Friday, May 14, 2010

BM Review: Sultans of Spice

A couple of weeks back, I had been to Sultans of Spice, a new restaurant part of the Blu Petal Business hotel in Koramangala. My last visit here was to Zheng, with some friends (not part of a review). The review can be read here.

Here's a shorter take on the experience, along with some of the snaps I took.

We've all heard tales of the wild west, with gun-slinging cowboys shooting up towns, a la dirty Harry, but we've almost forgotten about the wild west in our neighbourhood - the 'frontier' region (as it was known during British rule). Yup, the NWFP, the badlands of north-nest Pakistan and Afghanistan. A lot of the culinary traits of these regions are heavily influenced from the Central Asian countries (once the satellite states of the erstwhile USSR). The landscape being arid, with scrubs and bushes making up the prominent vegetation, goats and sheep are the primary source of protein here. And so it isn't surprising to see that a restaurant serving food from a little beyond the Khyber Pass, through Punjab, all the way to Delhi, should have a good selection of dishes involving lamb.

The atmosphere inside the restaurant was very pleasant - light music, good clean linen on the table, nice upholstery for the chairs, and a menu that wouldn't disappoint even a vegetarian, and would certainly make a carnivore's mouth water. I'm not too much into the ambiance and music, so I didn't mind the Jagjit Singh ghazals in the background, but some of the guests did, although not to the point where they started throwing tantrums.

The food was great. I didn't care too much for the Punjabi section - don't get me wrong, they were nice - I just liked the dishes from the other two sections better (and so did the guests). Also, to the credit of this restaurant, the lamb dishes that were served among the starters were wonderfully cooked. Very often, the mutton in a biryani is tender and drops off the bone and this is because it is 'pressure' cooked (may not be in a pressure cooker, but you know what I mean). However, starters usually aren't, and these are slow cooked in a tandoor, and very often the meat is still a little chewy. This often spoils the experience. However, the lamb at Sultans of Spice didn't suffer from that and came off the bone quite easily. Kudos to the chef.

Paya Kalimirch Shorba

Gosht Nehari Shorba

Boondi shikhanji (minus the boondi)

Tikka Rasmonak (mushroom, background), Bhatti da peela kukkad

The one other dish I'd like to mention specifically is the Matiya Road bharwan tange. This was chicken legs stuffed with mince meat and methi. I was unable to decide which I liked better - this or the lamb chops (gosh quburghah). Eventually I settled for this because this had chicken as well as minced lamb.

Matiya Road bharwan tange

Gosh quburghah

Surjeet di Amritsari macchi

The main course, after the initial onslaught, was a little tame. Although we did have a superbly 'crafted' lamb chops dish in the main course as well (burrah kaliyan) along with the breads, we also went in for a keema fry and a mutton biryani.

Karim's keema mutter fry

Burrah Kaliyan

Among desserts, the stuffed gulab jamuns in a mango nectar were the most appealing (visually) - check out the snap below, I really liked the picture. Taste wise though, I'll have to go with something a little more, well, exotic if you like - the chickoo kulfi (they actually have a custard apple kulfi, but that is seasonal).

The hand wash bowl, with flower petals

Stuffed gulab jamuns with mango nectar

Chickoo kulfi

Jalebi + Rabdi (served in a cup)

Food: Very good
$$$: Moderately expensive
Service: Good
Verdict:Must visit
Extra info: Unless you're in a large groiup, and/or have a craving for Punjabi food, skip the Punjabi section and stay with the Kabul and Delhi section. It's not the Punjabi section is bad; it's just that the other two sections are better.

Sultans of Spice, Blu Petal Hotel, #60, Jyothi Nivas College Road, 5th Block Koramangala, Bangalore. Phone: 43431800


Swaroop said...

The "Stuffed gulab jamuns with mango nectar" looks mind boggling.

Prateek said...

Awesome food, great ambiance and nice service. Will recommend it to everyone. Had a truly great time there - Prateek


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