When you have a weakness for good food, you just can’t ignore invites like above. I am a regular one at Westin Gurgaon and I love their experiments with food. And precisely because of this the above invite won my attention almost immediately. But hold on, there was more, Bara Darhi and the emphasis on ‘Purani Dilli’ looked like a great idea. The aroma and the flavors from OLD DELHI gripped on me and food inspired by the by-lanes of Purani Dilli sounded tempting and luscious right away. I gave in to the temptations.
Next evening, I reached Westin, Gurgaon to be a part of this gastronomical adventure. The moment I got down from my vehicle, it was easy to locate Bara Darhi on my left. I took a long way from the inside, but if you wish you may just walk from the outside too because it has an open air ambiance. First thing, there were a mix of table set-ups, benches and traditional single seater taking us close to the spirit of Old Delhi. I met the other bloggers and we took the table which had eight chairs. One could easily feel the difference in the seating arrangement. There was nothing pompous about the whole setup. One could easily make out that the emphasis was food and nothing else. It all very simple, easy and subtle. The live counters, traditional tandoor, light music in the background, incorporated lamps, wall-hangings and decorative lighting had a very pleasing impact.
For a change, we were not reading from the conventional paper menu card. The shining menu got my hooked the moment I turned my eyes towards it. Now was the time to elaborately go through it all. I quite liked this idea of having it on the wall and a board with chef’s special below it. Every dish spoke and reminded me of the lanes of Chandni Chowk. If you are the one who knows and visits Jama Masjid and Old Delhi area for kebabs, biryani, tikkas, nahari you will surely understand what it meant to see it all together. The palette looked all the more appetizing when we were told that there were skilled chefs behind this menu and had been hand-picked from Old Dilli itself.
We all know ‘good food’ sells whether it is prepared at a five star or a local food corner. But not everyone makes use of the right skill-sets and the spices. With generations, some of the recipes have survived time and tide. But at the same time, with so many fusions happening around, we have actually forgotten some authentic tastes. For such reasons, there are many times when I feel the urge to go to the old parts of the city. For Delhi, Purani Dilli or the Chandni Chowk holds that aura and position. There are shops which have been cooking and serving for more than 100 years. Westin Gurgaon has thought of bringing the pleasures of OLD DELHI through BARA DARHI. The head chef and the management have worked around the idea for months, they have researched around Chandni Chowk, looked for the famous food and brought in the best cooks. And here they looked really happy with the outcome. The crowd around me spoke of it too.
You may ask, what was the need to create food inspired by the by- lanes of Purani Dilli when we can actually go there anytime. If you ask me, I would also say there are times when you really miss that food and can’t make it there due to the distance. There are times when you are looking for more hygiene and beautiful ambiance. In fact there are times when you want that special family time over good lavish food and the best from all the famous places. So overall for us to be able to savor that Old Delhi food in the Millennium city, someone had to think of recreating the flavors and aroma of it. Gladly Westin has taken the lead and done it too. The pictures of the food will make you drool. Trust me the flavors were amazing.
It had all the flavors and spices absolutely right.
It was deliciously soft and it simply melted in the mouth. I would say this is one of the best that I have eaten.
Just the way I love it with the veggies and little bit of the curry.
This one made me fall in love with Tangri Kebab all over again. I loved it to the core.
Chicken was tender and juicy.
My vegetarian friends will love it. I relished it so much that I couldn’t avoid a second helping.
Very nicely fried, it was crsipy and crunchy on the outside and juicy inside just like you get it in Old Delhi.
Mutton Burrah was also very good but I forgot to take the pictures. Of course we kept to small bites in the KEBABS and ROASTED because the CURRIES, BREADS AND BIRYANIS were yet to be brought to the table. I know you must be thinking, how much was I hogging.
All three were prepared just the way I love it. You must not miss on any of them. The breads were too good.
The curries actually transported me to the by-lanes of Purani Dilli. I liked the Qorma more than the masala.
You can see the food speak out for itself. The cardamom had a delightful role to play. It tasted yum.
Chef special Murgh Hakimi Keema was a winner. So soft and rich in spices, it just melted in the mouth.
I am not much of a mutton person but I relished this. I ate Mutton Nihari too and found it delicious. For the lamb fan in you, you can’t miss this.
If you thought this is not the place for the vegetarians, this dish will make you change your thought. If everyone in the family is a vegetarian, I wouldn’t suggest the place because we know what Old Dilli stands for. Its all non-veg but if your friends are vegetarian, bring them here because I can bet they will not be disappointed.
I did not try this one but chicken biryani and I would definitely recommend it.
Just one sweet-dish and you know you are sorted for the night.
I had a great evening. And trust me it felt just like it feels when you eat the right flavors.
Try for yourself if you are in Gurgaon and do let me know your feedback. If I had to recommend one favorite, I would go for the Tengri Kebabs…