A meal at Ji Hazoor, is about much more than just the jolly good food. It’s an experience: feeling like royalty in plush grandeur, velvet and bolster/cushion laden seating, chandeliers and crystal curtains all around, and service t...
A meal at Ji Hazoor, is about much more than just the jolly good food. It’s an experience: feeling like royalty in plush grandeur, velvet and bolster/cushion laden seating, chandeliers and crystal curtains all around, and service that is very Indian and very warm. Not a surprise, when the people running it believe that the customers’ wishes, big or small, are to be satisfied. From the owner couple’s young daughter who charmingly bids you welcome and whose sunny form you see running about during your meal, to the lady (who also manages the day to day running of the place) herself filling the buffet dishes, and the gentleman who walks around interacting with all his guests, you are made to feel welcome and cannot help but be infused with their passion and enthusiasm for food and their food culture.
That Ji Hazoor is a labor of love is clear; no surprise it took a year from conception to opening – there is a color scheme of greens, blues and reds, with matching chandeliers hand crafted and brought in from Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Rajasthan and hand assembled on the premises. Mirrored and jeweled pillars and walls decorated with flowers and fancy mirrors, even throne-like seating make you feel like you’re a Nawab for a moment, a feeling helped along by the turbans one is given to wear at the table. The outdoors, which has a mini waterfall curtain and lights and decor that give it a Mediterranean vibe, is often booked up for private events, but if you’re there on an evening when its free, sit out there for an enchanting evening.
We began our meal with a lovely Paya Shorba, with tender meat and delicate flavors. Then we were presented with a gigantic Roomali Masala Papad that had onions and chaat spices and sev strewn in it, and which we would have happily demolished, if it was the only thing we were eating. Knowing plenty of food was ahead of us, we contented ourselves with about a quarter. Despite this judiciousness, we ended up stuffed to the gills waaay before dessert, completely the fault of the starters: Stuffed Tandoori Mushroom, Paneer Resunga Lahori, Kalmi Murg ka Soola, Ghost Shami Kabab, Gelauti Kabab and Pathar ka Gosht. This last dish actually had the texture of sand on the top (with succulent meat below), and was an interesting mouthful. The only kebab we did not love was the Shami, which was served with a cross between an omelet and a fried egg at the bottom: the egg did nothing for the dish, and overall there was an overwhelming flavor of cloves.
A mixed bread basket with Lachha Parantha, Butter Naan, Tandoori Roti, Peshawari Naan came along with the main course of: Dal Makhani (good enough that I wanted more than my usual 2 bites), Paneer Korma, Murg Makhani, Bhunna Gosht, Nihari Gosht (excellent), Rarra Murg (brilliant). Despite being full, I had to eat second helpings (well, the first servings were literally a spoon of each) of some of these dishes and was deeply regretful of not being able to eat more. We also drank enormous steel tumblers of rose/gulab flavored Lassi, that had a layer of froth and dry fruits, which helped cool down our mouths after all those spices.
We absolutely refused the offer of biryani and instead nibbled at the desserts, which were exceptional. The Gulab Jamoon was not sickly sweet and floating in a pond of syrup, but just right, the Moong Dal ka Halwa was ground finer than I am used to, giving it a different texture, and the Jalebis were also delicious. Had we not had tickets for a movie, we likely would have stayed another hour to make place for dessert and eaten more in general. Around us, there were parties and company gatherings as well as Sunday family lunchers, partaking of the buffet as well as the a la carte options. It’s value for money, with food that has been prepared with care, and the buffets are quite a steal! In the month or so since it’s opened, Ji Hazoor has already ma