Why do people go to eat at a restaurant? More often than not because they are celebrating or marking an occasion, right? Yes, this is where lies the connect between name of the restaurant I visited last week and food business. 21 Gun Salute has been woven around the theme of according respect to your presence at their property. They are not exhausting their ammunition but for sure, they are displaying their arms to mark your occasion. A great attempt to connect everything old to fine-dining traditions. You walk in to the pleasure of seeing a coveted vintage car placed right at the entrance and as you move on, you see yet another vintage car waiting to be appreciated. After you have wondered how they have managed these cars to be brought up to the first floor, your eyes open up to other icons of 20th century, old typewriters, telephones, clocks, lights and you almost miss the glass-walled kitchen which is heart of this establishment. Is it a museum half way under installation reconfigured to operate as a restaurant? I personally would not rule that line of thinking, at the same time I do marvel at the fusion of vintage and food which has been orchestrated wonderfully well.
The Location: We went on a Saturday afternoon, I am told on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights parking can be a big issue, but for us, it was not a big challenge. It being located on first floor and the fact that the place doesn’t have an elevator is a point to be kept in mind while planning a big gathering.
Address: Phone: SCO 35-36, First Floor, Sector 29, (Leisure Valley) Gurgaon, Haryana 122009
The Hours: 11:30 AM to 11:30 PM
The Ambiance: Till you dig into food it is all about the ambiance and this one keeps building on that. There are a few shortcomings which one notices early like unsteady tables, a few chair cushions requiring new upholstery and need to put some silverware out of service. Overall on ambiance this place scores fairly high. 4/5
The Service: Ambiance builds it up so well that you expect wait staff and everyone else to be of highest order, a few interactions and you realize that there is a disconnect in grooming of team handling the restaurant and decor and ambiance of the place. 3/5
The Price: I would say this place is not cheap and depending on what all you wish to order your bill can be in the range of Rs 700 – Rs 1,000 per person without drinks or beverages.
The Food: A place like this should have bottled water offered as standard water without any cost, even if it means adding Rs 10 to the cost of each dish.
We went in for an elaborate spread and here is a rundown on the same.
Soups: Shahi Tamatar Tulsi Shorba & Nizami Murg Badami Shorba – Both the soups were great but Nizami Murg Badami Shorba clearly scored very high. The flavour of almonds and juice of free-range chicken made for a delicious combination. 5/5
Starters: Chatpati Papari Chaat, Noor e Murg Chaat – Both were interesting starters and one could have reordered them and opted out of going in for main course, we resisted the option of ordering more of the same. 5/5
Beverages: Raja Banaras Ki Pasand – A “paan” drink, I have never had before. Interesting and one can surely try irrespective of one being paan lover or not. 5/5
Main course: Rajputana Lal Maas – brilliant all melting in mouth, though I would have preferred some better cuts to come in my lot but one understands. Desi Murg Mewari – Restaurant claims that they don’t use broiler chickens at all. All chicken is free – a range of traditional Indian variety, hence not bland. I liked Lal Maas and rate it much higher than Murg Mewari as a preparation. Daal Sultani was not to taste at all, yellow daal with a cream base sounded like a novelty, which sadly it wasn’t. Adding mint chutney to it brought some taste back, otherwise it tasted like a dietician’s recipe at the best. I have had Kair Sangri before, but this one was differently made, it was indeed tangy but then this was not the best Kair Sangri I have had. Mahi Razala, River Sole in gravy was my dish of the day, it was one of the finest gravy fish gravy dishes I have had. This is one dish, which would pull me back to this restaurant. Khasta Roti was an interesting option for bread, heavy but with all this, ordered one doesn’t count calories. Overall, the main course was very interesting and pushes you to come again and try a few more dishes. 4/5
Dessert choices were not in sync with main course, we settled for Rasmalai, which looked like was outsourced and very different than rest of the food. 2/5
Must eat: Mahi Razala. Must avoid: Daal Sultani
Would I go again? Yes, of course!!!
Over all 4/5
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