Restaurant Review: Khyber

Restaurant Review: Khyber

The North Indian fare at Khyber at Dukes Dubai does not compromise on spices at the altar of taste, and whips up flavours that you're sure to remember for long, finds Anamika Chatterjee

Published: Thu 25 Jan 2018, 11:15 PM

Last updated: Fri 26 Jan 2018, 1:15 AM

If you have lived or visited Mumbai, there's a good chance that the name 'Khyber' would ring a bell somewhere. Located in South Bombay, the restaurant is known to dish out fabulous North Indian fare that has, over the years, begun to command a legion of fans. So, if you, like me, happen to be aware of Khyber's legacy, you're bound to be excited by its presence at Palm Jumeirah's Dukes hotel.
I visited the restaurant on a Thursday evening - when Dubai dines and unwinds. It was packed, with a majority of the crowd being non-Indian. What, initially, held my attention was the décor - there are some incredible paintings that adorn the walls. Equally resplendent were the views of the beach outside.
When in a North Indian restaurant, you know what will make its way to your table. So, I wasn't quite surprised when my table was filled with butter chicken, dal makhani and chicken biryani, among other things. However, it's the flavours that are likely to stay with you, like they did with me, long after you've had the meal. It's probably a reflection of Chef Faizan's expertise in the kitchen, but also has something to do with how the ingredients are sourced - there's no dependence on readymade spices, everything is ground in the kitchen itself... And the results show why that's useful.
Taste: Perhaps the strongest aspect of the restaurant is its commitment to authenticity of flavours. The Khyber Rann was the deal-clincher for me. Subtle and succulent, it is a meat lover's delight. The Reshmi Broccoli also deserves a special mention in the vegetarian segment!
Ambience: The primary seating area is indoor, though there is a table laid outside for a bigger group. I quite liked the fact that my table offered some exquisite views of the Palm, but similar options weren't available for others. Also loved the choice of art exhibited on the walls.
Service: Our attendant was exceptionally polite and genuinely wanted me to taste many more delicacies. It was a courtesy extended to most guests; I even overheard a conversation where a waiter was explaining dal makhani to a European couple.
Presentation: For a fine dining restaurant, not enough emphasis is laid on the presentation. So, there is no attempt to make butter chicken or chicken biryani look like a work of art. This shouldn't be much of a problem as long as taste precedes presentation in your book.
Value For Money: A meal for two costs approximately Dh300. Given the quality of the overall experience, it is certainly worth the price. The Reshmi Prawns cost Dh115, while the Tandoori Rann is available for Dh150. Given the taste and the ambience, it's definitely value for money.

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