Khiva – A place that promised so much !
Rating – 3.5/5
Khiva is unlike your most dine-in places in terms of Ambience, food and prices, let’s talk about each one of them in the following sections.
Ambience – The Ambience is pretty good to say the least, the overall feel is pretty cosy and different. The different artefacts on the walls, Menu in the shape of newspaper, some copper utensils and a different kind of interior art all around does take you in a different environment of sorts.
The Service – This was one aspect which was downright disappointing especially for a tasting invite. The food either came after a long time and when it indeed came too many things came at the same time making it difficult to taste so much at the same time and food also went cold because of too many things to counter all at the same time.
The Veg Starters – Almost none of the veg starters could impress me as almost all of them were oily with the Sabz Lacheela kebab being the most offending in this aspect. I haven’t quite included the Paneer Tikka’s snap here as it couldn’t come good but such large sized Paneer chunks which were almost bland couldn’t do any justice to the preparation. Atish e Aloo was a bit sweet in taste and oil again being a problem, all these veggies were certainly disappointing for me.
The Non Veg Starters – Moving on to the Non Veg side of things, these were much better than their vegetarian counterparts though the Barra Kebab Lazeez (read grilled Mutton chops) was the only real preparation that made me savor the taste and was something I wanted more than what was served (always a good sign !). Sabuta Chooza was a bit dry for my liking though the marinade was good but the dryness broke the deal for me, Murgh Chandi kebab on the other hand was tender but could have done with bit more spices to be really honest.
The Mains – To begin with, Dal Khiva didn’t work for me at all as I couldn’t feel much going for it as it again felt a little dry and I just couldn’t understand the taste. Though the Paneer Khurchan in veg was a pretty good preparation in semi-dry gravy, it had a tender paneer infused in ample spices that went well with the Khameeri roti (the roti felt a little high on khameer though) !
Lahori Gosht & Murgh Peshawari – Both were pretty decent gravies, nothing quite wrong with them but I couldn’t find anything unique about them considering I was dining at a place that prides itself for its different Central Asian Food.
The Chicken Biryani – Pretty different from the typical dumb biryani served in Pune this wasn’t the perfect biryani one would ever have but considering its Central Asian roots this was a nice preparation to be had and was the only dish I enjoyed to a certain extent after Paneer Khurchan in Mains.
The Desserts – Both the desserts were good in their own rights and finally something distinct that came to our Table. I can honestly say I haven’t had these kind of desserts anywhere before than Khiva. The Litchi ki teheri was like a Kheer with a subtle influence of the Litchi fruit that was served in chunks within the preparation. The Anjeer ka Halwa was right on the mark, with the Halwa being topped up by a layer of Rabdi (not the sweet one) that gave it another dimension and I am happy to say both the desserts were an apt way to finish what I would call a rather underwhelming affair of sorts !