Eating out with gazing deer

YOU MUST have had vicarious thoughts of dining out at a restaurant in the Capital, which has an ambience of Sariska and Ranthambore sanctuaries of Rajasthan. Now, your dreams can be translated into reality as at New Delhi's Park Balluchi restaurant one not only gets to eat in the lap of nature with the picturesque surrounding of Deer Park but also gazing peacocks, rabbits and deer giving you company.

Really, munching away exotic dishes from the cuisine-rich North West Frontier Province - with peace and tranquillity all around you - can be quite an enjoyable experience! Away from the hustle and bustle of the maddening city traffic, Hauz Khas Village-stationed Park Balluchi - by not compromising with its ingredients and maintaining low cholesterol level in the preparations - has carved out a niche for itself as manifest by the fact that it has won five consecutive national awards for excellence in food.

The Moghuls and Afghans not only brought with them renowned experts of their cuisines but also encouraged the Indian `ustads' to experiment the dishes. In this wonderful mingling of culinary expertise exotic dishes germinated.

At Park Balluchi, one gets not only to gorge on the famous food of the Pathans - who inhabit the tribal belt in Northern Pakistan - but also to enjoy lip-smacking meals from the kitchens of Awadh, Hyderabad and Punjab. How did this restaurant start serving the food of NWFP, one puts forth the question at the restaurant's general manager, Suresh Parmar. "Well it was Dr. Pritish Singh Nayar, who had worked with the Oberoi Hotel, who gave consultancy service to our chefs. Now of course, our chefs are adept at preparing authentic tandoori food".

For starters, one begins with Doha Kebab, a plate of which is quite filing. Priced at Rs. 270, the kebabs are huge pieces of chicken breast and are filled with mincemeat. It is advisable not to eat more than one piece, as one won't have any appetite left for the main course. The tandoor master chef is Dina Nath Kapoor while chef Karam Singh Rangra is the supervisor of curry dishes.

Then there is Kadhai Rogan Josh, prepared by first frying onions golden brown and then adding marinated meat along with coriander, garam masala and cardamom. The dish tastes good as it is not too spicy. One tries a modicum of Samudri Sher. Priced at Rs. 430, it is a dish of jumbo-sized Tiger Prawns marinated overnight with exotic spices and then grilled in tandoor.

For dessert, try Reshami Jaal, priced at Rs. 75. In that you get a tantalising course of two scoops of Vanilla ice cream mixed with crisp sewiyan and strawberries.