Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I have been following Chef Rehman’s food for quite some time now and both the husband and me try and miss no chance to enjoy (read devour) his food whenever he is in town. So when we got an invite to experience the Lucknowi andaaz at Lavana, Hyatt Regency Gurgaon’s Awadhi restaurant for the on-going festival obviously we took time out. Needless to add, the offer was tempting as Lavana’s Chef Sunil Gangwal and Chef Rehman promised to take us on a culinary journey as they would recreate the magic of the bygone era. (I was already drooling thinking of the Nihari). Coming to the food, as we began to wait for our food to arrive we dug into the papads and variety of chutneys on the table, the garlic yoghurt chutney was absolutely divine. 

Kebabs -the Tikka, Galawati, and Seekh -truly legendary and I would say an extraordinary selection of the very finest! A stellar preparation for me was the ‘Kakori’, a delicate melt-in-your-mouth kebab of finely minced lamb, flavoured with cloves and cinnamon, wrapped around a skewer and char grilled. Vegetarians too have a sizable choice with ‘Nadru ki Shammi’ and ‘Subz kebab’. In the main course there’s Lucknowi Nihari, lamb shanks scented with cardamom and saffron, and the intimidatingly lavish lagan Murgh. There’s a dal so unabashedly rich. 
And of course, there is Biryani, dramatically opened at the table, with divine flavours. Your meal remains incomplete without a heavenly helping of the dessert offering. Though the kheer I thought was overly-sweet yet delicately laced with saffron. Must try is the ‘Shahi Tukra’, a dessert truly befitting a king, is exotic with saffron rabri, spread on a slice of syrup soaked homemade bread. However be warned that this is food for royalty. I wanted to order a palanquin, just so That I could crawl in and fall sleep.Probably next time I would just book a room and sleep overnight at the Hotel, would make a perfect weekend getaway too. 

All in all the Lucknowi Andaz is an experience, which will delight the palette and the sensory images of grandeur, taste and beauty of the erstwhile royalty.
That said, this was not my first visit to Lavana and I would say even otherwise as it unveils its secret offerings, every dish you partake of, is part of a saga, and every recipe, a piece of gastronomic history. The restaurant’s rich menu enhanced by coveted and extraordinary spices is a feast fit for gods where not only are dishes created using age-old recipes but also through its evolution and adaptation. Definitely worth a visit!


Lavana @ Hyatt regency Gurgaon, New Delhi NCR, NH8, Sector 83, Gurgaon. For Reservations: 0124-618-1170 / 0124-618-1234 or email lavana.hrgurgaon@hyatt.com 
Timings: Open for Lunch and Dinner, Lunch from 12:00 PM to 3: 00 PM, Dinner from 7:00 PM to 11:30 PM

The food festival offers guests an array of rich and royal Awadhi cuisine ranging from kebabs, Galawati kebab, nukti, Barra kebab, kormas, salan, biryanis to breads and dessert. Master Chef M.Rehman, one of the most experienced Awadhi chefs of the country along with Chef Sunil and their authentic khansamas team display their culinary genius. The festival is on till the 17th November.