By Aditi Datta

When my most die-hard Malayali friend {who disdains rajma and stays a mile away from generic loudness} told me that this little hole in the wall served the best North Indian food he’s had, I knew I had to check it out. Kitchen of Awadh has a refreshingly contained menu, and what it does, it does brilliantly.

The gentleman who owns it, Kamal Kumar Veer, found that during his political career, cooking never failed to let a bit of pressure off. Once he decided to open his own little corner in the restaurant world, he found one chef after another who’d love ‘em and leave ‘em, thereby leaving a hole in the kitchen that he’d urgently try to fill. Until one wise biryani cook told him the secret to running a successful eatery – learn to cook your recipes yourself, and nobody is then indispensible.

Mr. Kumar rolled up his sleeves and took it upon himself to learn every nuance of every recipe. The Galouti Kebab, he found, did not have a definite formula for victory – it took him a full two years to piece it together using his intuition on which bits of advice to follow.

Turns out, it was worth his while. Their Galouti Kabab & Kakori Kabab are both stocked exclusively at Nature’s Basket. At the cozy restaurant in Supermart, these super hot items fly off the shelves. Other items to grab while they’re there are the Lucknowi Murgh Masla and the Bhuna Ghost, with onions browned two delicious ways. My lunch companion happens to hail from Kanpur and has spent considerable time in Lucknow, and proclaimed the Asli Shammi Kabab {made with generous quantities of minced meat and not shortchanged by excessive chana} indeed was the real deal.

What deserves special mention is their green chutney, that much abused kabab companion watered down too much and too frequently otherwise, but deliciously fresh and tangy here.

Kitchen of Awadh keeps its menu short by design, so they don’t have to go through the motions of prepping everything and selling only half. They know where their strengths lie, they hedge their bets on those star dishes, and prep up to three rounds of them every single day.

Not to induce panic in you or anything, dear hungry reader, but the Kesari Phirni too tends to sell out before it’s even cooled. Everyone in the kitchen stays busy, everyone in the restaurant stays happy.

And that’s just the way it should be.

Notes in our Little Black Book | 

In an age where the word ‘authentic’ is bandied around more often than it should be, we found Kitchen of Awadh to be the real deal with kababs, biryani and phirni that would make Awadh proud.

Where: Supermart {Needs Market}, DLF Phase IV, Gurgaon

Contact: +91-9910035805 / +91-9910035806

For more information and to order online: Click here

Prices: Approximately INR 1400 for a very filling meal for two