Monday, July 21, 2014

Antha Maya(bazaar)

Heard so much about Maya Bazaar, the restaurant at Karkhana. I always had this regret that something so close on hand has never been visited. The reason being that my visits to restaurants come in combinations with a movie, and movies normally viewed in multiplexes which are far far from my home. And hence Karakhana restaurants were ignored for a long time.
Anyways, did that finally yesterday. When I called them I was assured that food will be served from 12 noon onwards without break and I could go and have a late lunch too. Happy with the news of a possibility of a late lunch, I visited them at around 3 pm. It was a little difficult as I wasn't provided proper directions to it.
When I went there, I was welcomed to a painting of the 'Vivaha Bhojanam' scene of SV Ranga Rao from the movie Maya Bazaar. As you stepped inside, you see a restaurant with high ceiling, seemingly constructed of thatch and bamboos. The environment inside was cooled by huge coolers embedded in the restaurant outer walls. Quite a large place which had tables sunk into enclosures just big enough to hold them. And those enclosures were filled with gravel!  Easy to clean?
I stood there for a few minutes uncertain of where to sit as the place was almost 90% full even at 3 pm. I was the only woman amongst that whole lot of diners. Felt a bit odd.
As I had already browsed their menu on interent, I placed my order after some quick queries about the items. The menu itself was thankfully short and one needn't waste much time in browsing and selecting.
About ten minutes later, my order of Hariyali Paneer Tikka arrived accompanied by the green mint chutney.

Starved by now, I dug into the Paneer Tikka eagerly only to be utterly disappointed with its taste. I blame Reshmi's for letting us know what a paneer tikka actually tastes like and to have this pathetic substitue was a great let-down. The paneer was chewy and almost didn't taste like paneer. The worst part is that the paneer was skewered, cooked in the tandoor and served after some green chutney-like stuff smeared on it. The inside of the paneer was as white and pure as the first snow....absolutely untouched by any spices. Clearly not marinated and completely bland. There was only one steward for the entire restauarnt and he was not adequate to take orders or pay attention to the diners. After some time when I was able to draw his attention and asked him why the paneer tikka was served without marianting, he didnt understand the meaning of marinating. I asked him to call the chef so that I could explain it to him. The steward's weird explanation then was that Paneer Tikka is marinated but not Hariyali Paneer Tikka. Huh! What!? Here is the definition of a Tikka:

Gross ignorance and when I asked for my almost untouched (just one piece eaten) paneer dish be exchanged, they refused to and said that I am the only customer to complain about it and that in their restaurant this is how paneer tikka is made. I sighed, gave up and continued with my lunch.
Next was the turn of Methi Malai Matar. When I saw that, my face fell. A yellow-brown gravy with loads of frozen peas. Where was the methi in it or the malai?  This is made by a house cook like me in contrast to what the restuarant served.

I had by then given up and gulped down the curry with one roti, refused to order anything else and ended with a not-so-filled-stomach. However, I couldnt resist, walked up to the steward asking him why the curry was the way it was and his answer was again,' we make it like this only in our restaurant'. After this, I left quietly after having paid the bill.
The ambiance was neither like that of a dhaba nor a restaurant. It was somewhere mid-way between the two. They had an open kitchen and you can see the cooking going on.The restaurant was filled with pictures of scenes from the film 'Mayabazaar' but nothing in the restaurant was in harmony with the theme.

The bill for a curry, a roti, a starter and a soda came to 325/-

If the restaurant has become famous, I assume it could be for its non veg fare. As a vegetarian, I found nothing worth returning to. Service was pathetic with only one steward to attend to all present. Even water had to be requested for.
The good part? The doggie bag is made of newspaper.

My rating:
Food: 1/5 (1 for the tandoori roti)
Ambiance: 2/5
Service: 1/5
VFM: 1/5