Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Restaurant Review: Moti Mahal, New Delhi

When I flew back to the UK in August I watched an episode of a Gordon Ramsay TV show where he visited Delhi to learn more about Indian food. Knowing that I would be visiting India in a few months time, I watched with interest hoping to pick up some useful tips of places to visit or dishes to try.

Gordon visited a restaurant called Moti Mahal and waxed lyrical about the wonderful butter chicken that was served there. The traditional Indian restaurant, buzzing with locals, really appealed. I made a mental note of the restaurant's name and made a point of visiting while I was in Delhi.

The moment we stepped into the courtyard I immediately recognised it from the TV and knew we were in the right place. But there was something wrong. It was totally deserted and we were the only customers there! It was approaching three in the afternoon, but I'd still have expected to see some other customers have a late lunch.

In most Delhi restaurants, but nowhere else in the country, we were served complimentary pickled onions and a tangy green chilli sauce while we were ordering. Nothing to write home about, but pleasant to snack on.

As my sister is a vegetarian and as we were generally taking the cautious route of not eating too much meat (more likely to give you food poisoning, apparently) we ordered two vegetarian dishes to go with the butter chicken.

Gordon must have been tasting something that I wasn't. As the signature dish of the restaurant I wasn't overly impressed. On the plus sides it was less sweet than the butter chicken I tasted in Lodi Colony. The gravy was rich and the chicken tender. However, it was a bit bland. It just wasn't a memorable curry. I was left wondering what made Gordon drool so much.

It was a similar story with the chickpea curry, potatoes stuffed with cottage cheese and naan bread. They were all nice enough dishes, but nothing that made them stand out from the other places we'd been eating while on our travels.

Gordon you let me down!


  1. When we were in Delhi I planned on going to Moti Mahal as well for the butter chicken the Lonely Planet says you should try. We didn't get there and instead ate at Karim's near the Jama Masjid. Amazing clay-oven roasted mutton that melts in your mouth. Damn it was good!

  2. Hii.. Thanks for you posting this blog.
    I bookmarked this blog. I will try it this in summer.

    Best Restaurants in Delhi

  3. I LOVE your Delhi street restaurant...I used to live in Delhi once upon a time and all these foods are delicious....