Kebabs & Kurries has a five-star hotel
in its address, and an ambience with the passion of a speciality restaurant therefore comes as a bit of a surprise, given that the more expensive a hotel, the more understated and subtle its restaurants turn.
Themed as some kind of earthy place Rajput warriors would perhaps feel at home dining at, the restaurant replacing Indian Grills has a dhaba feel to it. The fabric canopy at the entrance sets the tone, the waiters are dressed in the attire of servants of North-Indian kings, and there's a lot of wood and copper artifacts around. A live kitchen shows enough clay and coal to consummate the mood and setting.
The name says it all. Mostly North-Indian, especially Lucknowi, cuisine adorns an elaborate menu, and there's a smattering of Hyderabadi too. Pudina Paneer Tikka, Hara Kebab Awadhi, Barrah Kebab, Charminar Kebab, Tala Gosht, Chui-Mui Koofteh, Murgh Angaar, Do Pyaza Begamati, Chooze Biryani, Chameli Pulao, Macchli Qorma and Mehlati Jhinge are some names from a list of about 75, and there's the expectedly deep winelist too.
It's expensive as hell, of course - a colacassia (kanda
in Telugu) starter, Arbi Bhooni, costs Rs. 525. It's something you'd eat grumpily if your mother cooked it, and probably even refused to several times as an indispensable part of growing up.
Indeed, the best way to analyze the food at an expensive restaurant, clouded as your opinion is by the address and ambience and price and cutlery, is to assume it was cooked at a really downmarket joint, and decide how you'd feel about it. Kebabs & Kurries suffers from the standard ailment of star hotels - they have to cook for firangs
who'd find milk bread from Bulaqi Kashmiri spicy, and Telugus who've grown up eating raw avakaya
mixed in rice, using the same recipe. You'll perhaps need a refill in the salt shaker if you are a native. Or even someone else to eat what you ordered.
Kebabs & Kurries is good for a visit to see if your palate can take the softness of a cuisine that was always meant to hover between spicy and fiery. If you like it, good for them.