A Mughalai Evening at Minar

Mughals should have been Kitchen Kilaadis. The subtle and bewitchingly delicate taste of the Mughalai cuisine takes you on wings under the skies.

And that too, when you are on the eleventh floor, looking down at the beautifully lit landscape of Chennai, basking in the aroma of the Mughalai biryani, anything terrestrial will have to take a back seat. Minar, the Mughalai roof-top restaurant at Hotel Savera in Chennai offers this exotic experience. We were six sumptuous eaters, and it was a friend’s birthday treat. I chose Minar for its excellent ambience, and some magnificent aerial view of Chennai.

The first thing that hit us in this restaurant, was the cool evening breeze. And from that point, everything abot the evening was breezy. The ambience has an old charm about it, with splendid lighting and decorations. The major distractions were the age-old waiters clad in their sherwanis, and not-at-all comfortable seats. (I wonder if the Mughal Badshahs really sat in such uncomfortable seats!) Otherwise, the ambience is worth all the money you pay there, especially in the terrace.

For the starters, we ordered Machli Koliwada, Murgh Malai Kebab and Sabji Kebab, which just melted in our mouth in no time. The Koliwada, a speciality of the Koliwada in Mumbai is a sort of signature dish for the restaurant, and the taste lingered in the mouth for long. The Malai kebab tasted standard. No comments on the sabji kebab, which was reserved for my veggie friends.

It was time for the main course, and we ordered Murgh Saleem (A whole chicken marinated in curd, and stuffed with everything that can go as stuff), Machli Noorjahani (A fish gravy with a mix of egg slices and a subtle dash of spices), and a mutton gravy that was made with corn and sauce. There was this Chicken Mughal Paratha, Taftans, Roomali Rotis and Stuffed Parathas. Rice lovers of the group ordered the Noorjahani Biryani and Murgh Mughalai Biryani.

The Machli Noorjahani was a saga. The taste was unique and not at all fiery, and that is what is so special about the Mughalai cuisine. The Murgh Saleem came stuffed with eggs and a lot of masala. It is a dish for the avid eaters. The mutton gravy tasted remarkable, especially, the mutton was cooked soft. The Murgh biryani overtook the Noorjahani in the race and finished first. Shahi Tukda (Fried bread slices soaked in badam sauce) and chocolate ice-creams with a liberal dash of pista and badam finished the evening. At the end of the meal, every one was sure he had one of the best meals ever.

The price is on the highest side. We paid around 600 bucks per person. The service is achingly poor. The ambience and food being just great.

Minar, Hotel Savera, 146, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Chennai 600 004.

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