by ONEZA TABISH
My quest for savouring Indian street food was accomplished at 968 The Food Studio, a contemporary bistro serving classic Indian street food with an innovative makeover, right in the heart of Al Khuwair in Muscat.
The interiors are modern and bold, and the ambience screams chic-yet-casual, exuding bright vibes that add a nice touch to the whole dining experience.
The place is a one-stop-shop for lovers of street food. After exploring their extensive menu, I ordered the mirch malai chicken tangdi, gilafi seekh, chicken seekh parathas, tandoori chicken and keema pav.
The mirch malai chicken tangdi were a treat. A barbecued delight of juicy chicken drumsticks marinated in a creamy mix of hung curd, fresh cream, black pepper and cilantro. The chicken was grilled to perfection and topped with butter, kebab spices and a bunch of chilli flakes.
The gilafi seekh were cylindrically shaped lamb kebabs made of minced meat and flavoured with fragrant Indian spices, nuts and cheese, finished with a layer of onions (known as gilafi), tomatoes and capsicum. Delicately cut onion rings (laccha) and a spicy mint coriander yoghurt were served along with the gilafi kebabs, further enhancing their taste.
The slowly grilled tandoori chicken marinated in subtle Indian spices was scrumptious with perfect hints of smokey aroma. This was served with an in-house achari (pickles) mayonnaise.
Chicken seekh parathas were also a hit. Indian flatbread stuffed with minced chicken, chilli flakes, ginger, garlic, lemon juice and aromatic Indian spices such as coriander and garam masala. The chicken mix used for stuffing the flatbread was marinated and cooked in a tandoor oven overnight, making the texture smooth and flavourful.
The keema pav, which was a preparation of Indian minced lamb cooked with onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic paste and earthy spices was delectable. Served with lightly toasted Indian buns (pav) splashed with butter. The dish was surely reminiscent of the rustic, vibrant street food of Mumbai and it came very close to what’s served back in India in terms of flavour and taste.
For dessert, I tried their rose-flavoured kulfi (ice cream on a stick), and as expected, it was heavenly good.
The staff is courteous and attentive and the prices reasonable. 968 The Food studio is my new stop to satiate Indian street food cravings. I know I’ll be back for more next week.