|With Atul and Hardeep of Khane Khas|
When I was new to Bombay (as it was then called) my friend from college, Promita, who had come here a few months before me took it upon herself to educate me about the city.
We met one evening for drinks at Toto's in Bandra when she told me that she would take me to a new place she had discovered. "You get the most amazing tandoori chicken and black daal there".
The place was Khane Khas. A small non air-conditioned dhaaba-like place, with a few plastic tables and chairs, bang in the middle of Bandra.
Promita was right up the chicken and the daal and that night I fell in love with Khane Khas.
I went there later with my new friends from work. Most of us were out of towners staying in PG digs in Bandra. Khane Khas became our favourite eating joint in Bandra along with the now shut Thai Baan.
K and I went there while dating. We then got married and stopped eating out as a year of dating had left us short on cash.
We would cook chicken at home using readymix gravies on an electric oven that my mom in law had given us.
To go with this I would call for a plate of rice from Khane Khas. They would send it to our place at Khar in those days without questioning the small value of the order.
I then discovered the mutton biryani of Khane Khas and would call for it before Kakori House came up with its Awadhi biryani deliveries.
Over time, Khane Khas became a family favourite. We would call in from there more often than go there. Which explains why 80 pc of the sales of this 25 year old restaurant is through deliveries.
The folks at Khane Khas customize things for you - less masala, less butter, less cream - you can ask them for anything (barring no garlic in khichdi!). It became our go to place whenever we order in. First number to call when Banu bunks.
We are more fond of the non vegetarian stuff than the vegetarian. In chicken we love the tandoori chicken and the Punjabi chicken curry. The tangdi kebab is something K prefer. I am quite fond of the jeera chicken with a very mellow sauce too. The black daal remains a favourite as does roomal roti. My mom in law loves the paneer burjee from Khane Khas these days.
The service is warm and prompt even when we call on the phone. There have been times when I have placed the order and gone for a shower and the food arrived before I came out of the bathroom. I don't take long showers!
Over the years I met others at Bandra who all swear by the homeliness of the food at Khane Khas. In face I have called from it even when I have had a bad tummy.
I've taken people to Khane Khas when I do food walks in Bandra and the food has always been a hit.
A few days back I caught up with the owners of Khane Khas, Atul and Hardeep, to know more about the Khane Khas story.
Here's the video on our chat. Hope you like the video and subscribe to the channel.