Hey Foodwala’s… welcome to another episode of the trials and tribulations of Alfie Foodwala
2. Hankie Roti also known as Rumali roti also called Manda is a thin flatbread originating from India and Pakistan, popular in Punjab Pakistan and India. It is eaten with tandoori dishes. The word rumal means handkerchief in many north Indian languages, and the name rumali roti means handkerchief bread. In Punjab
Sometimes you can get a most memorable meal in the unlikeliest of locations, I was with my grandfather in the deepest darkest Muridwala and my grandfather had just taken delivery of his latest Toyota Carolla.
The car had a slight defect and we decided to take the car to the closest Toyota dealership, which was in Faisalabad, on the way we picked up Uncle Taj, who had one of the biggest bus companies in Pakistan and was a complete petrolhead.
We arrived at the dealership and in his inimitable way uncle Taj marched up to the dealer principles office, past a protesting secretary and office boys and barged into his office, the startled man looked up and was going to complain when Uncle Taj throws the keys at him and harangues him for selling him such a terrible product.
The manager scurried to his service department and told the engineers to stop all work and give my grandfather’s car priority.
But with the engineers and other staff, he was kind and courteous
He explained that to get the true measure of a person look at the way he treats the waiting staff and other services people.
The staff, in turn, appreciated the way Uncle Taj stood up to the hated dealer principle and invited us to eat lunch at the staff canteen.
As we stepped into the staff canteen we were treated to a cacophony of scraping chairs and animated conversation and the aroma of spices.
The chef brought over some chicken curry and romali roti, honestly, it was one of the best meals I have had, the chicken was lovely and tender and the accompanying broth was thin yet incredibly flavorsome. we dipped the fresh hot romali roti into the gravy and it was sublime.
The chef would keep an eye on our plates and topped up the hot shorba when it was going low and the roti wala would come over with hot roti, the meal was absolutely delicious yet so simple.
The romali roti can only be made by a true artisan and has to be whirled over his head to make it so thin it is like a silk handkerchief.
The Hankies restaurant is situated in the exclusive Montcalm Hotel in Marylebone Village, it was an elegant room with dark woods and leather giving a clubby feel.
The pleasant waitress first brought over the amuse-bouche, which was an intensely flavoursome vegetable soup, it had an incredible depth of flavour for something so small.
The Mantu Chat was first up, steamed chicken momo’s or as Hankies grandly called it chicken ravioli in a chili oil yogurt dressing and topped with lentil salsa.
this was a very unusual and innovative chat, the momo was soft and flavoursome and the chili yogurt was equally smooth and subtle, the lentils in the salsa was on the raw side of Al Dente, but altogether it was pleasant.
The Chili lamb chops are the signature elements of the Hankies Menu as well as the Romali Roti, The lamb chops were marinaded in ajwain and chili, although the marinading was spot on the flavour was not a million miles from the lamb chops from a standard curry shop.
The chop itself was fatty in some bits to a point that it was difficult to bite through.
The main event was the Handi Gosht with Romali Roti, the lamb was cooked in a clay pot (handi), the lamb was cooked to perfection, the lamb was soft and tender and the spices were cooked through without overpowering the lamb.
The thick rich gravy was on the right side of spiciness and was sublime, scooped up with the romali roti it was delicious, the lamb was tender enough for the delicate romali roti to pull apart.
The food at Hankies was definitely above average, the menu was innovative without showing, yet the signature lamb chops were average in my humble opinion.
The service was efficient and friendly.
In my opinion, Hankies was above average, yet behind the superstar, restaurants likes of Gymkhana and Indian Accent in London and Opheem in Birmingham
The Lamb and Chicken are both verbally certified HALAL, the Goat is not halal
Alcohol is served at the restaurant
No Pork is on the menu