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Peshawari Mumbai

ITC Maratha Hotel, Vile Parle East, Mumbai, 400099, India

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In the ITC Maratha (previously Sheraton), Peshawri is inspired by the Bhukara in Delhi.  It similarly offers mainly grilled meats and other dishes from the North West frontier.  There is an open kitchen, and the decor is intentionally basic, with stools rather than chairs and a menu that is written on a wooden board.  There is no rice on the menu, this style of food being traditionally eaten with bread.  I returned here in July 2011 and had a similar experience to my previous meal. The tandoori cooking is excellent, as are the breads.  The caveat is the price, which is high for Mumbai/Bombay, and drinks in particular are excessively expensive.  

Peshawari is modelled on the well-known Bhukara restaurant at the Sheraton in Delhi, serving mainly north Indian grilled meats. The decor feels rather artificial, with bibs and no cutlery to suggest a rustic atmosphere that feels false in a smart hotel.  You sit on small stools rather than chairs, and there are no tablecloths. This is not a place to linger, with dishes brought together rather than in courses, and you will mostly likely be in and out in less than an hour. There is a good view into the kitchen, where you can watch the grilled meats being plunged into tandoors and chefs tossing the romali roti bread in the air.

Murgh malai was genuinely good, pieces of chicken marinaded and then cooked in the tandoor. The chicken was very tender indeed, with nicely balanced spices and a hint (but just a hint) of charcoal from the oven (15/20).   Also excellent was cauliflower with a filing of spices and diced vegetables (16/20. Romali roti was excellent (14/20), soft and supple, while a garlic naan was also good. The dhal was as excellent as it was before (15/20).

Service was attentive and friendly, and the only thing that really detracts from the evening is the bill. My dinner cost RS 3,751 (£52) before service, which is an awful lot of money for two dishes, some bread and a moderate amount of beer. The beer (Kingfisher rather than nectar of the gods) was a ridiculous RS 730 plus VAT (a lot more even than my last viist), so more than £10 a pint for draft beer, a price that a hotel in Mayfair might baulk at charging.

What follows are notes from a meal in January 2010. 

It was very busy, with tables being turned even on a Monday evening. Naan was superb, with gorgeous texture and a hint of charcoal from the tandoor (16/20).  Romali roti was also very good (14/20).  Dal Bhukara (R500) is the same black dhal as served at Bhukara in Delhi, made with kidney beans as well as lentils, and was of a similarly high standard, the beans giving a good, thick texture (15/20).

Murgh malai was very good, with tender, lightly spiced chicken (14/20).   Even better was tandoori phool (cauliflower stuffed with diced vegetables and spices and deep fried).  This had wonderful taste, the texture of the vegetables excellent, the balance of spices just right (17/20).  Tandoori pomfret (R1375) was perfectly cooked, and the spices with it worked really well (15/20).

Overall the bill was R6595 for two; Beer was R584 a pint, so expensive.  For me the cooking worked really well, the tandoori dishes showing real skill in the kitchen.

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  • Rajiv Gatha

    We ate there last Sunday night and were vey disappointed. The nans were crispy not fluffy and the kebabs very average (chicken ones being better than the mutton). Tandoori prawns were good, but not worth the trip alone. The saving grace was the daal which was superb. The whole meal was rushed (so they could turn the table) and for the prices charged, it was not an enjoyable dining experience. A similar style (and tasting) meal (with a larger menu) can be had for half the price at The Kebab Hut in the Sun N Sand Hotel in Juhu, Mumbai.

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