At the start, let me say that we didn't have any vegetarian dishes because nothing caught our fancy. The restaurant is setup in a 90 year old bungalow from the Raj era. It's been restored to a pristine condition, and is run by the same family that runs The Elements restaurant on Nandi Durg road. After my interactions with the owner, Asif Mohammad, one thing was clear - this is a person who's passionate about what he does. The food here follows the footsteps of
We started off with the Peshawari murgh tikka, which was very similar to a malai kabab. The chicken was cooked nicely and the marinade was just as we expected there. Along with that, we'd ordered a machchi ke tikka, which was essentially the same flavours but on fish (no snap of the fish dish). The fish was also done quite well. However, the creme de la creme of the starters were the Malabar prawns. Asif and his family are originally from Kerala, the right term being Mappila (or Moplah) and so the dishes from Kerala here are really great.
The tandoori lamb chops were a mixed bag. I liked it, while the guests were of the opinion that the masala used was a little 'raw', meaning, it hits you straight in the throat. Usually this is avoided if the ingredients of the masala are first dry roasted individually and then mixed and used in the marinade. Another interesting starter we had was the seekh-e-elements - seekh kababs that were served on paper thin iddiappams, and were to be eaten as a roll would be eaten - the iddiappam rolled over the kabab. Last but not the least was a special dish, the kaada fry, which is a partridge that is fried whole and served. Although it was the first time for the rest of the crew, I've had it before at Nachiyar's, and this tasted nice, but nothing special.
For the main course, we again set our sights on a variety of dishes. A meen appam, which involved a fish being stuffed into an appam that was prepared by having rice batter smeared on a banana leaf and folded. This was served with some tamarind sauce and this certainly lifted the taste of the entire dish. The nalli nihari, which I had the last time I was here, was not to be missed, and it lived up to it's reputation. The surprise package though was the moogh dal ki gosht, which was moog dal with lamb served with rice and roti (all main course dishes are served with rotis/iddiappams and two portions of rice, while starters are served with rotis or iddiappams and no rice).
One of the spiciest dishes we had that night (and possibly ever) was the kozhi mulagh itathe. Fortunately, what went in favour of the dish was the fact that it wasn't just overly spicy to kill you, but spicy in a flavourful way. And lastly, there was the biryani, with meatballs in it. Mildly flavoured and served in a handi with the seal made of dough intact, it acted as a balm after the kozhi inferno :)
And whatever wee little space we had left inside us, we filled with dessert. Khubani ka meetha, a compote made from apricots (served here with butterscotch ice cream) and a zafrani phirni is what we opted for. Some of the other options were shahi tukda and gulab jamuns, and of course, ice cream, all of which we rejected because the former would have been very heavy, while the latter two were pretty common. Needless to say, the two desserts we had were quite superb.
Overall, great experience, and it's one of those places you'd be forcing yourself to visit each time you're anywhere close to Fraser town and are in the need for a meal.
Food: Very good
$$$: Slightly on the higher side. A full meal for non-vegetarians will come up to about Rs. 600 per head.
Verdict: Certainly worth a visit
Elements Heritage, Mosque Road, next to Savoury Restaurant, Fraser Town, Bangalore. Phone: 41144146