Namak Mandi is among the new crop of restaurants that have come up in Delhi in the last few months. I had a chance encounter with this restaurant last week when I had gone for shopping in the DLF Promenade mall and was both surprised and amused to see this new restaurant taking the place of an old one. Since shopping had exhausted me so much that I could devour anyone....yes anyone... so I thought to spare that 'anyone' and instead thought to satiate my hunger by feasting on some Indian food in this restaurant. This restaurant that serves the Awadhi cuisine was launched last month by the famous Qureshi brothers who also own several restaurants in India and abroad. So no doubt my expectations from this restaurant only increased and to a major extent I think they were met too.
What drew me most to this restaurant was its open kitchen where you could see all the chefs cooking for you and this definitely gives you some confidence and trust in the quality of food that you eat here. Another compelling factor was its simple ambience with its rustic charm in those raw wooden tables and chairs. I instantly decided that this was the place where I wanted to dine in. Those brass hanging lamps further add to the typical North Indian crude look yet looked very pleasing too. And for those who love alfresco dining they have a small outdoor dining area too.
Coming to food, the cuisine served here is North Indian and the Awadhi cuisine. Awadhi cuisine is the one belonging to the Awadh region or the area around Lucknow in India and was the one that the Nawabs or the nobles of that area feasted upon during the medieval times.
In this restaurant you will find that the entire menu has been divided into few parts like Shuruat which includes the drinks, Shorba or the soups, Kebabs or the starters, Handi and Kadai ie the main course dishes, biryani and the desserts. I ordered for the Murgh Balai Kebab, Seekh Kebab Imtiazi, Murgh Handi Lazeez, Tandoori roti and naan, coke and Soda Shikhanji. The quantity in these dishes is enough for two people.
Murgh Balai Kebab is the starter dish prepared by marinating the chicken pieces in yoghurt and cheese and cooking it in the tandoor. The chicken in this dish was juicy, tender, perfectly cooked and tasted incredible. I just loved this dish.
Seekh Kebab Imtiazi was the traditional seekh kebabs that are cooked by coating the minced lamb meat on the skewers and then cooking them in the charcoal tandoor. These kebabs were spicy and tasted good but I somehow felt that they were not too fresh.
Murgh Handi Lazeez was our maincourse dish made of aromatic spices and hence had an aromatic gravy.I loved the taste and texture of this dish. The gravy was very smooth and really fragrant and almost melted in the mouth. The flavor of essence from the Kewra or screw pine was one flavor that dominated over the other favous. And the dish tasted so well. In Breads, I ordered for Naan and tandoori roti which were soft and well cooked. Drinks that we ordered were good too.
And here comes the best part about this restaurant. The cost of these tasty dishes. I was really shocked to see that the rates were very affordable. So Its definitely a good bet to feast on the Nawabi food at so affordable rates. Definitely this is one restaurant that you should definitely try.
Best things about this restaurant
Things that I wish could have been better
My overall score card
Quantity of food - 4.0/5
Quality of food- 4.0/5
Value for money- 4.0/5
Overall rating- 4.0/5
Dining type- Casual Dining
Cuisine- North Indian, Awadhi
Do they serve alcohol- No
Do they serve Non vegetarian food- Yes
How much it cost me (with GST)- 40 USD (2600 INR)
Location of this restaurant
It is located in the DLF Promenade mall in Vasant Kunj area of New Delhi. Refer the map below for exact location.