Raj Rasoi – I love the whole experience!
Since Pondersoa closed down in Karachi which used to be my favourite ever eating out place in Karachi, I would search around for a replacement. While I got dossas and chaats thanks to some nice hang-outs for Defence/Clifton ki khawateen, I missed the magic of the thaali. I am a foodie, and am the “vegetarian/South Indian/Dossa/thaali/give me daal chawal on a banana leaf” type of a foodie.
One fine day, I heard of Raj Rasoi.
If you haven’t given it a try yet, do so.
Reasons are as under:
Ambiance: The decor. The waiters in strictly Rajasthani outfits. The paintings on the wall. I enter it and “morni baagaan maan bolay…” starts cooing inside my head and I fear Ila Arun will pop up from nowhere with white bangles upto her upper arms. Or a camel.
Service: Not being elitist. Or feudalistic. Just makes you feel special when a colourfully dressed waiter makes you wash your hands in a bright and shiny copper chilimchi…..and serves you on your thaali not once but twenty times.
Makes one feel pampered and is part of the whole experience. And it’s ok to be politically/socially incorrect at times. So yes, I enjoy feeling pseudo-royal for 90 minutes.
The FOOD: Fresh. Hot. And very veg, Rajasthani and Gujrati (except the one chicken dish they will serve in the thaali). The starters gear you up for more – the rava dhokla, the Kachumber, the Cabbage Sambharo, the Bikaneri Papad, Bhavnagri Bharela Mircha. Yumm. On the side is Gujarati Achar, Red Chutney and Dhokla Chutney!
With constant refills of parathas, puris and rice, pour on the veg delights like Moong Rasawala and specially the Gujrati Suva Kadhi. Don’t miss the palak paneer, and the numerous dishes the waiters will announce the names of but you will not understand. But they all taste good.
Drink some light salty lassi which they cutely call masala chaas.
The Halwa: The one blob of that heavenly channay ki daal ka halwa which they call “Raj Khandani Rivayat Halwa”. Utter bliss.
Top it all up with some chaai, saunf, pay the damages, and come out, thinking when should I go next.
PS: I did not get a free meal or any discount to praise this restaurant. Endorsements are strictly mine.