Silkroute- A Moghalai Chinese restaurant
Working in an office on Bannerghatta road, we aren’t actually pampered for choice when it comes to eating out, especially when the time you get to eat in that place is an hour or so. The closest places are Sahib Sindh Sultan at Forum, Bay leaf and another restaurant at Raheja Arcade, Kormangala, and Rampur ka something, again at Kormangala. We have been to these places so many times that the waiters can now tell exactly how many shirts we repeat in a week.
So, when we decided to go out for lunch with our manager, there was a lot of brainstorming to select that one place which would suit all of us. With people from across India in my team, that is like getting Mallika Sherawat to win the oscars. Such discussions in our office are sometimes more enlightening, serious, and contemplative than meetings related to actual work.
At the end of it all, we finally decided on Silk Route, a newly opened Moghalai-Chinese restaurant close to the Lal Bagh gate that faces the double road. If you are hitting the gate from double road, you have to take the left at the circle that goes towards Nimhans. A fifty to hundred metres away on your right, you will find your object of desire. Because the road has a barrier, you will have to take the U turn at the immediate signal.
Currently, the hotel has enough space to park around six cars and a few motorbikes. I am guessing that these people will soon use the road behind the restaurant once they run of space, but don’t go by my words. I am not reliable always.
Because I pretty much cook everything at home, eating out doesn’t offer me with too many choices, and being a hard core vegetarian does nothing to help. I was not expecting the earth out of this place, and to avoid any further suspense, the earth is not what I got either. The ambience is pretty decent, albeit confused. For a restaurant that boasts of being Moghalai-Chinese, the ambience is kind of Chinese but there is nothing to suggest Moghalai. The air conditioning was sufficient – not too hot, not too cold. The music they were playing was right from a local FM channel. Not exactly what Shah Jahan or Chenghis Khan would have heard in their days.
There is nothing on the menu that screams ‘original’. The dishes are pretty much what you would get in any punjabi restaurant. And to think I was never taught that Moghuls and Punjabis ate the same kind of food out of ceramic thalis. Well, Moghalai or not, we had to choose from the butter nan-kulcha-roti routine, which surprisingly leaves out the more coveted roomali roti. The sabjis were again the usual dal makhani-kadai panneer-methi malai mutter fare. I don’t even have to list the Chinese menu. People reading this blog can recite it without any help. The last time I took a native Chinese to a ‘Chinese’ restaurant in India, the look on his face after the meal was a little more difficult to decipher than the rubik’s cube.
To give the devils their due however, the food when it arrived was very decent. The starters – hara bhara kebab, onion rolls, and finger chips rolled down our throats with minimal effort. Of course, that was generously aided by the rum and coke that went in with them. Maybe the whole idea of serving liquor before a meal serves its purpose for the chef. In all that light-headedness, people will take in any food without too much ado.
The main course, which was completely moghalai (punjabi, north indian – your pick) again did not dissappoint. They could have gone easy on the spices in the Kadai Panner though. Every spice in the kitchen looked like it wanted to be a part of the dish.
The rice dishes were a disaster. Not that we asked for the heavens, mind you. Just the staple vegetable biriyani. The rice was overcooked, the spices were on the higher side, and the inflation in the prices of cooking oil did not seem to have affected this place too much. With just a few tablespoons of helping, we were ready to skip dinner and the next day’s meal. That is for the sake of saying it.
A few of my friends feasted on the Chicken and sea food, and going by the expression on their faces after the meal, it looked like the food worked for them. Maybe you can check it yourself and write a separate review.
How much did the whole thing cost us? Without the dessert and including beverages, it came to around Rs 300 per person. Not too cheap…not very expensive either.
As I said, if you don’t heed my warning, and step in expecting authentic Moghalai or Chinese served in the same ambience, you might find a few of your teardrops on the bill before you leave.