Thursday, January 05, 2006

Imperial and Corner House Combo Meal. 4.25/5.00

Another night, another review. Think Mars vs. Venus, North vs. South and in Epicurean terms it boils down to…. Imperial vs. Empire. My vote, Imperial and this is where I dined, or rather gorged, last night. Alephnull, Karax and moi joining in the debauchery. A word of advice, if meat and unrestrained gluttony are a turn-off, stop reading…NOW!

Imperial is rumoured to have a menu, an extensive one too, but I have never seen it. Well, maybe once but I averted my gaze forthwith. It distracts from the task at hand. I tried the butter chicken once, last night in fact, and will never try it again. It would make a legion sardar cry…like colicky babies. I tried the biryani once, unrecognizable as biryani. Thus ended my experimentation.

On to dinner then; chicken kebab, ghee rice, special gravy, butter chicken, kerala parota, wheat parota, coin parota, special salad and fish fry. The kebabs are outstanding, they are fabulous and have been memorably so over the last 15 years that I have eaten them. They go best with ghee rice/kerala parota and some of the special gravy. And you have to wash it down with a Coke*, never a Pepsi (It cuts through the fat, honesty it does!) Point of note, you need to be a regular to get the special gravy and the special salad else its thinned-down-unidentifiable-gravy and cucumber for you. The kebab has many imitations, Empire comes closest but it does grill a better grilled chicken. The parotas are not the best example available in Bangalore, Arabian Savoury is better but doesn’t have the kebabs. The ghee rice (khushka) is probably the best of its type and so are the coin/wheat parotas. (actually Bombay Kebabs has a better wheat parota which goes well with their goat/cow udder kebab.) The fish fry is not too bad but I’ve only ever eaten it during Lent along with a roomali roti and paneer butter masala (Never. Ever. Again.) but I was asking for trouble by going there during the Lenten season. Beelzebub, away!

Other things that are a must try at Imperial, brain fry (outstanding! Think warm scrambled eggs with pepper and curry leaves.), teethar (for very very special customers only), egg mix kothu parota (if you’re ever in Madras, go to Blue Diamond on Poonamalle High Road and try their version. While you’re there, also try the ceylon egg and kheem parota, ghee parota, mutton korma and round it off with a peach melba. Exemplary! ) their fried chicken tikka, which is quite a mind-f**k and their dal fry (that and ghee rice is about the only things a vegetarian can eat).

Moreover, it is mandatory to finish the meal with a sulemani (proper form being not to stir the sugar that settles at the bottom. Speaking of tea, has anyone tried the cardomom-saffron-green tea served at Kashmiri carpet stores? And then there is Infinitea and Cha Bar and….some other time perhaps…)

We then rolled down Residency Road to Corner House and had two juniors (try the HCF with praline instead of the regular nuts.) and one vanilla chocolate chip ice-cream. Corner House is, like Imperial, the best ice-cream joint in the world except for the Cold Stone Creamery. As for your Nirula-loving freaks, it sucks b***s, big time. However, Corner House needs to take the "Brown Bomb" off their menu. It’s an unsightly name for ice-cream.

Imperial, through an object lens, serves some of the best food to be had anywhere in the world. The emphasis is on the food, ambience is tertiary. I work with many Japanese food technologists who absolutely adore the food and it is a mandatory stop when they are here. Why? It’s fresh and tasty beyond belief (Umami, its all about the umami). What more could one ask for?

Dang, it was some meal.

* In case you’re wondering, drinking/sipping/mentioning Pepsi constitutes grounds for the unceremonious precipitation (with due apologies to Chat!) from my gastronomist circle. Unless it’s Diet Pepsi, which is ok.


Anonymous said...

Google blog search

Can't get any higher, eh ?

Dilettante said...

Pretty cool, huh?

One more milestone in the Yahoo! takeover :-)

madjos said...

i protest this rating. it should be as high as it gets (4.5 or above). the food is the shizite, so the only thing you can complain about is ambience. but the fact that you get food at 2am more than makes up for for that.

Anonymous said...

You say, this is the best restaurant in the world. You also say, you would never eat the Butter Chicken and Biryani there.

You also say, the parothas are better at other places and also that the gravy is watered down if I am not a regular.

Can you please list the dishes that makes it the best in the world.

Anonymous said...

Chicken Kebab, Ghee Rice, Mutton Pepper Gravy, Brain Fry, Theethar and Sulemani.