Peshawri – ITC Maratha (Andheri, Mumbai)

Peshawri was a delightul and regal experience last time I went over a year ago. I enjoyed pretty much the entrity of the vegetarian menu from start to finish that time. However admittedly I wasn’t handed the bill at the end of the night.

There feels something very uncouth about drawing attention to the price of a meal – surely I have eaten in many more expensive restaurants in my time? I have but in those restaurants the nature of the food and the service is befitting of the price tag. As a value conscious homo economicus I will always go where I find value (quality at best price).

In my most recent visit, the start of the dinner was less than becoming for the calibre of the establishment: a 600 INR bottle of sparkling water (equally expensive as a glass of Sauvignon) is plonked on the table, unscrewed and not poured.

However, the food is uncompromisingly excellent. The cauliflower pakora was delightful. The cauliflower was well cooked and the gram flour batter tasty and crisp (4/5). The Daal Bukara was a thick, rich and buttery combination of black lentils (5/5) and a perfect compliment to the dry Subz Seekh kebab, made of cabbage and carrots (4/5). The butter naan was both soft and crispy at the same time, how any great naan should be. In short, the food is heavy but not the type of heavy that makes your arteries tighten at the thought of another bite.

I notice the restaurant is filled with foreigners, evidence that the restaurant has become almost a tourist landmark. The added glib remarks “most customers enjoy food with the hands”, “this is one of our best dishes” felt like sound-bites from an open top bus tour. Nor did I appreciate the rather presumptious tone of the waiter “everything is good with the food, right?”

For sure, Peshawri is a sublime tribute to Mughlai cuisine but with a disproportionate price tag for what is essentially kebabs and daal. The bill came to 15k for 3 of us (including some non veg dishes) with 2 glasses of cheap Indian wine . My dining companions nearly fainted, but they weren’t paying this time around.

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