August 12, 2008

Ripped off at Rajdhani

Yesterday, I finally lunched at Rajdhani in Malad. For the past two years, I’ve been hearing an assortment of people praise its food. A few months ago, Ipsita and I went there, intent on having dinner, but there were so many people waiting for a table and we had to eat at the Food Court instead.

I met Poornima at 12 pm, determined to beat the rush. We were among the first few customers of the day. I was happy at not having to queue up with “whole families and their boisterious kids”, a dark prediction by someone else. It was amusing watching Poornima and the thali…we could easily seat her among all those tiny steel cups.

Strangely, dal-bati choorma has eluded me, even at Chokhi Dhani, the heritage village near Jaipur. The same goes for Rajdhani. There was a choice of dals – sweet and spicy and a heavenly sweet kadhi. The vegetable dishes included palak paneer, papdi, chana in besan/curd-based gravy and potato gravy. They had a “Bengali sweet” – chamcham in this case, the only incongruous addition to the meal. Apart from that, there was jalebi with rabdi and halwa. The rotis were soft and warm, while the thepla was tantalisingly salty. I tried the khichdi and a pulao, the name of which sounded like “ramarama”.

Poornima was fascinated by the pots of warm water with receptacles to wash one’s hands in. Alas, we remained enthralled only till we came to the bill. The last time I was at Inorbit, I remember the cost of a meal there was around Rs. 170. But our lunch set us back by Rs. 260 each. We were both left with just enough money to go back home. Not amused by the indiscriminately high rate of inflation, we didn’t leave a tip. Rather, we couldn’t afford to.

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