So here is a bunny that is not related to Hugh Hefner or his Playboy enterprise, yet can titillate your senses! It can still give you sleepless nights, change your mood to ecstatic, make you behave like a teenager and leave you craving for more. That’s the power of Bunny’s Tandoori, an irresistible British Indian culinary trip everyone should take by driving down to the JLT neighborhood.
If I could design my own version of menu for Bunny’s Tandoori, I would certainly use superlatives to define each dish.
‘Most delectable’ Lamb Nihari
‘Oozing with flavors’ Methi Chicken
‘Hello Hotness’ Fish Tikka
‘Subtle yet sublime’ Bhindi Bhaji
‘Yum Yum’ Paratha Lachadar
‘Innovatively Spicy’ Chicken Soup
‘Wouldn’t care to share’ Kulfi
‘Deliciously Creamy’ Chicken Jalfrezi
‘Most benevolent’ Chicken Saag
‘Tangy ’ Bombay Aloo
‘Rich & flavorsome’ Saag Bhaji
‘Homely’ Matar Paneer
‘Goodness gracious’ Gajar Halwa
Going quite often to Bunny’s Tandoori made me realize, how important it is to understand the food you are having at a diner. Thanks to its owner, Mr. Hussein’s hearty & passionate chats about his cooking methods, quality checks and food in general, we get to know so much that we wouldn’t have otherwise cared to comprehend. Like the atta (flour) he sources from a certain flour mill is top-quality, and the result is there to see (or taste). Even a naan or Laccha Parantha (a crispy multi-layered shallow fried Indian flatbread) is so soft and tastes so good at Bunny’s Tandoori! That’s the detailing that Mr. Hussein is quite finicky about. And it’s not just limited to the flour. The lamb he uses is Australian, since it’s the most tender and supple. The tomatoes he gets are high-quality, often of Holland. So on and so forth. You have to spend a lot of time with him to understand the nuances of serving great food.
There are not many dishes in his menu which I can complain about, being a regular there for sometime now. The vegetarian menu is charming, with the Bhindi Masala topping the list as it’s very simple yet tasty, pretty much home-style. Bombay Aloo are flavorsome, with the roasted cumins providing the tang on the top note. The Matar Paneer is again very simple and home-style, hence you wouldn’t leave with the guilt of eating out. If I were to make an ad for them, maybe I would use the headline – We’ve got the cure for your homesickness!
Moving on to the non-vegetarian menu, the dishes I’ve tasted so far have also become my favorite of sorts. They’ve got the best Nihari, while the Methi Chicken or Chicken Saag are to die for, and healthy as well. The Fish Tikka reminds me of roadside eateries in Delhi that used to serve such good spicy Fish Tikka. Even the Chicken Jalfrezi is nice and creamy, all the deliciousness of spices packed into one dish!
But the real USP of Bunny’s Tandoori is the adaptability of their food to their customer’s tastebuds. The credit goes to Mr. Hussein, who would get pally with you and try to serve you according to your palate. He even modifies his recipes to suit your style. Since the cuisine is British Indian, it does cozy up to the not-too-spicy notion, but Mr. Hussein knows how to balance the flavors according to the individual tastes. Like he spices my Lamb Nahari since he knows I like spicy food, he would dish up the Bhindi Masala adding lot more sliced onions which my wife, Saloni prefers. He even cooked a spicy Chicken soup, which is brimming with awesomeness on every slurp. On a wintry day, that soup has the power to get you jumpin’ around!
The desserts are so good that sometimes we order them before the food! The Gajar Halwa is very much balanced, not dipped in ghee (clarified butter) as other eateries do. The best of their kitchen is the Matka Kulfi which has a generous amount of pistachios, very creamy and reeks of Kewra. Every bite can transport you to heaven, such is the deliciousness of their Kulfi.
Though not every dish there is a masterpiece. The Prawn Cocktail was disappointing because I had PF Chang’s Dynamite Shrimp on my mind, and this Prawn Cocktail had an overdose of mayo. It tasted as if something’s wrong with the prawns. Other dish, which is even highlighted on their menu is Till Ka Salmon, which to my chagrin was an over-ambitious effort to do a fusion. Maybe having a very intense Indian palate, I might not have liked it, others might like it for its subtlety. I’d rather stick to their Fish Tikka any day.
Their menu is so vast that it would take a lot many trips to sample the dishes, or maybe a large gathering can save those curious trips. But once you’ve tried their food, you’re sure to come back. And yes, the reasonably priced menu wouldn’t pinch any holes in your pocket, though you may end up ordering too many dishes ultimately spiraling the bill. Bon appétit.
Rating: A delightful 4.5 out of 5