Tuesday, March 14, 2017



( Mobile Photo..Autar Mota)

Was there last week.

This Restaurant has a new owner now .I was told by the Manager that Chadda family has purchased the Restaurant from Gujrals in 1991.

We take a Metro train from Gurgaon to Rajeev Chowk and from that point, A cab brings us to the Congested DARYAGANJ locality. We are ushered in by a waiter in Pathan dress .It is 1.30 PM. There is no guest for the lunch . All the 90 chairs in the Dining Hall are Vacant.

Handing over the the Menu to Me, the waiter adds :

" We have 50 :50 customers. I mean 50% are foreigners.They come after 2.00 PM.We start at 12.30 everyday and close after midnight."

I order steamed rice, Tangri kebabs, plain Naan, Curd and Roganjosh.We are told to wait for 20 minutes.

I look around . The paint on light pink walls is peeling off at many places. For 90 chairs , the Restaurant has a simple single washroom with very old sanitaryware. The washroom is near the entrance outside the dining Hall. Two uniform clad waiters and a helper in plain clothes are always eager to offer their services in the Hall.

Suddenly, A waiter comes with our Food. It is served in steel bowls, saucers and plates. All hot and steaming. Delicious, tasty and mouthwatering .

I swear having never tasted such delicious Tangri Kebabs anywhere like the stuff we were served over here. The Rogan Josh is closest in appearance and taste to what we cook in our kitchen.

We order Butter chicken. I am told ,In India, Butter chicken was invented at MOTI MAHAL.
We are more than satisfied. As we order the 
sweet dish/ Dessert , a group of Tourists from Japan enter.They have come with an Indian guide to Relish Mughlai and Tandoori.They are followed by some Indian and African students.The guests of the day have started arriving. 
I settle the bill and move to the Counter.

" You Look like a Kashmiri? "

" Yes"

" How was the food?"

" Very good. We liked everything. Is it the same MOTI MAHAL that was nearby and had so Many photographs of Pandit ji , Maulana Azad , Indira ji, Shah of Iran, Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar ,President J F Kennedy, and President Nixon?"

" Yes same MOTI MAHAL.I have all those photographs ; Here in this Cupboard.. Amitabh Bachan, Vijay Mallya ,Anupam Kher and so many officials from various embassies were our frequent visitors .They would come for Authentic Mughlai and Tandoori food. We have shifted from that old place. The New Management has put in great efforts to retain that old hospitality , quality and customer satisfaction. The Restaurant was established by Mr Gujral in 1947 who came to Delhi as a partition refugee. We shall continue to be the Brand that MOTI MAHAL is famous for, Come what may."

(Autar Mota )

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