ISLAMABAD: Recently opened in F-8 Markaz, Mughlai Courtyard offers a royal dining experience for residents of the capital.
The restaurant is a three-storey building with a red exterior, very reminiscent of the Mughal era. The eatery is decorated with geometric red brick designs, inscriptions, mirrors, multicoloured hand painted murals of kings and queens and a mosaic ceiling.
It comes complete with a baradari, jharoka seating, and a courtyard decorated in metalwork and vivid colours.
Diners can see the chefs putting meat on skewers, garnishing the makhni dal and ladling the piping hot biryani out of large cauldrons in the open kitchen.
Despite the extensive menu, navigating it is easy due to it being divided into many sections such as the tawwah coroner, the Pakhtun speciality and others.
The Mughlai appetizer angara boti came piping hot in a copper container.
The chicken was juicy and flavourful and was kept steaming hot by the coal still burning at the base of the container. The paneer tikka came on a bed of pineapple slices.
The cottage cheese cubes were burnt just right at the edges, and the pineapples lent the salted cheese some sweetness.
The copper utensils went well with the Mughlai theme. The daal makhani, the dam-pukht mutton biryani, tawwah mix taka tak, murgh makhai and reshmi kebab all came in copper utensils.
Meanwhile the mutton risotto was a bit bland but very rich.
The mutton was very tender and juicy due to the yogurt marinade, and complemented the colourful banaspati rice.
The daal makhani was cooked so it still had some whole lentils and was smooth, rich and creamy. It went well with a piping hot tandoori paratha cooked in desi ghee.
The chef also did justice to the murgh makhani. It was rich in colour; the chicken marinated in spices and served with aromatic gravy.
The dish was sweet at first but then packed in a spicy punch.
The mutton roghan josh was slow cooked till the meat was tender, well mixed with the gravy.
All the various breads were light and buttery, the rice was fragrant and fluffy and the various meat dishes were well cooked and flavourful.
The food is light on the stomach so it will not make you regret ordering a variety of dishes. The restaurant will also adjust the spice levels for diners if asked.
Mughlai Courtyard is certainly a restaurant to spend time with family and friends and enjoy good food as well.
Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2018