Some places create so much buzz even before they open, that you feel compelled to visit, unless you end up missing amazing things. People talk a lot before its grand opening. This is what happened when I saw lot of social media activity about Namak Mandi , a restaurant owned by sons of Chef Imitiaz Qureshi. I have been told that since it is owned by famous Qureshi’s sons, it was very natural that people will queue up outside this restaurant.
Located on the Second Floor of DLF Promenade Mall (I didn’t understand the reason for opening in a mall) it has less space and cramped seating. I liked that they have open kitchen and you can see what’s cooking.
We went shopping for Durga Puja and decided to have our dinner at Namak Mandi. We knew that it will be empty as people do not usually eat non vegetarian food on navratre. We ordered Seekh Kebab Imtiazi along with Mutton Nihari, family Naan and for dessert had Phirni.
As the cuisine is Awadhi, I was really excited to taste the kebabs. As it arrived on our table it was quite appealing. Unfortunately the presentation and taste had no relation. My son refused to eat after a bite as he didn’t like it. It was dry, undercooked and the spices were not mixed properly – It was a sheer disappointment.
Anyways we were served mutton nihari along with family naan, it was definitely huge and more than sufficient for us. Mutton nihari was another biggest disappointment, Nihari is known for their viscosity in the gravy which comes from bone marrow. Nalli piece was very hard while the other pieces were overcooked. Nihari lacked viscosity. We enjoyed the family naan and ate it with nihari by assuming that it is just another mutton curry.
The kesar Malai Phirni was average. I have never had a phirni which is more like a smooth. I prefer coarse.
Well Namak Mandi turned out to be not a good experience and I might never go back. Infact Naina too shared that she wouldn’t want to visit the place again.