Thursday, September 19, 2013

Khaan Saab

This restaurant, housed in GVK, has been around since the mall had opened at Banjara Hills. Strangely, I had tasted at their other restaurant, 'The Buffet' when it had opened and had missed this one. Off late, I am hearing of its declining standard. Yet I was assured by a friend that I could try the vegetarian section.and not be disappointed. Well, I wasn't.
Khaan Saab epitomizes grandeur.There is a huge royal elephant figure at the entrance, beyond which lies the main entrance to the restaurant. The impression continues with the very high ceiling and a semblance of a huge space.The royal feel continues into their dining rooms, about four of them on their first floor, which can accommodate small private parties.
We were seated in a corner at a table with brass ware. On the table was placed a holder with three dips/chutneys along with a few bread sticks. The three dips were made of mint, tomato and curd. Mint and tomato were slightly spicy but the curd was bland. All three were quite tasty.

Dips@ Khaan Saab

We ordered Karara Paneer Kabab for starters and for soup we ordered Dal Palak Makai Shorba. Both items were not tasted before. The steward described to us what it was and how it was prepared. So we had an inkling of what to look forward to.The soup was green, light, thin, a slight garlic smell along with the taste of the dal and a few corn kernels floating  in it. I liked it for its mild taste.

Palak Shorba@ Khaan Saab
The starters, the kabaabs, were eight to a plate. A huge portion for small eaters. This consisted of layers of thin ribbons of flour within which was encased the paneer and then deeply fried. The core tasted like the veg koftas and was a combination of paneer and vegetables. This yummy dish was very crunchy and we had a good time eating it with the accompanying dips. We were served two of these starters each and were almost half full by the time we finished it.

Karara Paneer@Khaan Saab
We ordered for Subz Hariyali Tikka Masala curry and plain naan for our main course. The naans were one of the softest I have had in a long time. We later added a roti  to that order. The roti, made of wheat flour, was also soft. The curry was made of palak (spinach) gravy and had 4 tikkis in it. The tikkis made of chopped vegetables was bound with corn flour, shaped into two inches round flat patties and shallow fried. They weren't soft like the koftas and were slightly chewy. The taste was quite decent.

Subz Hariyali@Khaan Saab
Along with the order of main course, was also brought to the table, a stand containing pickles of four varieties, some fresh onion rings, vinegared onion and green chilies.
We ended our meal with a lemonade, their nimbu pani, which was again rightly made, not too sour, not too sweet or salty, very nicely balanced tastes and a good end to a good meal. I feel this is the only item on the menu which doesn't justify its price. At 90/-, too steep for a glass of simple nimbu paani.
What really added to all this experience were the waiters. They were always attentive, quick to come to your table even if you looked a second longer in their direction, or just raised a finger. Very attentive and very helpful in describing the order for us so that we knew what to order and what to expect. The steward would check from time to time with us to see if everything was fine.
When we asked that the leftovers be packed for us, a very thoughtful gesture happened. The three dips were packed along with the starters. Good quantities in three boxes. And double packed so that it doesn't leak!
The food overall is mildly spiced and non-greasy.The washrooms were also spic and span and very decently maintained.
Will I go there again? Yes, for their excellent service, for the good portions per order, for their super soft naans and also to have another shot at their dal-palak shorba.
On the minus, we found some fine dust particles here and there, very few, but still existed, in the curry. This proved to be the fly in the ointment in this whole experience.
The bill for this meal for two came to Rs 840/- The good part is that they do not levy a service charge.We were taxed 14.5 % as VAT and 4.94% as service charge.
My rating;
Ambiance: 5/5
Food: 3.5/5
Service: 5/5
VFM:  3.5/5
Here is a tip shared by my friend: To reach the restaurant, do not enter from the main entrance but from the lift closer to the valet parking of the Hard Rock Cafe. If you enter from the main entrance, you need to change two lifts.