Kwality Restaurant on East Street has been in business ever since 1956 and quite popular with locals, especially those living in the eastern parts of the city, for their non-vegetarian dishes. Their logo always had me curious if it was managed by the same group that made Kwality ice-creams which I so loved as a child; a question I still have no answer to. I realized I had never been to this legendary place, although I have practically lived most of my life in this city and needed to give it a try as soon as possible. So while we were thinking of a place for a family lunch on a Sunday, we finally landed up here.
It was a rainy afternoon, and it didn’t really start too well with us here. Firstly, they told me we would have to wait for 15-20 minutes, fair enough on a Sunday afternoon. But then another lady came afterwards, and the host simply assumed that she was with me and gave her a table before us, without first checking, all this while I was standing right there! What is the point of noting down names and numbers? I certainly expect a renowned, established eatery to have better ways of managing crowds.
I had heard a lot about Kwality’s décor, and on any other day I would have really liked that lovely dome they have in the central seating area, the ethnic inspired wall-pieces and soothing décor. Unfortunately, on the day we went, the roof was leaking and we were greeted with a sight of waste-bins and buckets placed right at the entrance to collect the dripping rain-water. I understand that these issues could happen with such an old-establishment, but I really hope they fix it soon for it isn’t too pleasant for a diner.
The menu is mostly North Indian, and they are pretty famous for their non-vegetarian offerings. We ordered these, based on recommendations of the staff and they were mostly chef’s specials.
Murg Banjara Kabab: A spicy chicken tikka, well-cooked meat, but a tad bit oily.
Dahi aur Palak ke kabab: This one is listed as a Kwality special and I was quite excited to try it. But when it came to the table, this may sound rude, but frankly, I thought the portion was a joke. There were three tiny one-inch pieces of kababs, split into halves and served. There was a spinach and potato kind out outer shell and a little bit of hung yogurt stuffing. There was an interesting texture from the crisp coriander coat outside, but otherwise no distinct taste or flavor.
Bati Chicken: Had cubed chicken breast in a onion-based gravy. The gravy was slightly thin, but quite nice. The chicken pieces were a little unevenly cooked though.
Mirchi ka Salan: They say they serve the hyderabadi style salan, but it was nowhere close really. While the authentic one has a peanut, red-chilly and tamarind based gravy, Kwality’s version uses the generic tomato-onion gravy. Portion was quite measly again.
Rumali and tandoori rotis were both satisfactory.
Chur-chur Paratha: This was dish I liked the most on the menu that day. Crushed bits of a lovely, flaky paratha, and molten butter served on the side to smother the paratha with. Quite nice.
Service was a bit spotty right from the beginning to the end. Refils, changing cutlery, having enough plates on the table, everything needed several reminders.
Prices too, I felt were on the higher side considering the portions and quality of food.
Overall, not very impressed with this legendary place.