“The art of the cuisine, when fully mastered, is the one human capability of which only good things can be said.” – Friedrich Durrenmatt
Modernization, though a boon, has it’s own drawbacks that have an impact even on the culinary culture. The traditional Indian cuisine with it’s diverse regional food preparations are gradually lost and forgotten with time. Cafe Haqq se specializes in modern Indian cuisine, that focuses on reviving the traditional and classic recipes of the Indian origin and serving them with innovation and a modern twist to adapt to the changing trends in food culture.
The ambience and decor is heavy, rich and clearly exemplifies their sense of pride, love and affection for our country, it’s cultural diversity and culinary richness. As you enter inside the heavy wooden doors, a large bar counter stands tall and sturdy on the left followed by the spacious and adequately lit dining area. A raised platform at the other end of the dining hall hosts a variety of rock bands and other musical talents that perform on certain evenings for the dining crowd. While one of the walls is adorned by the sketches and paintings depicting the rich cultural heritage of India and one has the ‘make in India’ logo on it, yet another wall has a rustic appearance with a stylish portrait on it. The food is served in glistening copper tableware.
The bar menu boasts a variety of Indian mixology based mocktails and cocktails which include unique concoctions that you might have never tasted before. We sampled a mocktail and 3 cocktails off the same.While the fruity, tangy and mildly spicy mocktail PERU CHATPATA (INR 186), the sweet, thick and banana flavoured cocktail SHARABI LASSI (INR 376) and the perfectly sweet and citrusy cocktail RAAS MOJITO (INR 376) got affirmative nods from my friends, my dried ginger and tamarind flavoured cocktail spiked with tequila and gin called IMALIYA (INR 376) was a little bit of a let down as it was unpalatably sour to taste. But as soon as I brought this to the manager’s notice, he replaced it with another one which had a perfectly balanced taste.
This renown pan fried Kashmiri delicacy comprised of young lamb spare ribs cooked in milk, exotic Indian spices, generous amount of ghee and steeped with sage, the long forgotten herb which also imparted this mildly spicy and smoky dish a strong aroma and slightly bitter taste. It was accompanied with a cucumber and yoghurt based dip by the side. The lamb meat was absolutely tender, succulent, moist and separated off the bone with so much ease! (INR 486)
Bhuney Chicken Wings
This dish comprised of pot roasted tender and juicy chicken wings marinated ina fiery hot blend of spices followed by a Sichuan pepper corn (Trephal) and palm sugar glaze. The faint sweetness of the palm sugar and the unique aroma and flavour of the Sichuan pepper not only imparted a tingly sensation with a slightly lemon-y tone but also made way for the enhancement of the fieriness of the spices, thereby well complementing them to create a spicy and hot yet aperfectly balanced flavour. (INR 386)
Chicken Kursi Miyani
This was their version of the traditional Hyderabadi snack which has it’s origins back in the Mughal Era. Perfectly boiled eggs cut into halves were stuffed with a spicy, flavourful and moist chicken mince and batter fried to give a rich crispy exterior; quite literally an inside out preparation of Scotch eggs. (INR 396)
Masala Jeera Aloo A La Dauphinoise
This was an amazing fusion of the humble Indian Masala Jeera Aloo preparation and the traditional French Gratin Dauphinoise. These cushiony soft, mildly spicy and creamy delectables comprised of alternative layers of thinly sliced potatoes seasoned with garlic, ground cumin, other spices and butter, followed by alternating layers of oodles of creamy cheese that so wonderfully oozed out as we cut through them. (complimentary)
Before serving the mains, some sorbets of varied flavours like mango, strawberry, etc were served to us pierced in toothpicks to cleanse the palate. They called it ‘Chuski’.
Laal Duck Mole
This was a lip smacking delicious fusion of the traditional Rajasthani laal maas preparation and the spicy Mexican mole. Well braised duck meat (along with it’s fat) thoroughly marinated in the spicy laal maas paste, was covered with a thick, bittersweet and spicy Mexican chilli chocolate sauce preparation and served alongside some tangy and spicy tomato salsa. Some more Mexican chocolate mole was also served alongside to be added as per our liking. (INR 596)
Crab Mango Quorma
This was a Goan home-styled crab curry preparation with tender and moist crab meat, a subtle yet hearty and soothing flavour and a runny gravy also containing amba-haldi (a variety of aromatic turmeric) which was added with the intent of imparting the curry a subtle raw mango flavour. Unfortunately, while the curry had a very subtle raw mango aroma, it completely missed out on the raw mango flavour, which was a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. (INR 516)
This was a thin, light, soft yet not too elastic naan made of Maida, that well complemented the Lal Duck mole. (INR 86)
Fragrant Ghee Bhaat
This humble steamed rice cooked with subtle spices and some ghee imparting it a wafting fragrance, was a perfect accompaniment for the crab quorma. (INR 196)
Pista Jaam Pie
A deliciously baked and warm pie with a crumbly texture comprising of juicy and sweet Gulab jamuns and a layer of sweet, creamy and smooth Rabdi anglaise was served with salted toffee ice cream which very well complimented the pie with it’s well balanced sweet and salty flavour and a mashed pedha garnished with pistachio slivers. (INR 286)
Rossogolla White Mousse
The sugary-sweet and juicy dessert Rossogolla was served with a French twist in the form of a white, soft, creamy and smooth mousse with a perfectly sweet and a slightly bitter taste imparted by the coffee liquor. It was also topped with a crispy thin chocolate florentine studded with roughly chopped almonds that imparted some more crunch to it. (INR 286)
Our sumptuous meal here ended with a paan flavoured mouth freshener served in the form of small jelly cubes that burst out releasing an array of refreshing flavours of the meetha paan as we consumed them.
The hospitality is very warm and welcoming. The service is reasonably fast, very attentive and the attendants are not only cheerful and smiling always, but also are well versed with the menu and give good food suggestions. Even the head chef came out in the dining hall at regular intervals for feedback and suggestions as well as to ensure that we were having a good time.
The total bill amount for our elaborate meal here which comprised of a mocktail, 3 cocktails, 4 appetizers (one was given complimentary), 2 mains, 2 accompaniments and 2 desserts, came upto 5185 INR. The pricing is slightly upscale, but this is definitely a ‘one of it’s kind’ dining experience that everyone must enjoy at least once in their lifetime.
Food quality – 4.5/5
Food quantity – 4/5
Ambience – 4/5
Service – 4.5/5
VFM – 4/5