Lucknowi chef Abdul Jabar. Jabar we find out, in fact, moved to Chennai when the original Kebab Court was set up in 2005.
Ingredients from his masala blends which are top secret, come from the same shop back home in Lucknow that has been making them for the past hundred years. We find ourselves reaching for seconds of the milky white Paneer Chandini Tikka which is pillowy soft with a hint of tang. The much-anticipated Lucknowi Ghosht Biryani which arrives at our table however, is a touch underwhelming, although the mutton by itself is succulent and flavourful. We pair this with a thick lassi for something to sip on through our meal, although if you’re feeling like something lighter, order the Paneer Goli Soda instead. Dessert is a cocktail of hot and cold. Warm gulab jamuns drenched in sugar syrup and chilled rabdi garnished with slivers of badam and pista.
Meal for two at INR 700 ++.
Apart from the outdoor seating section with modern black and white chequered tiles, pay Vijay’s Gallery beside the restaurant a visit. Nina tells us that this space will soon serve as a compact spot for a quick chai stopover and is slated to stock organic vegetables, grains and lentils from NiVi farms.