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Lazeez, in true Shiraz tradition


THOSE WHO have lived in Kolkata and miss the scrumptious fare served at Shiraz there, have cause to rejoice now. For there is Lazeez, right in our midst, opposite Jyoti Nivas College, Koramangala. In fact, the joint has become so popular in a short span of two years that it soon plans to open its second branch on Commercial Street.

And the best part is that all this popularity has not affected the quality of the food. In fact, at Lazeez, one can choose delectable and affordable delicacies served in the Shiraz tradition of Kolkata. Young Khalid, from the Shiraz family, started the restaurant here.

The menu offers dishes such as biryanis, chops, qualya, tandoori as also roti, naan, kulcha prepared in the Mughlai tradition. For instance, it offers mutton/chicken rolls (Rs. 22), the kind made famous by Rizam's Kati Kabab, Kolkata. And the rolls that one gets at Lazeez are a delight. Mr. Khalid explains that he uses layered parathas. And true to his word, the scrumptious roll is succulent and filled with spicy mutton fillings and onions bathed in lime. The chaat masalas are used in the roll to give it that "tangy zing". There is mutton shami, as also chicken kati and mutton kati (Rs. 40). For vegetarians there is paneer egg rolls, aloo roll, aloo paneer roll, mixed vegetable roll, vegetable paneer roll, all priced between Rs. 20 and Rs. 38. Mr. Khalid recommends the Chicken biryani (Rs. 45), cooked in his family's traditional recipe. The delicious aroma of this dish can be exhilarating. The full tandoori chicken (Rs. 105) is perfectly made and goes well with the biryani, which is heavy with ghee. The chicken Irani (Rs. 42) and the chicken rogan josh (available on Fridays and Saturdays) show the chef's expertise.

Lazeez menu is quite extensive and you may need the chef to explain what some of the dishes are. For instance, its rice platter includes a dish called khuska (Rs. 30). It is nothing but pulao. The chaamp of mutton or chicken is made using garlic, ginger, chili powder, sugar, curd, saffron, and rose water. Chaamp is of Iranian origin and one has to have patience to hear about the amount of work it involves. Ghee is ladled freely and makes the dish melt in the mouth.

Then there is chicken rezala (available on Saturdays and Sundays, Rs. 38), which needs an extensive discussion about how this delectable dish comes about. The chicken bharta is boneless (Rs. 42) as is the chicken butter masala (Rs. 44).

The fish items include tikka (Rs. 58) and tandoori (Rs. 48). Murgh musallam (Rs. 135), raan or mutton leg kabab (Rs. 425), goat mussallam (Rs. 3,000, that's Rupees three thousand!) are also served here. The latter two items would feed about a dozen people, and one is required to give 12 hours notice and 50 per cent of the cost in advance.

For vegetarians, there is biryani (Rs. 42), mutter masala (Rs. 37), gobi peshawari (Rs. 32), palak paneer (Rs. 40), mixed vegetables (served on Mondays and Tuesdays, Rs. 32), paneer tikka kabab (Rs. 55) to name a few.

For dessert, there is firni, shahi tukra, and gajar halwa, priced between Rs. 15 and Rs. 20, to round off a sumptuous meal.

Parking is not a problem. An average meal for two costs Rs. 200 and advance reservation is recommended especially on weekends. There is also home and office delivery.

Lazeez can be contacted on 5084621, 4104271.

ARUN BHATIA

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