You know that feeling when you’ve walked by a place a hundred times and finally when you go in, you wonder, “Why haven’t I been here sooner?” That’s exactly how I felt when I went to Khyber. Khyber is opposite Rhythm House in Fort and looks like the tiniest restaurant from outside. We wanted to celebrate S’s big achievement and were wondering what to do for dinner. Punjabi/Indian food was our obvious choice, but where to go? Khyber came up to be the most voted option. The crazy love I have for Zomato and Burrp, I snuck online to check the reviews. Most said it was good, but a few said it was ok. I was a little skeptical when we went and am so happy to say my skepticism was totally wiped away when we entered!
Just as we were about to enter, I thought, “this looks like a cute little restaurant.” I assumed it would have a seating capacity of about 70ish people. When we entered the restaurant, I was in love with its design. I felt like I had entered some restaurant in another era. They have a beautiful painting by the famous Indian artist, Anjali Ela Menon at the entrance. You see a marble staircase leading you up to the upper floors of the restaurant. There is a lot of white stone/sand stone used on the walls and for the sculptures. Vintage Indian wooden doors, lamps and large metal pots are used to accentuate the décor.
We were about 8 people and went up to one of the more private rooms. It feels like you’re in a cave and I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling. The space was so much more private. I was thankful that the restaurant wasn’t too loud or perhaps we were isolated from the noise. The crockery is simple and tasteful and staff was reasonably attentive. For a section that could seat about 15 people, there were 3 servers and 1 captain. I do appreciate having good service in a fine dining restaurant and an understaffed restaurant is just a turn off. We were handed over the menus and I went into my little world to drool over all the yummy things available and their description.
We started off by ordering the tandoori aloo, which is stuffed with dry fruits, mashed potatoes and spices and decided to order a vegetarian platter so we could try a whole bunch of things. The platter was HUGE! The paneer was soft and beautifully flavored. It wasn’t spicy at all and I loved it! The reshmi broccoli was cooked well and very mildly flavored. The baby corn pakoras were coated in a batter and deep-fried and the kebabs were cooked in a tandoor and covered in a delicious spice. The starters were all lovely, though I have eaten better reshmi broccoli at the Four Seasons, Udaipur. They were more than enough for our party of 8 and I would have loved to eat only appetizers as mains.
We did decide to order just 2 mains since we were full with all the appetizers. We settled for vegetable malai kofta and channa masala. The malai kofta was the best malai kofta I have ever eaten! The gravy was creamy but delicately spiced with saffron, cardamom and other Mughal spices. The koftas themselves were cooked perfectly and were so soft. They went perfectly well with the gravy/curry. The channa masala was completely different from what I would have imagined. That’s when I realized I was thinking of chhole masala and this was channa masala. The main flavor was that of asafoetida in my opinion and was a little spicier compared to the malai kofta. Together, the vegetables complemented each other and created a lovely balance.
I was told that the Maa ki Dal was one of the most famous dishes of Khyber. Being a lover of Dal Makhani, i decided I would love to try it. The dal was wonderful! It was perfectly spiced and was not as creamy as a dal makhani. If I can be a little poetic, it felt like the spices were dancing on my tongue! I wish I hadn’t eaten as much for dinner so I would be able to do complete justice to the dal.
Our meal was in celebration of S’s achievement and it was an absolute perfect celebration! The food was excellent, the ambience was beautiful and the service was good. We had a lovely time and I can’t wait to go back again! If you are going to visit Mumbai or have international guests, you must go to Khyber. It has been around for years and is like a Mumbai Classic restaurant. Its also a great choice to go for a date.The next time we do go, it’s going to be a Maa ki Dal and Malai Kofta meal for me! I still can’t them out of my head! They were so good!!
Will I go there again??? OMG! I can’t wait to go back again!! For its amazing food and unique décor, I give Khyber Restaurant, Mumbai a 4.5/5.
Restaurant Timings: 12:30 PM-3:30 PM, 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM
Contact Information: 02222673227, 02240396666, 02222673229