Opinion

Khana Unlimited (Connaught Place)

Pros: Rs. 99 per person and Unlimited food*. Constant and Instantaneous service. Takes half-an-hour from start to finish.
Cons: Starters are not "great". *Sweet-dish is not Unlimited. Some small things... read on.

So this restaurant in Connaught Place which everyone's been raving about (that is, everyone who happens to be over forty years of age and who belongs to my parents' sphere of friends, relatives and general well-wishers). This is also the restaurant started by the fat comedian. That would be Satish Kaushik or Satish Shah, I don't remember which. They are both extremely fat and comedians, so it doesn't matter.

// Location
Those who wish to skip the review and just pop in there, it's located in the Outer Circle, opposite Kake Da Dhaba, or in terms of theoretically more recognizable landmarks, it can be found if you keep moving in the Outer Circle until you see the sign for Minto Road (which should come on your left). Once you reach that sign board it's just a little ahead. You can't miss it.
// End Location

We got our parking spot right in front of the restaurant, and our company of five instantly got seats while larger and Punjabier... erm... healthier-looking people were kept waiting outside (company of fifteen). If I had a stopwatch I would have told you exactly how much time it took between us taking our seats, them bringing the huge empty steel thaalis, water and "Welcome Drinks" (shikanji). There was a five-foot diagonal screen being shown by an LCD projector on the wall to our left, and on it, music videos (with loud-though-not-completely-uncomfortable volume of music) were being shown. Two gigantic banners across the walls proclaimed their motto in big, bold letters "Pay Limited, Eat Unlimited". Please don't mind the redundancy with "shown"

We were given menus, or we thought we were. Because what we were given was instead a list of the foods that we would be served. That was when I started loving it! This was the first restaurant that did not give you a book to read, and simply told you what was in waiting. No looking at price tags coupled with incomprehensible names. This joint's message clearly resounded in every aspect of its presentation and that was "Aao, Khao, Jao".

Within about fifteen seconds of getting the "menu du jour", the food started rolling in. First came the starters, which were basically a round mini samosa and a round mini vada, with three kinds of chutney, and some salad. If I recall correctly there were about six empty bowls in the thaali waiting to be filled. They didn't have to wait for long because the food started popping into them and within the span of a minute the plates were completely loaded with food. We were told that we just had to nudge a passing waiter if we wanted rice. Now the waiting system is also completely different in this "restaurant". No one actually waits for you. Unlike the localized waiters in all other restaurants, the servers in this place are "delocalized". Each carries a contraption which is basically three big serving bowls connected together like vertices of an equilateral triangle, which the server carries around, and they have a ladle (or kadchhi if you prefer) of exactly the same size as the katories (bowls) such that one ladle-full efficiently fills it up. Now, effectively you have three servers for each table. One guy has the kadhi, dal makhani and boondi ka raita; another has aloo shimlamirch (rassey waali), palak paneer and mix vegetables. These waiters keep wandering around. The first round of refilling is done automatically, while for the subsequent refills they ask you. We had rice as well. And Tandoori Rotis and Chapatis (Rotis) were served by a third person; also continuously. Once they think you look like you're two-thirds of the way through your meal, they automatically come and place a bowl of sweet dish next to your plate. In this case it was sayvaiyyan (heaven knows how to spell this in Latin-1!); it was beautifully delicious. And we asked for refills. Unfortunately they don't have refills for the sweet-dish (should have read the fine print!).

Once you're done, they somehow detect this themselves and silently start clearing the table. As with everything else, the bill (check/receipt) came within five seconds of the clearing of the table (which, once it starts, does not stop even if you kindly ask them to). Saunf is offered (actually we had to ask for it, but the manager smiled and said we didn't give them a chance to offer it on their own, though I thought it was the opposite and that they were almost shooing us out once we had eaten).

Meal eaten, bill paid. In less than thirty minutes, we were in and out. Efficient. Inexpensive (relatively).

--Karan

UPDATE: I checked. It's Satish Kaushik, the better of the two comedians. He's based in Karol Bagh, New Delhi. He probably figured since Ganguly had opened an eatery in Kolkatta and Tendulkar in Mumbai, it was his duty to umm open Khana Unlimited. 

Comments (20) Posted on at  

  • » I think everyone will visit the place after reading your review.However you did not mention anything about the taste of the food.
  • » or if non veg food is also served
  • » Yes both very important points I agree.

    Well, since they didn't have any menu, obviously their business model allows only for the lowest common denominator, and hence only Veg. food is served.

    The food is great. Everyone's description of it is "ghar ke jaisa", and I had a generally pleasant time munching it and took many refills. So yes, the food was also great.
  • » I too am looking forward to go there, eat and get out. I was looking for more on the taste of the main course which I found stated in the above comment.
  • » If it was "ghar ke jaisa", why not just eat at home?

    When I go out to eat, I usually want to sample things that cannot realistically be cooked well at my house.
  • » I gave the same argument to my mother, but what the heck!
  • » you had to steal thalis? that's saying somrthing about the speed!
  • » Thank you anamelessperson for your PJ with an adaptive pun.
  • » Bhavya I disagree with you,there are people in who'll die for home like food .I am talking about the people who don't have their family here and really love "Ghar jaise Khana".
  • » Of whom I am a very good example.
  • » Such people have an open invitation to my house, where they will get some of the finest examples of Ghar ka Khana, for significantly lesser than Rs 99
  • » Bhavya, that is impractical.
  • » my pj was about the thali robbery was a polite notice to you to fix your malapropism/typo!
  • » good for bhavya's open and endless invitation; here's to khanna unlimited. bon apetit
  • » Oh I'm sorry. My bad. I don't use the word "steel" very often :-).
  • » I went to the place today.The food was not so good maybe it was a sunday thats why.However ,the service was really good

    food rating 2/5
    service 4/5
    decor 3/5
  • » Hmm you're a tough grader. I see there is certainly a disparity in the food ratings, so yes it might be because it was that particular day or if you prefer very exotic foods because it was very simple khana there.

    If you're giving 4/5 still after praising the service, then I think you're being tough on them.

    Decor, yes there isn't much of it, unless you look up and see hanging upside down slabs of wood that looks like tables.
  • » Delicious food and inexpensive.
    Very courtious service and clean
    Well recomended
    Raj Dwyer
  • » I will like to visit and eat 'ghar jaisa khana' alongwith my friends who are coming to visit India from U.S.
  • » Hi,
    I have some very -VE feedback about this place 'Khaana Unlimited'!

    I TOTALLY DISAGREE TO KARAN's review. And I believe 'a decider' must consider to a genuine *-VE feedback* rather than 100 +ves!

    Today (Mar 27th) morning I gathered info abt this restra' through this blog only. and went blindly with my family.

    Here are the -VE points:

    1. 'Unlimited Platter' for 99/- says it includes 2/3-chutneys, 2-snacks.... sweet dish (limited).

    {{REALITY}} Chutney wasn't served (Waiter forgot). Sweet dish was 'Sabudana-Kheer'
    !!!!

    2. They charge 10% as service charge.
    {{REALITY}} What you get in service is:
    1. None of the waiter take care of bringing Finger-Bowl at the end. I just noticed it on neighbor's table and asked him. He brought bowls unwillingly. All waiters were too busy in gossiping.

    2. Restra' opens after 1:00 pm and they offer *ONLY* 99/- Full Platter and 59/- Full platter (for persons whose height is less than 100cms.)
    No Dhokla, No Biryani, Nothing. The only thing available is Rs. 99/- and Rs 59/- unlimited Platter.

    3. Test is just Average! Apologies Karan, but I believe u might have visited the place on inaugral day :(.

    4. Waiters were serving 'Pannah' and calling it as 'Nimbu Shikanji' :)))

    5. They don't bring 'Sau.nf + misri' with bill. Well! they forgot!
    See, they foget to bring Chutney, They forget to bring Finger Bowl and now, 'saunf+misri'.

    Well leave that!

    In shrt:
    1. Food is BELOW AVERAGE
    2. 10% Service charge for CareLess service is too much!
    3. Rest all who cares?
    4. The 'Performance Licence' which is hanging on the wall, just behind the Cash-Collector's head they have acquired has *Already expired* (I remember its date-of-expiry was 18th March 2007). What more do u need as an example of CARELESSLESS?

    My family's comment:
    "Kaushik ji agar dhyaan nahi de.nge to is tarah se ye log Bhatta baitha de.nge!

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