Royal Sindh sits to your right as you walk towards Yari Road from WTF! Harsha Vishnu owns the small 16-seater eatery, who decided to venture in to the restaurant business after working for some of the best hotels in Mumbai. While Harsha has designed the menu it’s Ranjit, who has cooked for her family for the last 20 years, who plays master chef here. Over the past two decades, Ranjit has picked up the nuances of Sindhi cooking straight from the source - Harsha's mother-in-law. We went with a few Sindhi friends in tow to guide us through the food that we were going to devour.
The decor is simple and the limited seating area suggests that the restaurant wants to focus on home deliveries and take-away order for now. The menu has a mix of North Indian and Sindhi food and we found few traditional dishes like Tuk aloo (Rs 100), Sindhi kadhi (Rs 130) and Dal pakwan (Rs 110). While the Dal pakwan is a Sunday special, the others are available throughout the week.
On Harsha's recommendation we started with Tuk Aloo - fried potatoes dusted with chat masala, Aloo tikki Sindh se (Rs 70) - deep fried potato patties served with a green chutney, Paneer lahsuniya (Rs 110) - a strong garlicky masala stuffed between two pieces of cottage cheese, which is then dipped in batter and fried, Dhaniya wala chicken (Rs 110) - chicken cooked in spicy green coriander base and Mutton tikki (Rs 110) - deep-fried minced mutton patty.
In spite of our meat loving tastes, here, the vegetarian starters got our attention. The Tuk aloo was crisp and tangy, the aloo tikki was soft, yielding and dotted with peas. The Paneer lahsuniya was deliciously fresh, batter fried to a crisp with a almost pickle like flavour. On the other hand, the Dhaniya wala chicken was a tad undercooked. The only thing that probably saved it from being a complete disaster was the flavourful spicy coriander masala it was cooked in. The Mutton tikki on the other hand had plenty of bite with crisp chunky pieces of mutton, dal and a few spices.
As we waited for our main course an old gentleman next to our table voiced his disappointment on not seeing some of the very traditional Sindhi dishes on the menu. Our friends also noticed some dishes like koki – flatbread made with wheat flour, doda - flatbread made with jowar and fresh garlic, and beeh – lotus stem preparations, usually regulars on a Sindhi table, missing from the menu. Ever alert, Harsha politely told us that more dishes would soon be added to the menu.
The main course didn’t let us down either and unlike the starters both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes got equal votes. Bhugha mutton (Rs 170) - mutton cooked in a thick, yogurt-based gravy was light and mildly spiced. The tender mutton falling of the bone was delicious and had us mopping up the leftover gravy with hot phulkas served with spoonful of ghee (Rs 15), Bhindi tali hui (Rs 99) - deep fried okra and Aloo gobi (Rs 99) – this tasted pretty much like it would it was prepared at home.
We happily ate our Sindhi kadhi soaked rice (Rs 130), a preparation of gram flour, tamarind and vegetables while discussing the different versions of the dish made in different Sindhi homes. Harsha told us that there are at least 16 variations. Well, we haven’t tried all of them but the one at Royal Sindh is definitely worth your money. Sindhi food is known for being rich and heavy but we loved the fact that the food here was low on ghee and butter thus adding less guilt to our indulgence.
For dessert we ordered Chashni bread (Rs 40) which was a relatively guilt free version of Shahi tukda – sliced deep fried bread dunked in sugar syrup and topped with rabdi. The one at Royal Sindh however was topped with cream instead of the heavy rabdi.
If you have eaten with enough Sindhi’s, you would know how much they love papad, something we missed at Royal Sindh. But, papad or no papad, the food here definitely gets two thumbs up from us.
Must try – Bhugha mutton, bhindi tali hui
A meal for two – Rs 800 + taxes (no alcohol service)