I have never quite managed to like mutton in this part of the country because most places, including homes for that matter, tend to undercook the meat resulting in a rubbery finish laden with fat. Both of which I absolutely detest. So when a friend told me about this little restaurant in Shyam Bazaar which serves a Mutton Kosha to-die-for(in his words) I wasn't very interested and added it to my "maybe"-to-do-list.
Today, though, I found myself at the Shyam Bazaar Crossing (five-street crossing/'panch matha more') seeking shelter from the incessant rains when the aroma of spicy meat invaded my senses. My past experiences with my olfactory senses have generally led me to good if not great places, so with my nose in the air I quickly traced the smell to a little place just behind the police-chowki at the crossing and promptly made, or shall I say squeezed my way into the place.
First impressions - if you are coming here bring at most a friend along, maybe two, any more than that and you'll have to wait for quite a while. Seating, or what passes for it, consists of marble tables fixed to the wall in the back room with little stools so that you end up "facing" the wall while you eat.
## No chit-chat, no hobnobbing, just eat!
But with food like this who needs fancy table clothes and shiny silverware. Get your receipt from the front counter before anything else - a plate of Mutton Kosha and some parathas(mixed salad is auto-magically added to the bill of fare) and seat yourself on one of those dainty little stools. Let the waiter know that you have already cut a receipt for the same and he disappears into the front to assemble everything.
As the food arrives on your table don't be put off by the sight of the darkened meat swimming in a tub of oil. A little red meat every now and then isn't exactly going to kill you(calorie-counters please excuse). Breathe in the lovely aromas while arranging your plates for quick access. Done? Good. Now break a piece of the paratha, dip it into the gravy, add a dollop of chutney for the extra twang and insert. Let it sink in. Now chew.
## That's right - that's good, real good.
Order extra parathas as and when you need them and don't be afraid to ask for some extra gravy. Do as I did and eat nothing else after the meal, letting the spices swim in your mouth for the rest of the afternoon/night. No mint, no chocolates, no nothing. Just the delightful aftertaste of spice meat and fatty bits stuck between your teeth. Walk out with a smile on your face and a promise to return soon for more.
I'd give it five stars but the seating was a little too off-putting and I am feeling critical today, so what the heck, I'll settle with four.
The bill, if you must know, was a grand Rs. 82 for a plate of mutton kosha, 4 parathas and some salad. Now get going!