Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ki Hangla

All right this one is about Ki Hangla, a Bengali and Dhakai cuisine restaurant. Now, before I move in, a few facets about myself. I am myself from a Bengali family and well versed with Bengali cuisine. Now having said that, because I am Bengali, I have never really gone out to eat Bengali food. This is because of two reasons. Firstly, being a Bengali, I never fathomed the need to go out and try something that I myself am associated with. Secondly because until recently, Bengali hasn’t been really a cuisine that is very popular.
I had often heard about Oh Calcutta, which by the way I have never tried. Ki Hangla, has been around in my vicinity neighborhood market for the last few years. I had tried it briefly a few years back, when it operated as simple small eatery. The experience back then was about ok. I did intend to write, but perhaps it was probably limited to a starter.
Now as a Bengali, it is also important to tell you that aside from the  regular dishes that I have at home, the other aspect of the Bengali food are the savories that you get during Durga Puja. I am on the look out but usually this is more like an annual things which you get at the food stalls in the pandals.
This year, for a change on the night before Diwali, we decided to try out Ki hangla. Amongst various reasons, was also a recommendation from one of my friends. Well to begin with, Ki Hangla is probably doing well and that is evident from the fact that It has a new dine in restaurant in addition to the old set up. The new dine in is good d├ęcor, a bit cramped but nonetheless, good. One of the walls has this large collage about Bengal, celebrities, cartoons, Tanga’s and trams.
Coming to the menu, quite a long list of menu items. Many starters, curries. The vegetarian section as well is quite long. Well, to begin with I was quite impressed with the diverse menu. About 112 items listed in the menu and many pictures which I think would help people ordering to know what they would get.
That’s  probably where the awe stopped. I had come into this store, thinking of fishes. Chicken and Mutton, you get every where, but good fish is something which really had me excited. Unfortunately and to my utter surprise, I was told there was no fish. No Hilsa. All right, I tried asking if there was at least any other fish for curry and promptly I was told nopes. No Rohu, No Hilsa, NO Bhetki. Ok, still patient, I tried asking if there was at least fish fry, and again a No. I was actually amused and I asked the waiter what the hell was happening. A Bengali restaurant with no fish. Yes, prawns were available, but nothing else. I was told I was oo late. A look at the watch and I see 8:30 P.M. and yet I am too late? Anyways, I decide not to hold it against the restaurant and move onto other things.
The order from our end has a Mutton Chop as an appetizer. For main course, we order for a Chicken Bharta, which by the way is not on the menu, but recommended. The other main course is the Mutton Kasha. Along with that we order luchi which is basically the Bengali version of Poori. Luchi is more white as it is made out of maida, while poori are made from atta. We also roder Tawa roti’s.
Now, as we complete the order we request for water. And then comes the big surprise. Sorry sir, you have to go for bottled water. I think I have made a mistake in hearing and say, no, I want regular water. Again, I am casually told sorry you have to go for bottled water. Now I don’t intend on paying for water, just because someone wants me to. Then I am told, the water at the restaurant is not filtered. Well I am wondering then if perhaps the food cooked is with mineral water? Another pathetic state of things which I chose to ignore.
The food comes up. But only after I have to remind a few times. A wait of 30-40 minutes seems exceptionally long. Again comes a response, the delivery orders are high in number. Thanks you very much for making me realize, I am not welcome as a guest.
Now come to the food. The Mutton chop. Looks great. Crumb Fried, and huge. Two balls of crumb fried chops. Now, take a bite and it extremely crispy on the outside. Inside, there is a mash of potatoes and goat meat with onions. The mutton chop, while looks perfect, tasted slightly stale on the inside. It felt and perhaps raised a doubt if the filling inside was fresh or perhaps a day or two old. If you would ask me, naah. I wouldn’t order again.
Next came the chicken bharta. Now this dish actually looked tantalizing and delicious. Strips or shredded chicken with spices, and a slight paste types of curry embalmed on the chicken. This was topped with shredded paneer. Now this dish was just yum. I am telling you. Worth it. Very tasty. Not too spicy and yet had the perfect Indian touch. Very nice and I would really recommend this dish.
Next comes the mutton kasha. If you are a Bengali, then you’d probably know kasha basically means, mutton which has been cooked, without water. Usually at our homes, when mutton is cooked, usually first the onion tomatoes are firred with all the spices and then the mutton added and stirred. The state when mutton is continuously cooked without water which leads to a thick gravy, with a bit of oil floating in red colour. Now whn this dish was served. Looks wise it was really good. The ortion size was good and had probably 3 pieces of mutton. Taste wise also descent with the curry. But when it came to the mutton, it wasn’t too good. The meat was probably from a too old a goat. Dark colured meat, not too soft. Usually mutton being expensive, people don’t serve too much of a quantity. While the quantity was good, the quality of mutton could have been better. It was just about ok, and left you wanting for more.
Next came the luchi’s and the rotis, which were good. A word of advise. If you think this is a regular restaurant, and rotis’ luchis can be reordered and would be ordered at no time, you are in for a rude shock. This was probably my next most frustrating moment. We had ordered four rotis and four luchi’s. We ordered for another round, and you may not believe it but it took another 20 minutes for just another 4 rotis and poori’s. The wait was never ending. The eating was stalled and all the food went cold. I had this time get up and raise my voice, and still it took another 5 minutes.
While we were eating, suddenly the waitress appears and put the bill and departs. So I politely call her back and ask her that I am not done and I have not asked for a bill. To which I am told, its closing time and that’s it. I call the head waiter and give him a card for payment and am told that I have to give cash because they have shutdown the computer.
All in all, this place falls short of my expectations from a huge mile. Hey have potential, but they are not there. Poor service, lack of food items on the menu to be served. Too much time for serving food, staff is uneducated. You can serve Bengali food to people who are not Bengalis and get away, but you really need to work your food and service. Serving portions size is descent. Interiors are good.
And please serve water in your restaurant. In my humble opinion it seems to be a basic need, to be honest.

Main course dishes range from Rs 200- Rs 400/- A meal for us three above was Rs 1000/- Not too bad.

Would I go there? Not Again. Too bad an experience.  NOT RECOMMENDED.
Ki Hangla
A-201 (Dine In) & B 101 (Take Away) DLF Super Mart I, DLF Phase IV, Gurgaon
Cyber City Gurgaon
Phone: 9717955956, 0124-3221303
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