(A monthly column published in Car N Style magazine).
If its grill on your mind...
By Ravi V. Chhabra
Are you a barbeque buff with an appetite to plunder an entire range? The mini charcoal-grills, perfectly seated in your table with an assortment of exotic dips by the side, make this place different from most other Indian restaurants. The Pirates of Grill at Rajouri Garden in New Delhi offers an elaborate buffet that promises value for money.
The bar on the ground-floor is well stocked with both Indian and foreign alcoholic beverages. With a seating capacity of 94 pax each on the ground and the first floor, it is usually packed, so make sure to book the table in advance. The kitchen relies on its four tandoors and the restaurant is manned by a staff of over fifty. The food here is typically suited for the North Indian palate. Noticeably, Punjabis occupy most tables.
At the buffet, the welcome beverage arrived swiftly. The choice included soft drinks/mocktails or beer; I drowned myself in Blue Bird (litchi based) and Green Island (kiwi fruit), relishing both that rejuvenated my spirit after a long drive from south Delhi.
After digging my teeth into a few tandoori prawns, I went for the non-vegetarian soup. The soups were scrumptious but lacked variety with one each in the non-vegetarian and vegetarian category viz. Sancocho Chicken Soup and Spicy Tomato Coriander Soup. The unlimited non-vegetarian snacks included the Galauti Kebab, Atishi Murg Tikka alongside Gilafi Mutton Seekhkebab, Tandoori Prawns and fine Fried Fish. The prawns were small but juicy and the refurbishing on the table-grill was timely and courteous.
The Fried Fish for the starters arrived after much beckoning and by the time there was no appetite left though I did manage to savor a few bites for taste. I’d suggest that you prioritize your dishes and make sure the dishes are on the table-grill before you start. Don’t be impulsive in picking up just whatever comes for starters or you may end up filling your belly without having your favourite dishes. For the main course, the vegetarians can be sure of a huge variety - the must try are: Palak Mirch Masala and Dal Makhani, while the meat-eaters must try Josh-e-Gosht - tender goat-meat pieces in thick onion-tomato gravy and there is also the aromatic Murgh Dum Biryani.
My favourite vegetarian starter, the Grilled Pineapple was completely refreshing. Achaari Aloo, Chukundri Seekhkebab, Paneer Tikka and Khumb Chutneywala comprised the rest of the vegetarian section. The Mushroom Tikkas were tiny but the mint marination befitted the grill and made up for the size. The Salsa Potato is surely worth a few bites, besides the fabulous innovative snack the Spider Roll – mashed potato roll with batter casing topped with hard glazed noodles.
The salad counter was replete with cold curds and salads but had few takers, even for the mid-summer meal. The main course comprised the regular biryanis – veg/non-veg besides steamed rice and chilli flakes noodles as accompaniment for the two Chinese dishes - Vegetable Manchurian and Chilli Garlic Fish - the latter being quite a damper with vulgar salt! The main dishes included Paneer Lababdar, Gobhi Adraki, Corn Palak, Kadai Murg Masala, Josh-e-Gosht, besides the regular Dal Makhani, Dum Aloo, Pindi Chholey. I learnt that the seasonal Sarson Ka Saag and Gobhi Mattar Adraki are the winter favourite vegetarian dishes here. The desserts included an assortment of Fruit Tarts, Shahi Tukda, Moong Dal Halwa, Blueberry Cheese Cake, Mango Cheese Cake, Brownie and Vanilla Ice-Cream with Fresh Fruits.
A few of the quotations on the restaurant’s wall read: "When pirates finished their loot, they roared. When you do, burp".
“Here you won’t need cutlasses and muskets. Just a fork and knife will do”
“Pirates were known to make their own songs. So why don’t you make your own bar-be-cue?”
The restaurant needs to innovate further with its marinades and expand the repertoire in both the meat and seafood sections. The concept of personalized grill is tasteful and enticingly priced for a revisit. The ambience and service is good.
It is open for buffet lunch (12:30pm-3:30pm at Rs 422 per head with taxes) and buffet dinner (7:00pm-11:30pm with live band at Rs 700 per head with taxes). The place does not have a-la-carte menu so you better be convinced about your appetite before landing up here!
After completing three years, the restaurant is now headed to Gurgaon with its second outlet. Its owners, the Bagga brothers have another established Indian food chain: More than Paranthas located at Faridabad, Noida and Bangalore.
The review first appeared at: www.carNstyle.com