Everyone has their favourites when it comes to restaurants. And then there are the undisputed food havens, which have aged but not taken away by the cobwebs of time or change. Delhi has its fare (fair) share of such iconic restaurants, which have stood the test of time despite swankier places, fancier cuisines and new trends having made a foray. One such granddaddy, doing Mughlai Indian fare for longer than our memories can serve us, that we absolutely love and can never have enough of is Colonel’s Kababz. Time and clientele have changed, restaurants have come and gone, food empires have been raised and razed, but this iconic place has had us hooked on for the past three decades. Lucky us, they have two restaurants in Gurgaon too, which retain the originality and uniqueness of the brand.
THE COLONEL-ARY (CULINARY) JOURNEY
Started by the late Colonel Kailash Nath Kochhar, a connoisseur of good food, one who managed and headed a couple of Army messes while in service, he chose to pursue his passion and love for food post retirement too. He got his first break with catering for an acquaintance, a certain Major Sahab, a dealer of Hindustan motors in Lutyen’s Delhi’s well heeled Delhi circuit. That’s how Colonel’s Kababz was born and christened! The Colonel’s cooking was always original and instinct based, one which didn’t have to rely on cook books or recipes. The first outlet was started in Defence Colony, Delhi way back in the year 1990. A legacy still running strong, the place retains its originality in every which way. Though your parents perhaps may have had their first date here over signature dishes like Chicken Mumtaz, this quaint place will entice and charm you as much! “Yes, we do have people coming to us with their children and grandchildren, reliving moments and savouring their favorite feel-at-home dishes that they did years ago”, informs the Colonel’s son Bobby. The place still lives upto its ‘bond over food’ mantra. But these nostalgic taste buds are not the sole reason this veteran place is still so popular. Personal involvement of the family, be it Bobby Kochhar, Colonel Kochhar’s son or the Colonel’s grandson who is all of 21 adding his own touch, the family’s quintessential love for food, consistency in quality of what is served are elements which have contributed to the brand’s roaring success and steadfast loyalty of the patrons. “Cooking runs in our very DNA. My son Issh pursuing his Hotel Management at Aurangabad has an inherent inclination towards cooking. While most kids his age are into gadgets and gizmos, this young lad voluntarily helps me alongside his studies”,adds Bobby.
THE EPICUREAN LEGACY CONTINUES
Signature recipes, tried tested edible formulas that have stood the test of time such as Chicken Haldighati (served as sizzler), Chicken Mumtaz, Fish Tikka, succulent Mutton Seekh Kababs are still the hot sellers at Colonel’s Kababz. The place has not succumbed to any new experiments, neither with food nor the concept of being a thorough family restaurant. In tandem with the times, they’ve kept up with a takeaway window, happy to serve you in your car. The menu remains virtually untouched with few new entrants which have been welcomed and devoured as delightfully as the veteran favorites. As for vegetarian, they have a practical and rather healthy policy of serving the vegetables of the season, such as Bhindi in summers and Tandoori Broccoli or Gobhi in winters. The menu is uniform for all three outlets, the oldest one in Delhi and the two siblings in Gurgaon. The marination for all outlets happens centrally in Defence Colony, Delhi. The chief chef Bharat, we learn, has also been associated with them for the past (we kid you not) 38 years. “He was all of 10 when he joined us. Both he and the brand have quite literally grown up together. A bond very special, and one that we hold dear to the heart”, shares the owner emotionally. The Gurgaon outlets are just as popular as the original one because of the superlative culinary experience, a menu comprising tried tested uncomplicated recipes served with love and pocket friendly pricing. As one loyal patron puts across, “Colonel’s Kababz is an institution. It is not a ‘frills and fancies’ place, but a humble family churning dishes of consistent quality, served with utmost love since years”. That says it all!
Think Indian food. Think Colonel’s Kababz! A classic veteran restaurant which has been wooing food lovers with its stellar and much loved range of kebabs, curries and tandoori fare since its very inception. The consistency in quality is pretty much the core ingredient of their popularity.