Restaurant Review: The Ministry Of Kebabs Is In Session And It Doesn't Fail To Impress

The dinner-exclusive establishment in Kolkata works hard at living up to its name and offers delectable kebabs that you might want to go back for seconds.

Published On Apr 15, 2024 | Updated On Apr 15, 2024


If you are craving kebabs in Kolkata, you will mostly make your way to Zakaria street, and not to a fine-dining restaurant. The aroma wafting through the air, the sizzle of skewers on grills, and the bustling atmosphere is hard to replicate elsewhere. But here’s a place that might make you feel otherwise. We’re in the safe hands of chef Sirajul Rahman at the Ministry of Kebabs at Novotel, Kolkata. Well, while the name may put one in mind of the Ministry of Crabs, the cuisine and decor tell a completely different story.

We’re dining at a restaurant helmed by a chef who has been flown out to the United States to prepare a meal for our former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and George W. Bush. It’s natural to anticipate dishes that surpass expectations, and for most of our journey, they did.


To start with, we ordered a platter of kebab that came with a bit of everything. As you wait for the kebabs to make their way from the tandoor to your table, you have ample time to look up and admire the single-winged oyster mushroom chandeliers crafted from crushed lokta fibre paper. The visual display overlooking the poolside will definitely help to distract you till the kebabs are finally served. 


In no time, a mobile grill-on-wheels pulled up to our table, dishing out varieties of sizzling non-vegetarian kebabs. The tandoor-cooked tangri kebab with just the right amount of char to give that smoky edge was simply irresistible. The yogurt and cardamom-marinated prawn (Malai Jhinga), also cooked in the tandoor, ensured every morsel carried the delicate balance of flavours. Served with fresh mint and coriander dipping sauce, the Malai Jhinga had us saying ‘thank you’ after every dunk. 

But there was more. The Gosht Shammi was substantial, boasting a generous portion of meat and a delightful crust that coated the palate, complemented by a refreshing hint of lemony marinade. The mutton seekh kebabs, crafted from minced lamb, was fortunately devoid of the overpowering hints of spice that many kebabs are victims of, and came with flavour and texture that had us nodding in approval instead.

However, the true star of the meal was the Lahori Tawa Tali Macchi. As most of us know, there's always that risk of overcooking fish until it loses its delicate essence, but here, the fish effortlessly yielded to the fork's touch, its flakes gently separating, while the seasoning enhanced rather than overshadowed its natural flavour.


When that steaming bowl of 48-hour simmered Dal MOK arrived at our table, it was like meeting an old friend we didn't know we missed. Creamy, velvety, with just the right hints of cumin, garlic, and a subtle kick of chilli that tingles the taste buds, it's like a comforting embrace after a long day. Pair it with some uIte tawe ka paratha – the quintessential Lucknowi paratha – khameeri or roomali roti and you've got yourself a meal fit for royalty.

Finally, it was time for some gosht dum biryani. While we thought the biryani would be the real deal, it did not quite reach the dizzying heights of its kebab counterparts. The aroma hit first, but then it was more like reaching for the stars and grabbing a handful of stardust. Perhaps it was the texture of the rice that felt pretty dry or the lack of melt-in-the-mouth perfection of the meat that took a lot away from the dish, and while the flavours weren't exactly something to write home about, they were there, somewhere. Let’s just say, the biryani was not terrible but I have certainly had better elsewhere.

We wrapped up the meal with a delightful serving of phirni. It was simple, it was sweet, and it surely puts a smile on your face faster than you can say, "Some more phirni, please!”

Address: Ministry Of Kebabs, Novotel Kolkata, CF Block(Newtown), Action Area 1C, Rajarhat, New Town, Kolkata
Meal for one: INR 1,400 (excluding alcohol)

Photo: Ministry Of Kebabs