By Jagmeeta Thind Joy
The tricity now boasts of a plethora of dining out options ranging from casual restaurants to more formal fine-dining ones. When it comes to menu selection, most places address popular choices offering Mughlai-meets-North Indian along with the usual Chinese-Punjabi fare. But then among the new arrivals are those that make you sit up and take notice for their novelty. Making a fine first impression is ‘Bisaat’. The newly opened restaurant is housed in Sector 5, Panchkula and offers a selection of dishes from erstwhile royal kitchens.
“I am a foodie myself and wanted to offer delicacies from across India that are not otherwise available in the city,” says owner and restaurateur Rohit Sharma. The name ‘Bisaat’ means checkerboard and it reflects well in black and white floor of the restaurant. “Apparently the royals would roll out Bisaat to welcome guests,” explains Sharma.
It’s nice to see that the interiors of ‘Bisaat’ don’t walk the usual path of royalty-inspired restaurants. No, you won’t find ‘Rajasthani jharokhas’, ethnic paintings or wall murals here. Designed like a modern Indian restaurant, the ambience is refreshing. The use of black and white photos of royalty coupled with uniquely designed sofas and a huge and arresting light fixture make it an inviting place.
Well researched menu
Having travelled the length and breadth of the country, Sharma was well aware of royal cuisine and decided to offer rare and authentic dishes that were served to Indian royalty a long time ago. “We spent considerable time on research and putting together the recipes,” he informs.
The menu is styled no less than a coffee table book and hop scotches across India bringing in fare from erstwhile royal kitchens of Jodhpur, Rampur, Bhopal, Mysore, Hyderabad, Punjab, Kashmir et al. There’s a good selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare across appetisers and main course. A good place to start in the appetisers section is Nadru chips served with a tangy relish.
The ‘Bhuna murg naan kebab’ is another must try along with the ‘Kanpuri lazeez annanaas paneer’. “Each of these royal kitchens had their own specialities and the cooking style varies as well,” explains Sharma as we notice a novelty from Mysore on the menu – mince meat wrapped with quail eggs.
The main course is equally robust and it will take more than one visit to do justice to the fare. From closer home there’s ‘Dahiwala Kukkad’ and ‘Laal Maas’. The line-up also includes quintessential royal fare like ‘Jodhpuri Khudd Murgh’, ‘Bhopali Murgh Rezala’ and ‘Mirch Baingan ka teekha salan’. The flavours are unique and thankfully, the royal feast isn’t dripping with overuse of ghee/oil. The main course pairs well with the selection of breads.
Given how diners are accustomed to multi-cuisine menus, Bisaat offers a refreshing mix. Do try their take on the gulab jamun – we won’t give away the surprise by describing it. The ‘Makai ki Phirni’ is another good pick to end your meal here. A meal for two here will cost you between Rs 1,600 to Rs 2,000.
Bisaat is housed in Hotel Elm, SCO 4, Sector 5, Panchkula