Peshawri, ITC Grand Maratha, Mumbai

As far as restaurants in India serving the cuisine of the Northwest Frontier (geographically, modern day Pakistan, Afghanistan and North India), there has, historically, been just one name – Bukhara. A restaurant of legendary proportions, having served presidents and noblemen alike. However, for seasoned gastronomes, the word is that Bukhara is now stale, having served the same food for over 30 years, becoming overpriced, and lacking in the same top notch quality that once rose it to fame and placed it amonst the 50 best restaurants of the world many years ago. Luckily, there is a solution to most problems, and this one comes by the name of Peshawri.

Peshawri, a small restaurant in the ITC Grand Maratha hotel in Mumbai is a sister of Bukhara (or brother, if you please), has a small and precise menu and generally feels less stuffy than its elder counterpart. Once again we were lucky to have the head chef advise us on what the best dishes would be, which, I have to say, is the only way to order food! Here’s how it went…

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Paneer
Raan
Lamb kebab

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Paneer Khurchan came first – a creamy preparation of  and peppers, with crispy bits interspersed – the paneer is allowed to crisp up on the bottom of the pan, then scraped, and so on…one of the better paneer preparations I’ve had in a long long time. Not boring, by a long shot!

Next up was the signature dish, Sikandaari Raan, leg of baby goat, first braised in spices and malt vinegar, then finished off  in the tandoor. Believe me when I say this is a piece of meat worth a trip to Mumbai on its own. Ridiculously soft and juicy with a crispy smoky outer bit.

The Lamb Barrah Kebab too, a delectable morsel of smoky, spicy and earthy proportions, so good, it didn’t need any accompaniments. At long last…I had found the North Indian food I had been craving and yearning for so badly! Joy and happiness!

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Ras Malai and Kulfi

I can never, ever pass the opportunity to have Ras Malai. It is and will always remain my favourite dessert in the whole wide world. The one we had here did very well for itself. Perfect sweetness and creaminess. A hint of saffron would have made it even better and the milk dumplings themselves were softer and lighter than most, and a generous portion too…all for me!!

The Kulfi on the other hand, was a let down. The flavour was lovely, but the presentation looked like it had been dropped on the floor and scooped up. As is tradition, it came with falooda (vermicelli and rose syrup), yet both were far too insipid.

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Overall experience: 8
Food: 9
Recommend you go: 9
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