The mention of the words DELHI and ZAIKA immediately conjures up images of the flavorsome cuisine of the northern-frontier region of the Indian sub-continent. Taking inspiration from this gastronomy especially the Delhi style street food famous in the bylanes of Jama Masjid, is the Delhi Zaika chain of restaurants in our very own Mumbai.
With thoughts of savoring the aforementioned kind of food, I landed up at the most recently opened outlet of the chain on the busy station road of the Bandra West locality with my friends. We took our seats and instantly got down to ordering the food.
Here is a look at my gluttony with the food at Delhi Zaika:
Our first round of appetizers comprised of two different types of Tandoori chicken preparations. The place though boasts of seven different types of Tandoori Chicken. Our picks were CHICKEN BARRA TANDOORI & PESHAWARI TANDOORI. We ordered quarter portions and were impressed by the quantity that was provided.
In both the preparations the chicken was perfectly cooked and succulent. The barra version was a creamier version and low on the spicy front. The Peshawari version was the exact opposite and had more spicy and robust flavors. I ended up enjoying both the renditions of the tandoori chicken equally.
For the second round we went in for the CHICKEN AFGHANI MALAI TIKKA and PANEER MALAI TIKKA. The chicken was moist however the dish lacked seasoning. The creamy sauce in which the chicken was laced made the dish rich but did not really lend the dish with any extraordinary flavors. The paneer starter on the hand turned out to be the more delicious. For the first time ever I have come across a little unusual paneer malai tikka dish that is spicy and tart rather than being just creamy and bland.
We ended up trying one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian dish. PANEER CHANGEZI was the vegetarian gravy we ate with the fluffy Delhi-style TANDOORI NAAN. The gravy was a sublime blend of spices along with tomato and onion paste. The chunks of paneer (cottage cheese) were soft and not chewy and were present in copious amounts.
From the non-vegetarian fares listed on the menu, we settled for a quarter portion of the CHICKEN DELHI ZAIKA SPECIAL gravy comprising of chicken on bone. The mere site of the dish left us salivating. The dish came beautifully garnished with a drizzle of fresh cream, toasted makhanas (foxnut) and cashewnuts. The gravy had an onion base and had a beautiful sweetness to it that was subtle and enjoyable.
These were the regular sweets one can find on scores of restaurants dishing up Mughlai and Punjabi food across the city. CARAMEL CUSTARD was the first one we tried, which was pretty average on taste. MATKA RABDI was the second one, which was creamy, rich and yummy.
Summing up my experience at the restaurant, I can say the taste of food left me with a feeling of contentment. Also, the pricing of the menu is very reasonable when compared to the portion sizes they serve. However, what really underwhelmed me was the service and hygiene. The place has some delicious food to offer but it has a long way to go in improvising its service and the hygiene aspect at the restaurant.
Do try out this restaurant and let me know of your experience.
Till then, HAPPY EATING
- Regional Indian Food & Travel enthusiast