This week has been full of tastings for the Bombay Foodies and it wouldn’t be complete without an exciting invitation from Sofitel BKC. Known for the different food festivals at Pondicherry Cafe, Sofitel explores different cuisines each time and the experience is a complete package as they showcase not just the food but the culture that comes with it. We love them for their efforts and are always eager to check out what they have to offer.
This time we had the opportunity of joining them for the extended Eid Celebrations at Jyran which is known for some really good North Indian, Mughlai food.
What’s the occasion?
Well apart from the (extended) Eid Celebrations (Duh!?) this festival is also to introduce the new Chef De Cuisine of Jyran. Chef Shadab Ahmed who has 14 years of culinary experience and has worked with big names like Jiggs Kalra to the Ohris Cuisine Court (Hyderabad), Hilton Golden Palms resorts & Spa (Bangalore), ITC Maurya Sheraton (New Delhi), ITC Grand Chola (Chennai) and The Leela (Mumbai).
Chef Shadab, was quickly added to our list of most humble chefs we have met, so far. Extremely warm to talk to and very hospitable. He told us that delicacies that represented the North Western Province and Mohammad Ali Road (for the fest) were on the menu. Tawa Kheema, Tandoori Chicken, Gosht Biryani, Phirnee, Malpua Rabdi. Yup, we had our game face on and were ready for all of it.
Let’s talk food.
Now before we begin our review, we would like to state that The Foodie is from Lucknow, and even after living in Mumbai for almost 9 years now, yearns for that delicious food, every day, without fail. Therefore very rarely does she venture out to try North Indian, Mughlai food with high expectations, as every state has their own version of ‘North Indian’.
On reaching Jyran we were greeted by the very warm staff who promptly got us our table. The place was decorated with lights and green curtains and the staff was dressed in traditional clothes appropriate for Eid. One of the many things we love about Sofitel. They make it a complete experience.
On the menu we had some nice refreshing fresh fruit Sherbets. We went for the Pineapple and Watermelon instead of the alcohol beverages.There was also Masala milk on the menu, but the manager suggested that we went with something light, as the milk would fill us up and we had a heavy meal to get to.
If you go for the Sherbets and don’t like added sugars to it, it’ll be best to inform the staff so they give it to you with just the right amount of sweetness 🙂 They’ll be happy to help you with that. Our drinks were slightly on the sweeter side but we were ok with that as it was refreshing and we were very excited to try the food.
Our starters included Tandoori Chicken, Tawa Paneer (Cottage cheese cooked in onion and tomato masala on the tawa) and from the Live counter, Roti pe Bhuni Boti (Lamb Cooked On Griddle Flavoured With Red Chillies Served On Indian Bread), and a veg Sabz Seekh Roll (Seasonal Vegetable Roll Wrapped In Indian Bread With Mint Chutney And Slice Onion)) Along with that we also got some papad, green pudina chutney and a chilli jaggery chutney to go with it (We were careful not to make a meal out of it)
The Tandoori Chicken, after eating it all these years just comes down to one thing, it should be seasoned well, cooked well and taste like how it should taste, be slightly firm on the outside, soft and well cooked on the inside. It checked all the points, and even though we don’t go for it that often, having grown up eating this kind of food, it was a good throwback. I guess including it on the menu would only be fair, keeping in mind that it was a Mohammad Ali Road theme.
The Tawa Paneer was well made. Soft pieces of Marinated paneer that was flavoured well so yum! The sabz seekh roll was good too, crispy on the outside slightly chatpata on the inside if I remember correctly. We were happy to see that the vegetarians had not been forgotten, as they have most trouble enjoying such experiences. We saved the best for the last on our plate and that was, Roti pe Bhuni Boti!
This one was really yum and something different. Small ulte tawe ki roti topped with Bhuna boti (leg of lamb) kebabs. You could taste the ghee on the rotis and that tasted so rich along with the mutton. What we liked about this one was that it was a heavy combination made bite-sized so you can eat it easily without feeling too full, too quickly.
Chef Shadab, got us very excited when he mentioned dishes like Khichda, Tawa Kheema to us. Their Eid Special menu had dishes like Bhara Handi (Home Style Lamb Chops Cooked With Fresh Onion And Powdered Spices), Bhara Handi (Home Style Lamb Chops Cooked With Fresh Onion And Powdered Spices), Bheja Masala Pav (Lamb Brain Cooked With Fresh Onion And Tomatoes Served With Soft Bread) to rightly represent Mohd. Ali Road.
We were served some Tawa Kheema, Khichda, Tawa Chicken, Paneer and some Subz Miloni (Mixed veggies served with Spinach that’s tempered with garlic and ginger). Our plates were loaded with these wonderful preparations but it was the breads that we could not stop raving about. Khameeri roti, was so soft, so fresh, we just wanted to break it and plunge right into our piping hot Dal -El Jyran (Black lentils cooked in a tomato gravy, the traditional way and also a signature dish at Jyran.)
We were very grateful for the fact that they gave us enough time to digest each course, or else tasting so many things at one time would be very difficult. The Biryani came along right after. It was flavored well and tasted rich. Biryani gets full points from us when the meat inside it cooked to perfection. Here it was cooked well, but wasn’t the fall-of-the-bone kind but the flavours over all were spot on. The khichda was nice. though we’ve havent tasted enough of that, to know if it was the best, we were happy to see it on the menu! Taste wise this had alot more flavour. The only khichda we’ve eaten before was mildly spiced and was also comparitively blander and more loaded with burnt onions and coriander.
Things we had were delicious but we were sad that we didn’t get a chance to try the other Mohd. Ali Road delicacies such as Bhara Handi (Home Style Lamb Chops Cooked With Fresh Onion And Powdered Spices) Gurda Kaleji Pav (Lamb Kidney And Liver Cooked With Fresh Herbs Served With Soft Bread) Bheja Masala Pav (Lamb Brain Cooked With Fresh Onion And Tomatoes Served With Soft Bread). That’s alrite but, as this menu is here to stay and Mohd Ali. road is not that far away :). Ask Chef Shadab nicely and he will be more than happy to whip up some delicacies for you at Jyran.
For desserts we had the option of choosing from Noorani Kulfi Faluda Counter, Shalimar Ka Sheer Korma, Malpua Rabdi and Phirnee. We tried the Noorani Kulfi Faluda and Malpua rabdi. The desserts were slightly on the sweeter side, but rich. Think we are just growing old, sigh.
Mughlai food, because it is so popular around the country (read world) either tends to get done to death or gets avoided (like the plague) by the ones who prefer the road less travelled. Not the cuisine we prefer to go for, unless The Chef literally says Butter Naan, a million times, next to our ears (That’s happened before. We even made a drinking game out of it). Having grown up eating this kind of food all our lives, to us it boils down to one thing, if it has got no artificial coloring, ingredients are fresh, food is fragrant and the meat is cooked to perfection, you , my friend have hit the jackpot. Jyran is very much recommended for high quality Mughlai food with that little rustic , homely touch to it and we recommend this to everyone who considers this cuisine to be a special part of their lives.
Value for Money: -NA-
(The Bombay Foodies were invited to come and try out the food at the Jyran Sofitel, irrespective of that true and honest opinions have been given by the reviewers.)
The festival is on till the 31st of August, 2015.