Connecting all foodies in India….
India is a huge land with various regions – and for foodies like me, varying food dishes – very contrasting to each other in taste, but each dish great on palate.
Last Sunday we got the chance to enjoy the medley of flavors ranging from the flavorful Kashmiri cuisine to the soulful South Indian flavors of Kanchipuram at National Highway 44 (NH 44), Rajouri Garden. The restaurant is based on the theme of actual national highway 44 which runs from Srinagar to Kanyakumari and is the longest highway in the country.
The décor of the restaurant is simply marvelous, huge sprawling space, brightly lit and quirky with Bunta bottles used in place of the huge chandeliers used in traditional restaurants. The tables are widely spaced, giving you a very airy feel.
We were welcomed with Aam Pana shots – very refreshing and a respite from the humid temperatures. The roller-coaster of flavors started with Soya Chaap Tikka and Paneer Achari Tikka in the vegetarian fare & Spicy Chicken Tikka, Chicken Seekh Kebas and Chicken Malai Tikka for the non-vegetarians – each dish perfectly spiced and flavorful.
This was followed by Kanchipuram Idli accompanied with mind-blowing Sambhar, coconut and tomoato chutneys. Palak Patta Chaat served here is among the best you’ll get your hands on – fresh Spinach leaves coated in Besan batter, fried and served with generous helping of Dahi, Saunth, Green Chutney – a dish not to be missed.
Masala Dosa – fresh from the tava – crispy with generous amount of masala inside paired with the same Chutneys and amazing piping hot Sambhar and Mumbai Vada Pav followed next. The vada pav was a little on the drier side for me, and has definite scope of improvement.
The starters were served with some of their signature mocktails – NH44 Special, Frozen Kiwi Daiquiri and Orange Ginger ale to name a few – each great in taste and very fresh.
With such pleasing appetizers behind us, we had simply no doubt on the ability of the restaurants’ chefs, but what followed in the mains was a pleasant surprise and we were left wondering of their amazing capability to churn out such wonderful dishes.
Lal Maans and Chicken Chettinad were presented for the non-vegetarians. Mutton just perfectly cooked, falling of the bone with the flavorsome fiery red curry, Lal Maans was amazing and Chicken Chettinad was so good that it transports you to the regions of Tamil Nadu where the dish originated.
Lasooni Palak ke Kofte and the signature Dal Makkhani were served for the vegetarians. The soft and delicate kofte, dipped in traditional makkhani gravy, were amazing and definitely a dish not to be missed and Dal Makkhani was bang on! The dishes were paired best with their crispy and flaky butter naans and laccha parathas.
In desserts we were served Beetroot halwa –smooth textured and midly sweet, and Gil-E-Bahisht – a creation of the chef himself – it was an amazing combination of phirnee, kalakand and rabri – finishing our meal on a high!
NH44 – running with packed house both on weekdays and weekends – is the new rising star in the food scene of Rajouri serving the soulful food that can cater to all palates. Definitely a place not to be missed!