Friday, 8 July 2016

Marrakesh – The Meaty Ramadaan Affair!

This was a Ramadaan feast organized by Marrakesh for a select few. After Ramadaan these dishes will soon be a part of their menu as weekly specials and so I decided to time the review with the ending of the month long fast.

Marrakesh has ten branches all over Pune and they specialize in Lebanese, Mediterranean and Mughlai cuisine. I have ordered in from Marrakesh, through an online ordering application, a number of times, but this was my first visit to one of their restaurants. As the group assembled at the Undri branch, we were served a welcome drink of Falooda. This was a much lighter version of the traditional Falooda and was very refreshing to the palate without being heavy on the stomach.

Under the watchful eye of Imran’s (the Manager) the servers brought appetizers/starters to our table. The starters were Mutton Boti Kabab, Tangdi Kulfi Kabab, Tandoori Fried Aloo, Chicken Shahina, Chicken Baida Roti and Mohammed Ali Road wala Shawarma. 

The Mutton Boti Kababs were delicious. I usually avoid mutton boti kababs because they tend to be too dry and tough but these were beautifully marinated, juicy and tender. Truly, very delicious!

The Tangdi Kulfi Kabab was succulent and to my palate the best starter of the evening. Just as I fell head over heels in love with their Makrana Kabab (they are on the regular Marrakesh menu), I fell equally hard for these creamy babies. As they had an extensive menu planned for us, I behaved myself and stopped at one Kabab but I could have given up every other delicious dish and just feasted on this. A request to Team Marrakesh; please, pretty please, get these on the regular menu. Gaurav Gite, I pray to God you’re reading this. :-) 

The Tandoori Fried Aloo was a specially added to the menu to give us a slight break from the non-vegetarian dishes being served that evening. The carnivore in me politely had one aloo (potato). It was well made but, as a hardcore meat-eater, I did not want to stuff myself with anything vegetarian. I, however, had no objections to the continuous flow of meat arriving at the table. *evil grin* 

The Chicken Shahina was tandoor’d chicken stuffed with chicken mince and cashews. It was a tad on the dry side but the flavours were intact. It would have tasted way better had the chicken retained its juiciness. 

Chicken Baida Roti, was the one thing that evening that nearly had me in tears; unfortunately, they weren’t tears of joy. I was enjoying the delicious Roti until the time a slim, sharp chicken bone pierced my gums with searing intensity. After that all I felt was intense pain. When I went ‘ouch’, Aniruddha sitting in front of me cringed sympathetically at my distress. They ought to be more careful but, chefs, are human too and I totally understand that sometimes these things just happen. :-) 

The Mohammed Ali Road Wala Shawarma was the only thing I touched very warily because I know Marrakesh adds raw cabbage shreds to their Shawarma. (raw/salad = pas moi). I tasted a bit of the Chicken Shawarma but because it was a teeny tiny morsel, I could not really judge the true flavour of this dish. It would therefore be unfair of me to comment on it. 

For the mains they served us Bhuna Murg Haddiwala, Hari Mirch Ka Murg, Raan Masala, Nalli Nihari, Dilliwala Korma and Kabsa Rice. By this time I was fairly stuffed with all the starters, hence I only scooped a spoonful of gravy from each dish with a piece of garlic naan (except for Raan Masala). 

Every dish had distinctly different gravies and they were all quite delicious. The garlic naan itself was so well made and delish that I could eat it just as it was, without any accompaniment. 

From the main course there were two dishes, though, that deserves special mention: Raan Masala and Kabsa Rice. The mutton on the Raan fell off the bone and was tender, juicy and mouth-wateringly savoury from all the garam masalas it had been marinated in. I love a spice hit on my palate and this was spot on! As there were too many meat-based dishes, the chef had chosen to serve us a vegetarian version of Kabsa Rice. The rice, though vegetarian, was so flavourful that even when had just by itself, was DELICIOUS! The taste of the Kabsa Rice and those Tangdi Kulfi Kababs was unforgettable; it will stay with me a long, long time. These are dishes I will most certainly return to time and time and time again. Sigh! 

Our desserts comprised of Simla Mirch ka Halwa, Jalebi Rabdi and Rasmalai-Suterfeni. My sincere apologies to the Chef but I cannot fib when I pen a review, the Shimla Mirch Halwa just did not work. I feel there are certain ingredients that should not be toyed with as dessert. This was one such instance. :( 

The Jalebi Rabdi, however, was rich, sweet and decadent as was the Rasmalai-Suterfeni. This was also a new and unique combination for my palate and I loved every bit of it! 

I look forward to ordering from or visiting Marrakesh over and over again because their food is the stuff that a carnivore’s dreams are made of. I also am waiting for the inclusion of the Tangdi Kulfi Kabab to their regular menu and the other Ramadaan dishes to their special weekly menu. Thank you, Aniruddha, Gaurav Gite, Imran and Team Marrakesh for being such wonderful hosts. It was a marvellous evening!

Address: 12, Budhrani Boulevard, NIBM Annex, Undri, Opp Marvel Sangria, NIBM Road, Pune (They have a total of ten branches all over Pune)
Tel: 020 30162315

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