With all the talk about social distancing, I stepped into [email protected] in Jubilee Hills, expecting it to be less crowded. The scene there took me by surprise. At 1 pm, the restaurant was full and there were many in the waiting hall as well. After much debate as to what would be a good option to eat out of the mandi thaal we decided to go for the floor seating.
As we seated and paid attention to the menu, it seemed to us that the place sells everything from shawarma to soups and kebabs, apart from mandi. The portion sizes, we were told, were big. So instead of ordering some meaty kebabs or grilled meats, we decided to try a mutton shorba. As we sat and watched orders fly out from the kitchen, it became evident that the grilled chicken, roast lamb and a boti kebabs were the most ordered dishes. So obviously we had to wait a bit for our lamb soup to arrive.
- Address: Sami Complex, Road Number 36, above Cream Stone, Jubilee Hills
- Hits: Mandi
- Miss: The untidy space
- Table for two: ₹1000
And when it came, it was a runny, yellow soup with generous dressing of finely chopped coriander. We dive without soup spoons and as the soup hits the palate there was no guesses about the ingredients. There was a good amount of minced lamb meat, the soup had saffron flavoured milk. I cannot judge this soup as there might be some dish somewhere in the world that makes use of saffron milk. It wasn’t bad but I’d say if you are not a soup fan then you can skip this one without a second thought. Instead, look at ordering one of the many meat starters.
Specials all round
Post the soup session we decided to try [email protected]’s weekend special Mandi — mutton madfoon mandi. It’s a baked lamb mandi. As we waited for our thaal to come, we looked at mandi thaals that were getting polished off within no time and made wild guesses as to how our mandi might taste. We were sure our lamb will not come with any colour but not sure what the flavour of the rice would be.
The meat came wrapped in a silver foil on a plate of rice which was aromatic from the rich garnish of golden fried onions and well tossed nuts. The garnish is so well adjusted that every morsel had some nuts and fried onions in it.
Coming to the lamb; it was moist, cooked to fall off the bone at the slightest touch. It was made to cook in its own juices and fat, making the meat most tender and flavourful. The dips that come with it add to the taste. I loved the tomato-onion hotchpotch dip, whereas the others loved the garlic mayo.