RoadRomeo is the latest entrant in the Defence Colony space, one that already has a set of interesting eating options such as Social and Fat Lulu’s, among others. RoadRomeo is charting a different territory as it serves cuisines from two of the most delectable regions in the country: Kashmir and Hyderabad. If you’re wondering what the two cuisines have in common, let us paraphrase a nursery rhyme: here a chilli, there a chilli, everywhere chilli, chilli. Oh, and meat, so much meat.
The interiors are simple, comprising a bar and wooden tables with comfortable wicker and leather seating. Cutesy lamps hang from the ceiling and the food is served almost homestyle in china plates and glasses. Comfort is king here, clearly, and if the smells from surrounding tables are anything to go by, the emphasis is on the food.
We decide not to play favourites and sample both cuisines as much as we can, belts and waistlines permitting. So we start off with the Chicken 65 and Tabakh Maaz. The chicken is served in true street style, and one can almost hear the skin crackling. Crunchy on the outside, tender and scorchingly spicy on the inside, this one would have us reaching for our glasses after each bite, if weren’t so desperate to get to the next piece. The mutton, on the other hand, is more gentle but just as beguiling, chunks of meat redolent in butter and wazwan spices, each morsel softer than a cloud amid the mountains. Both dishes are polished off in record time.
Taking a breath, we plunge into the mains. Of the Hyderabadi, we order a Chicken Dum Biryani, of course, and a Baghare Baingan, while from the Kashmiri, we order Rista and Mirchi Korma with lachcha paratha, because we’re Delhi like that. The biryani is sublime, as it should be, a medley of white and yellowed fragrant rice grains with genteel pieces of marinated chicken, while the baingan, small and round, pack quite the punch with their spiced stuffing. But it’s in the Valley that we truly lose our hearts. Both as crimson as a dragon’s blood, the rista and the korma are just as powerful, the rista like the creature at repose, awake but not yet alight, while the korma is the beast in battle, simmering with red chillies and primacy as to make it a force of nature. After having slayed the beast and won, a decadently delicious battle, we are served a soothing phirni to massage our palates.
We cannot wait to return and take up spurs here again.
Meal for two: Rs 1,800 (including taxes, excluding alcohol)
Address: 47, Main Market, Defence Colony. 33106150