Having been a foodie since a young age, especially having grown up with delicious home-made Indian food, I have always been skeptical of trying out new Indian restaurants as I always tend to assume that nothing can beat my favorite Indian restaurants or my mom’s home-made cooking. But Shangrila Muthaiga’s new Indyaki menu caught my attention. And after a hectic summer (African winter) of assignments and projects, high school reunions, a family wedding and a whirlwind trip to London, I booked my whole family for the Indyaki dining experience one weekend. We hadn’t spent much time together and this seemed to be the perfect opportunity to do so.What is Indyaki, you may ask? I found myself asking the same thing a few months ago when I spotted it on ‘gram. Indyaki is the combination of cooking Indian Mughlai food in the Japanese Teppanyaki style, in front of a dining audience. Basically, it is live food show, where the chef cooks right in front of the diners. It is more than a meal at a restaurant, but rather a dining experience that forms a special relationship between the Chef and the guests.
We met at the parking lot of the Muthaiga Mini Market and walked into the Shangrila Muthaiga. The atmosphere was welcoming, with several tables already filled with patrons. The walls are adorned with embroidered Indian art pieces. The friendly staff led us to our Teppanyaki table that could seat up to ten people in a U-shape with the Chef working in the middle.The waiters placed the Chef’s Salad with a few assorted condiments such as the yogurt sauce and a mint chutney. The Chef’s Salad consisted of sliced tomatoes, onions, carrots, and cucumbers, best used to refresh the palate between the spicy courses.Chef Raju introduced himself and once he was set, the spectacle promptly started. First up on the menu was Aloo Tikki. This is an Indian version of a potato pancake. I have to say, watching these crisp on the griddle was too much for me as I could not wait to indulge in these. These Aloo Tikkis were phenomenal. Seasoned well, they were crisp and had a lovely crunchy bite. Course two down! Many more to go.While the Kushta Kebab were cooking on the grill, the Chef prepared the Paneer Rangeela. Now, I thought this was just a saucy version of Paneer Tikka. But this was paneer (diced cottage cheese) topped with onions and green peppers in a special secret sauce. Combining the notes of sweet and spicy flavors, the paneer had a refreshing twist to the creamy dish from a lovely lemony tang. My cousin, who is a paneer fanatic, was left in complete awe of the dish. I, on the other hand, am a harsh critic of paneer (due to some past horrid experiences), however, this particular dish won my hard-earned approval.The Chef then prepared the already-semi-grilled Kushta Kebabs on the griddle. These were barbecued mixed vegetable and cashew nut kebabs. They had a wonderful smoky taste with the cashews bringing in a nice nutty crunch to the soft kebabs. Course four down!Next, the Chef prepared the Dingri Tawa! This was a dish of spicy mushrooms cooked on the Teppanyaki griddle with some garlic and an array of exotic spices, that the Chef called “exotic Shangrila spices”. These were scrumptious and had a strong garlic flavor that complemented the meatiness of the mushrooms.I was beyond full at this stage, but I saw the Chef start basting the Brinjal Steak – eggplant slices, already marinated in a red tomato-based marinade and topped with a tasty green herby sauce. These were my favorite dish of the entire meal. The eggplant steaks were soft but incredibly well-seasoned, and honestly, I can’t really describe the flavor profile, but they were moreish. Because I was so full, I could only eat one piece. But next time, I’m saving space for this particular dish.Onto the final dish, the Chef cooked up some Vegetable Fried Rice that was served with Daal Tadka and assorted Naans, that came from the main kitchen. I was too full to even try some but everyone who did say it was nice, but the main stars of this dining experience were the items we saw cooked right in front of us.We washed down this exquisite meal with a Van Loveren Blush Rose, which delicately paired with the spicy notes of the food.Check out this incredible slo-mo video that Diva managed to capture!
We then finally ended the long meal with ice-cream for dessert. While it was nice to end on a sweet note, I wished the Indyaki menu consisted of a dessert made on the Teppanyaki grill.
I was blown away by this Indyaki experience as it made me appreciate all the hard work the chefs put in to cook our food and watching them cook it made the affair wholesome as it was literally from grill to plate. Plus, the food was delectable and unique from the other Indian food I’ve had before.
This Indyaki menu is only available at the Shangrila Muthaiga, and they have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian menus. The prices are reasonable (the vegetarian menu was Ksh. 1750/- per person) and there is plenty of food per person.
Lastly, have a happy Diwali and a prosperous new year, my donuts!
Photos and video by Diva Shah.