Sunday, November 18, 2012

Rasovar by Radjhani

Rest: Rasovara by Rajdhani
Meal: Lunch
Loc: Phoenix Mills

A few weeks ago i attended a bloggers luncheon at Rajdhani and did the same a few days ago as well. The bloggers are a merry bunch and its good to catch up with them every once in  while. Rasovara is an interesting attempt to alter what is a tried and tested format in the Indian dining scene.. the Thali.

Rajdhani was already one of my fav joints for a thali in the upper end (my all time fav is Friends Union which is much more basic) especially because they make attempts to differentiate themselves with their offering. Their use of makkhan (churned white butter) adds tremendous value to the food and is a throwback to what Indian food tasted like back in the day.

While Rajdhani has multiple outlets country wide and the thali is their mainstay, its brave of them to try and change what works. They have tweaked the concept of a regular thali to make it a more royal experience, from the decor which is upmarket to the plate setting to the number of dishes.

The handmade plates with all the bowls and silverware weigh in at 2.5-2.6 kgs (6lbs) and have a golden sheen to reflect the royal moniker.  Another unique introduction is a set captain to co-ordinate your dinner, he will call for anything the people on the table desire.

We were welcomed with a pretty delicious, albeit heavy glass of thandai (almond based cooler)

There is now a set appetizer course which is served at the opening of the meal and once you are through the dish is taken away. The Dahi Vada was okay but the dhokla was just incredibly good.

The Dal-Batti-Churma which used to be offered as a once in a while special is now a staple. Not bad.

Overall, there were 2 types of kadhis, 2 dals, 4 veggies, 4 types of bread, two type of rice etc. The food was good, no real complaints.

The price for the thali is usually 350 which i have always found on the higher side, (A friends union does a basic version with a few less entrees and appetizers for 150) but the Rasovar experience comes to you at between 549 and 649 depending (weekday lunch & dinner. 649 on weekends throughout the day)

What i liked about the experience was that there was an attempt to try something different, bringing on a custom captain to co-ordinate the meal is a good idea and when you have a high number of dishes it actually works out for the better. I also like the relaxed pace and even though there were 50+ people dining then it felt like we had our own personal space.We were also told that the higher price of the thali allows them to use even better and more expensive ingredients and offer dishes they could not before. Which explains the ghee laden badam ka khalwa (almond halwa)

What i did not like.. First off, the thali experience is about having all the things together at once. I did not like having my appetizers up front and then not having them later.. i think the courses concept leads to a less than fulfilled meal and must revert to its earlier state.

I also think that there are simply too many things on offer, sweets could easily be reduced, the dal bati could be removed as well. They could add a few more kinds of bread (light ones a stuffed paratha is a bad idea) some more veggies because we end up with ones we dont like far too often.The offering needs a little tweaking but thats just my opinion.

The service was a tad off, with waits for things i wanted but i think they will be get that sorted out.


Reema Prasanna said...

Well summarised, mate!

Gaurav said...

merci madame !

The knife said...

Gaurav, not sure if I have told you this before but if you ever are in the deep suburbs then bhojohori manna at oshiwara has a nice bengali vegetarian thai at about rs 250...feeds two really...try it sometime

on a separate note i don't know why the rajdhani pr guys keep mailing me...they obviously have no idea of their target audience

Gaurav said...

whenever i am in Oshiwara next i will give them a go... though not sure if it will happen anytime soon.

i am sure you appreciate a thali as much as the next guy :)

Anonymous said...

have they slowed down thr service or not?

Gaurav said...

indeed they have. was a lot more relaxed.

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