Pakistan comes to NoidaJul 13th, 2009 | By editor | Category: Food, Lifestyle
Alert readers may remember a reference to a painful root canal in one of my earlier columns. But that experience has forced me to endorse the old saying that behind every dark cloud is a silver lining. My many visits to the dentist have turned out to be quite a revelation, for the dentist himself is a great foodie. We discuss old Hindi films all the time, and good food every now and then. So I was more than happy to try out a place that he recommended one day while he was drilling into my mouth. Faisal’s Kebab Lounge at Noida sounded interesting, because it billed itself as a place that offered Indo-Pak cuisine.
I went there one evening and located the place with some difficulty. Faisal’s is in Noida Sector-18. It’s in a the lane opposite Punjabi by Nature, (the address is: G I JOP Plaza, Sector 18, Noida. Phone no.: 0120-4542233). It’s quite a neat little place, air-conditioned and comfortable. They also deliver home.
I have always been interested in Pakistani food, and have been trying to spot the differences between Indian Muslim food and Pakistani food. Frankly, there is not much of a difference. I remember there was a big expo in Delhi a couple of years ago where I tried out some excellent Pakistani kababs at a stall. I have eaten other Pakistani delicacies at festivals organised by five-star hotels. And I have reached the conclusion that like the people, the Pakistani kababs are like their Indian cousins — there is not much to tell them apart.
I went through the menu and ordered quite a few dishes. We had guests at home, so I also asked for a plate of roasted butter chicken (Rs.125), patther ke kabab (Rs.120 for four pieces), chappli kabab (Rs.120 for three pieces), Peshawari kabab (Rs.120 for three pieces), fried Faisalabad chicken (Rs.100 for 1/4th of a chicken) and sheermal (Rs.40).
The patther ke kabab was interesting, but unlike the ones that are cooked on a hot granite, these had been beaten into shape with a heavy stone and then grilled.
The Peshawari kabab was like the mutton seekh kababs that we eat all the time. The chappli kakabs — flat and deep-fried — were good, and the Faisalabad chicken was rather nice. The chicken had been cooked well, and had been moderately spiced. What was really disappointing, however, was the roasted butter chicken. The menu card said that it had a unique recipe – and I can understand that, for I don’t see too many people wanting to follow this recipe. The chicken was bland, and the curry was so sour that I felt I was sucking a piece of lemon. This is not a dish that I want to try out again.
But Faisal’s is an interesting place to visit. It has some dishes on the menu that I have never had – such as Chicken nahari and vegetable changezi. Some of the kababs are rather good, and beg a second visit. If my teeth behave I shall go back there.