Located in Lazimpat, opposite Trisara, the entrance of Mughal Empire looks grand, but it has a pretty weird layout — first-time visitors may find it a little too small. For a second, I felt I was in one of the 80’s Bollywood movie sets and Jeetendra would jump across with Jaya Prada and start dancing. But the lack of parking space is a disappointment.
The hostess appeared friendly and welcoming, but even she was having a hard time hearing as there was loud live music.
The menu was presented on time and there was not any rush at all. It clearly focused on Mughal cuisine with tikka, tandoor and gravy, and I found the price okay. So, we ordered and sat down for a hearty meal.
For starters we ordered Chicken Malai Tikka — it had tender chicken and balanced flavour, but I would have been delighted if it had more cream and butter.
Next came Murgh Tangri Kebab — flavourful but one of the pieces was slightly pinkish. I like well done meat when it is in the tandoor or barbecued.
I must mention the Mint Chutney they served with these starters was just amazing.
We then moved on to Fish Tikka and it was a let-down. Basa fish was raw and out of flavour. I would not recommend this dish.
For the main course we ordered Butter Chicken with lots of butter, just the way my mum makes it. Tava Rotis were very soft and warm when served, perfect with the Butter Chicken gravy.
We then dived into Mutton Biryani and I felt like it could have been better. There are many other Indian restaurants that make far better Biryanis. Raita was served and it was a bit watery for me.
Overall, the food tasted nice, subtle and was not too spicy.
I decided to go to the washroom, and unfortunately it was dark — my cell phone torch saved me. The toilet was clean but they could have fixed the light.
When I came back and asked for the bill, they were in a massive confusion and it took almost 15 minutes in an empty restaurant. The waitress politely handed over a feedback form and I wrote an essay, she looked at me with an awkward smile, and said thank you.
The food was not excellent but pleasant. I enjoyed the live music. Butter chicken, chutney and chapattis stole the show. Raw Fish Tikka, and Tangri Kebab were total disasters. Am I going there again? Hmm, maybe yes if they start cooking their Tikka perfectly and once the light is fixed in the washroom.
Bijay Gautam, a fashion designer with his label Be Labels, loves to travel, explores new cuisines and tries cooking them at home. He is also a big fan of comfort food and loves cheese
A version of this article appears in print on May 19, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.