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Viva Khiva!

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Borrowing inspiration from the Central-Asian City of Khiva that’s at the epicentre of what used to be called the Silk Route during the Persian ages, Khiva – the Fine Dine resto at Phoenix MarketCity, Viman Nagar, is a bold attempt at trying to recreate that very spirit. Persian/Mughlai themed preparations dominate both, the menu and the interiors as is evident from the get-go.

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A just-about fixed Aircon on a balmy summer evening meant mocktails would have to be the very first thing ordered. A very average Khiva Colada and a superb Blue Mint-based cooler were had.

Blue Passion.JPGShame I forgot the name of the latter because it was just what the doctor ordered – refreshingly sweet & tangy, and that minty punch did a really fine job of breathing life into a very tired man.

Khiva Colada.JPGThe Khiva Colada then, was a little too tarty for my taste, and the texture of the beverage was a bit off (sorry I just can’t put my finger on what it was about it).

Namak Parra (₹0 – on the house) Namak Para.JPGAn appetizer that is served on all tables with a whole bunch of dips ranging from cheesy to sweet to spicy. Makes waiting for food seem like fun.

The evening then, officially began with –
Atish e Aloo (₹410)
aish e aloo
A jacketed masaledaar mashed potato preparation with a mix flavors ranging from sweet (from the pomegranate), and savory (from the masalas the mashed potato was made in), something to satiate your potato cravings, if you have them. If you don’t, there were other things had that were so much better than this – read on.

Cheese Kurkure (₹415)
Cheese KurkureMushroom and cheese done spring-roll style, this one is one for the cravings for sure! Not really recommended otherwise, but it does do justice to cravings of the crispy kind. Do read on.

Peshawari Paneer Tikka (₹475)
Peshawari Paneer Tikka.JPG
Succulent Paneer Cubes Marinated in delicate spices that complimented the Paneer well. The only problem with this was that the Paneer pieces were a tad too large for the marinade to render enough flavor to a full bite. Smaller pieces, maybe? Didn’t I say read on?

Tandoori Shikari Tangdi (₹525)
tandoori shikari tangdi.JPG
Tangy-spicy Kashmiri masalas soaked all the way through the tender meat; and so well done that the meat just falls off the bones and melts in the mouth – this one’s a winner if you’re anything into Chicken legs (who isn’t)?

Chandni Kebab (₹525)
Chandni Kebab
Yes, that’s edible silver foil you see there and the white you see is cream-based marinade. Another class act, this – chargrilled tender (boneless) chicken pieces that were just made to go with a dash of lemon on top and chutney on the side.

Barra Kebab Lazeez (₹725)
Barra kabab lazeez
Every bit as delectable as it looks – well sourced mutton chops marinated to the bone in a tangy-spicy kachri based masala that does the meat the justice it deserves. A good mutton  preparation is an art in itself.

Of the bread basket, the Naan (₹125) was as a naan should be, nothing special there but the Khameeri ki roti (₹115) was something unique. It was an unleavened bread (roti) that used fermented dough. The unique bit was that it smelled delightful – now I don’t know about you buy I love the smell of yeast. Not recommended if you’re not adventurous though because some yeasty experiments can leave you with a bad stomach. You’ve been warned. And prompted to try it too, at the same time. 🙂

Murgh Peshawari (₹490)
Murgh Peshawari
An expectedly rich gravy with evident use of red chillies and garlic, and chicken  so tender it’ll shame paneer – this was serious. If you want to make cheat-day count, this would do.

Nalli ka Salan (₹725) –
Nalli ka salan
All of 3 succulent mutton ‘Nallis’ in a creamy brown gravy that are again, done to perfection. My only gripe with the mutton was the use of sheep-meat as against goat (the smell is a dead giveaway) but the tenderness was very much at par with goat-meat. Just some #FoodForThought

Chicken Dum Biryani (₹525)
Chicken Dum Biryani.JPG
If there’s ONE reason I’d come back, it’d be this – I did compliment the chef. Very light, rich ghee notes, the masalas not too overpowering, and pairing SO WELL with the sweet raita served on the side. Now THIS, I could have all day. Seriously.

But wait, don’t go just yet! The desserts haven’t arrived still –

Lychee ki Tehree (₹245)
Kychee ki TehreeLychee-kheer on a bed of Lychees garnished with the crunchiest of pistachio shavings. It was a Lychee-bomb, is what it was! Textures just about the right kind of grainy with a welcome bite to it, and the kheer and lychee fruit every so creamy. Just superb.

Baked Anjeer Halwa (₹245)
Baked Anjeer Halwa
To think the Tehree was amazing, this one managed to top even that! Thick, moist anjeer halwa that wasn’t floating in a bed of ghee or wouldn’t give you diabetes in one bite. It was just as sweet as the dry fruit itself, and was complimented by the rabdi like nothing else could.I highly recommend this too, if you’re ordering for a few people. The Lychee ki Tehree on the other hand, is easily a one-man job.

All in all I rate Khiva at a solid 4.5 with definite repeat factor as long as Mughlai is what you’re specifically looking for.
Khiva Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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