3 January 2011

Veg. Gulati

Veg. GULATI is an upscale restaurant located in the food square on Pandara Road in New Delhi. This blogger has been infrequently dining here for almost 10 years now. Sadly, the quality of food is not as exciting as before. Somewhere, the spark has gone amiss despite the prices being raised significantly keeping up with inflation. This review is based on the three visits made in a span of one year.

The d├ęcor is a dimly lit one with mirrors on one side to provide an illusion of space and slight brightness. It’s designed in a rectangular manner and there are barely 8-10 tables, which leads to an increase of waiting time during weekends. Childhood memories of this place are unmistakably attached to an impressive Roomali Roti paired with some really well-prepared dishes. These can’t be refreshed anymore as the restaurant has stopped offering Roomali Roti which it originally used to source from GULATI next door, which serves both veg. and non-vegetarian.

Bread Basket
A standard side dish ordered by my family is the Bread Basket comprising of a Butter Nan, Tandoori Roti, Lachcha Parantha, Missi Roti and Pudina Parantha. All of these are sincerely prepared and complement the main dish well. Their main menu comprises of neatly divided sections between preparations of paneer [7-8 dishes], vegetable curry [similar number of preparations], two options in rice, 3 types of dal, Thali [2 variations] and sweets [for dessert].

Their vegetable curry preparations are near similar in taste, which is a pity considering the variety on offer. Though, in winter, there are some changes in the menu, and the METHI MALAI MATAR was an impressive dish with very well-balanced flavours. The Rajma and Dal Makhani are quite dull, or simply put, taste average. My Mum can prepare them with better gusto and deliver the right punches, too! Haldiram's Dal Makhani wins hands down! What has always been a personal favourite is their baby onions marinated in vinegar and green chutney, which complement the staid food brilliantly. I could simply savour the breads with these two offerings and return home happy! The dishes are all priced between Rs. 300/- to Rs. 500/-
Pickle, Green Chutney, Onions

Lal Rajma

Visits to Veg. Gulati have now become a circular and hence repetitive process of an unhappy realization. As time passes, I feel the desire to drop in for a meal. Once there, the food doesn’t blow my mind off and hence the disappointment over the excitement to be there. As my Mum says, ‘admit it, the food isn’t worth scampering to go back for. It’s not even value for money, beta!’ The restaurant has been awarded one of the best veg. restaurants in the capital by HT. It amazes me as to how they couldn’t have found an outlet to beat Veg.Gulati in this category. Maybe the judges were to lazy to taste around and just decided to settle in on pedigree. Not a good decision, though.

The only joyous part about visiting this locality is the KULFI counter right outside Gulati. This lovely joint has maintained its quality over the years, and the pricing of the dessert is just right. They have numerous flavour providing a twist to the traditional kulfi, served on stick or in a matka. It’s our favourite part of the visit! You must try the Pan Kulfi.

PS: Gulati was a unique dry fruit-laden dish of rice cooked in milk, prepared for the Nawab of Jehangirabad by his Khansama Khaleel. [a royal version of our standard N.Indian Kheer!:P!]

Added later: In 2013, I visited the outlet twice with friends. The long gap since our last visit made me enjoy the dishes quite a bit. Our orders included Gulati's speciality dish of Amritsari Chhole and Punjabi Kadhi. Both of these were well-cooked and were quite delicious being mildly, and not strikingly, flavoured with spices.

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