Considering how everyone can’t stop raving about Havemore and its butter chicken, it seemed like a good idea to have dinner there on the last night in Delhi. On Pandara Road, which is as famous for its market as its restaurants, Havemore sits among other big names.
The look of this restaurant is incredibly lame: tables all in a row, napkins coned on the white table sheets, everything neat and orderly, a television set showing a fixed cricket match on zero volume, and a fish tank. Havemore tries hard to come across as elegant, but no restaurant with a TV screen (even on silent mode) can claim to be a place for fine dining.
One look at the menu makes it clear that Havemore has been made to swallow your money. The prices are exorbitant; the dishes cost as much as they should in a five-star restaurant, and all Havemore seems to be is a decent eatery that became too famous. The vibe of the restaurant is unenjoyable – it feels like we’ve walked into a place we’re supposed to feel privileged in because everything is overpriced. The service is efficient, though nothing extraordinary, and the staff looks bored.
The kakori kebabs at Havemore are the most expensive ones I’ve had yet, but they’re a failure. They taste bad, to put it plainly, and they’ve got the texture all wrong. Kakori kebabs are supposed to be one of the two softest kebabs in the world, and what Havemore gives you is closer to dry seekh kebabs. Havemore should go to Kakori House to sample real kakori kebabs, and as a bonus they’ll also learn how galawati kebabs taste.
Next is the famous butter chicken, a dish that has been awarded for being the best at this restaurant, the pride and joy of Havemore. Very well cooked, no doubt, and very well balanced, but what makes this exceptional is what I fail to understand. The pricing, maybe? I’d like to know who gave Havemore that award. Paying through the nose for a dish that doesn’t particularly stand out and feeling happy about having eaten it because it’s so celebrated may be Delhi’s style, but Delhi might feel a lot happier (and satisfied) eating equally good butter chicken a little cheaper (Jafferbhai’s Delhi Darbar – and have their tikka biryani while you’re there) and outstanding butter chicken five times cheaper (Bostan – and don’t forget to call for the mutton soup).
That’s all we had at Havemore, and I’ve changed my mind about going back to try their vegetarian fare. Considering they can’t impress with what they’re known for, I don’t feel the need to wade through all their food to find something good to say about them. I hope Delhi has better butter chicken to offer me next time.