India is known for its rich cultural diversity. While there are scores of different people, languages and food in every part of India, there’s a mini India that resides in every city. No matter which Indian city you’re in, you’ll find a regional restaurant. I do try a lot of cuisines, but desi food is what I enjoy. Dal, Roti, and Subzi are what I love. And to experience north Indian flavours in Hyderabad, I visited Kangan at Westin Hyderabad.
Awarded as the best premium North Indian restaurant at the recent Times Food Nightlife awards, Kangan, Westin Hyderabad is one place that was on my list. Last weekend I was there for a family dinner and this is going to be my experience of dining at Kangan.
Indian Ambience at Kangan, Westin Hyderabad
Westin is one of the popular hotels in Hyderabad. Located in the bustling area of Hi-Tech city, there are scores of business offices around it. Hence, it’s quite a lively place with tourists and business professionals. The last time I was here was to celebrate Queen’s Birthday Party on an invite from the British High Commission.
There are multiple restaurants at Westin. Seasonal tastes are their all-day dining and buffet restaurant, Prego is the Italian restaurant and Kangan is their North Indian restaurant.
Kangan in Hindi means bangles, which I feel is a good name for a restaurant. In fact, an entire wall in the restaurant is decorated with bangles.
Not one of the largest restaurants in the city, but there is ample seating space. As you enter, on the right you’ll have live musicians playing Sitar and Tabla. Apart from that, there’s Indianess in the restaurant. From the uniforms to cutlery and upholstery, everything is spot on. Though there’s ample lighting, it can feel dim.
Indulge in North Indian Flavours at Kangan
As mentioned above, Kangan is all about celebrating desi food. While there’s no scarcity of desi Punjabi/North Indian restaurants in the city, Kangan provides a premium dining experience. At the helm is Chef Shakeel Ahmed who heads the team of talented chefs dishing out amazing flavours. I also got a chance to interact with him and he also obliged with some off-the-menu, special dishes for us.
Decoding The Set Menu at Kangan
In terms of the menu, they serve a la carte as well as a set menu. The menu has a decent mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. You’ll find a lot of regular dishes along with a few special ones. Talking about the tasting menu they have 4 variants.
- Kangan ki Jhanak – It has about 9 items from soups to desserts. It comes as separate vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Priced at Rs 1495++ (Veg) and 1945++ (Non Veg)
- Azmaishey – It has about 21 items with a mix of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. It’s a single menu and doesn’t have separate veg and non-veg options. Priced at Rs 2595++
- Jashan-e-Khaas – It has about 26 items with a mix of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. It’s a single menu and doesn’t have separate veg and non-veg menus. Priced at Rs 3295++
- Amuly – It is their largest spread with over 30 items. This is also a single menu with a mix of both veg and non-veg items and doesn’t have separate menus. It’s priced at Rs 3995++
One important thing to note is that only Kangan ki Jhanak is available if you’re fewer than 4 people. The rest three menus require 4 or more people. Though the pricing is per head, it’s the number of dishes and the mix of veg and non-veg dishes that they recommend more people on the table.
While my azmaish was to try Azmaishey, I was suggested by chef Shakeel and their manager to try Kangan ki Jhanak as we were only 3 people and all vegetarian.
So this post will be my review of Kangan ki Jhanak’s vegetarian set menu.
Kangan Ki Jhanak – Review
My first set menu experience was at Once Upon A Time, and that was the image I had in my mind for Kangan ki Jhanak as well. However, it turned out to be completely different. Here’s how it was.
We started with a Subz Noorani Shorba which was a vegetable broth with chunks of carrots and corn. It was drizzled with Saffron and was made with Ghee/Butter. It was very comforting, rich and creamy. Though not the best I’ve had, this was nice.
Next came the starters, we had two of them. Doodhiya Kebab and Palak Anardana Tikki. Doodhiya Kebab was slices of Paneer stuffed with cheese, garlic, and raisins. It had a sweet flavour and milky tones. The accompanying mint chutney was much needed and balanced perfectly. Palak Anardana Tikki was a green kebab stuffed with Pomegranates. It was rich in flavour and had a good texture and mouth feel.
These were the starters we had before we moved into the main course. There are 3 subzis on the menu – Nazbu Paneer, Shahi Kofte, Chui Mui Gobhi, along with Dal Kangan. However, Chef Shakeel added two more dishes to it, a classic yellow dal and aloo chokha. So we had 5 full-sized servings of subzi and one dal. Apart from that you can choose whatever type of rotis you want Tandoori, Paratha, Kulcha, Naan anything.
Talking about the flavours, Nazbu Paneer was my favourite. The green gravy was made from Basil unlike Palak and the flavours were new and refreshing. Even the Paneer slices were stuffed with some basil paste. Quite a new dish that we all loved. Chui Mui Gobhi was the next dish I liked. It was a typical Gobhi Aloo subzi that you make at home. Crunchy Gobhis with coloured bell peppers. Shahi Kofte was average and had a sweet flavour.
Custom-made Aloo Chokha was outstanding. It was exactly how my mom makes it at home. Just the masalas were a notch up. Even the yellow dal was spot on, with balanced flavours that my parents enjoyed too. Coming to my favourite dish of the evening, Dal Kangan. Surely amongst the best, I’ve had. It was rich, creamy and delicious.
There was also Subz Biryani on the Kangan ki Jahnak menu and we decided not to get it. We were already full and there was still a lot of food on the table. Instead, we opted for a tiny quantity of Jeera Rice. Chef obliged and served one of the finest Jeera Rice. I had it with Dal Makhni and as they say in Hindi, aatma trip ho gayi.
We were so full that we had no room for desserts as well. Instead of three portions of the desserts, we requested only one. The portion had Gil-e-firdaus, Shahi Tukda and Qubani ka Meetha. Along with that chef Shakeel added a portion of crispy Jalebi and malai. The Jalebi was nicely done, it was crispy and oozing with the syrup. And the hot, mellow malai was just perfect! The best dessert of the lot. The other desserts, I’d say could have been better. They were slightly high on sweetness and that’s where I feel it lost the charm.
Note: While I expected the quantities of everything to be limited to one small bowl, it wasn’t. There was a full serving of every main course dish and that was way too much for us. And this is where it was a surprise for me. While the quality is top-notch, the quantity is extremely generous too!
Final Verdict: Kangan Has Great Flavours & Offers A Premium Dining Experience
It wasn’t my first time here, but it was the first time trying the set menu and I’m bowled over. The food is very close to what we eat at home. The flavours are simple and the preparation is top-notch. More than anything else, my parents loved it and for once they were like “We should come back here again, but order less food!” And that sums it all up for me.
The set menu might look less on paper, but on the table, it’s just too much. Based on the pricing, I felt the quantity to be quite generous. Paid about Rs 7000 for a meal for 3 with some drinks included. In terms of the preparation, it’s nothing fancy. It’s plain, simple, ghar ka khana served at a hotel. And that’s what I liked about it. Surely going to recommend Kangan a lot again.
That’s about it for this blog post, let me know your thoughts on this post. Have you been to Kangan? How has your experience been? Let me know in the comments below, tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj, DM on Instagram or Get In Touch.