The Ultimate Butter Chicken Guide | MF Guide
There are two kinds of people: those who like butter chicken and those who love it. We’re usually the latter, and we’ll tell you why: depending on where you eat it, the dish can shine for its chicken, or for a gravy that’s either spicy, or strong on tomatoes, or so buttery that it’s like eating sin.
Since we’re guilty of whetting your appetie, we’ve made a giant list of some the finest butter chickens known to us. We’ve included places from all over, so you’re likely to find one from your neighbourhood too.
Be ready to order a buttery, warm, wholesome serving of butter chicken from any of these places:
Pritam Restaurant, Dadar East
The rustic dhaba-style interiors are a welcoming touch to this restaurant, located in Hotel Midtown Pritam. Sit on a ‘khatiya’ if you visit in the evening to experience dreamy dhaba food usually served in generous quantities. Apart from a typical butter Chicken, the Tandoor Chicken is a good bet. Chura Paratha and Karari Roomati Roti are big hits here, apart from desserts like Caramel Custard and Gulab Jamun.
Quick tip: This is the rare Punjabi restaurant that’s open all day, from 11 AM to 1 AM.
Butter Chicken Factory, Lokhandwala, Pali Hill, Kemps Corner
With a promising Zomato rating of 4.5, this cozy and compact Bandra eatery packs a classic punch in its butter chicken recipe. Their version is tangier than sweet or spicy, but the amount of butter in the dish is exceptional. In proximity of neighbourhood icons like Mini Punjab and Khaan-e-Khaas, it also serves well-rendered portions of a 12-hour cooked Dal Makhani, along with a smattering of North Indian staples like Chicken Tikka, Tandoori Chicken, and Gulab Jamun.
Quick tip: The dishes are hearty, which is a polite way of saying filling enough to fuel a tank.
Zaffran, Lokhandwala, Kandivali, Malad, Bandra, Ghatkopar, Lower Parel, Vashi
This is a rare chain that still manages to maintain impeccable quality across its outlets. While it’s light on generosity in how much butter is put into the butter chicken, the meat is of impeccable quality. We’d bet they use some of the better suppliers instead of cheap, boring broiler chicken. The dish is more refined than others, with a light hand on creaminess but an emphasis on fenugreek and corriander garnish.
Quick tip: Order anything off the Indian menu here and the chances are you’re in for a treat.
A modern, subtle take on the dish, what Goila lacks in the typically over-buttered restaurant butter chicken, it makes up for in the finer details. The flesh of the bird tears apart easily, while the gravy shows a lightness not many chefs are capable of or comfortable with. Details like hung curd, Kashmiri red chillies, mustard oil, and even honey make this “Twitter-invented” dish a worthy modern upgrade, with the a remarkably well-balanced gravy.
Quick tip: To change things up a bit, try the Butter Chicken Biryani!
The minimally decorated outlet by chef Atul Kochhar finds a focus on the food of the Indian diaspora. And what could be more Indian than butter chicken? Made with pleasantly proportionate pieces of chicken, the tanginess in NRI’s version is what we keep going back for. Our only advice to you is not to get too distracted by the innovative menu because you don’t want to miss this butter chicken!
Quick tip: Remember to order off their interesting cocktail menu.
Copper Chimney, Worli, BKC, Fort, Thane
From all the branches, our favourite has to be the Worli branch for its decades of consistency. That the butter chicken here is the same every time we’ve had it since the late ‘90s is beyond commendable. The light orange creamy gravy here is a touch richer than most, and it’s this very buttery touch that makes the dish here so damn special.
Quick tip: Get as many kebabs as your stomach will accommodate, and maybe a Roomali Roti.
Papa Pancho Da Dhaba, Pali Hill
An unbelievably rich and wholesome butter chicken is served at the Bandra outlet of Papa Pancho. Coupled with the generously buttered naan, without which a Papa Pancho meal is incomplete, you’re in for an experience that’s as North Indian as it gets. If you have space in your stomach (or enough fellow diners), get the Rajma Chawal and Dal Makhni as well. The Punjabi Kadhi Chawal is quite a homely treat too.
Quick tip: In the heart of hipster Bandra, it is heartening to see people usually waiting outside Papa Pancho.
Urban Tadka, 7 Bungalows, Sakinaka, Kurla, Malad
A much-loved neighbourhood favourite, Urban Tadka has been making low-key waves from their dimly lit, kitschy Versova outlet since its opening. Dishes here are served in extremely generous portion sizes, making it impossible to conquer if you order more than one of anything on a table for 2. As delicately spicy as it is buttered-up, this butter chicken is most likely to transport you to a farm where you’re eating it with a glass of whisky under a starry sky.
Quick tip: We’re warning you: wear loose pants.
The Central Kitchen, Sion
While not everyone enjoys a tinge of sweetness in their butter chicken, we occasionally do. That Sion’s The Central Kitchen balances the mild sweetness of its gravy with a creamy and buttery texture and tenderly cooked, smoky pieces of boneless chicken. It’s known for being a homely, well-priced joint, and it delivers a very satisfying experience on that front.
Quick tip: We’re hearing good things about their Chinese menu as well. Try it and let us know?
From the name itself you know you’re in for a hard-core North-Indian affair. The butter chicken here is as authentic at the one you get in a dhaba in Punjab. Rich, creamy gravy, doused with butter and served with butter garlic naan and mint green chutney, makes for a hearty Sunday afternoon lunch.
Quick Tip: You want to get the paan shots to wrap up your meal.
One of the first things you need to know about this restaurant is that it’s always full. If you want a chance to savour their utterly, butterly butter chicken reserve a table in advance. Believe us, it will be added to your list of must-try butter chicken gravies in the city. Also, their food presentation is pretty darn innovative and on-point.
Quick Tip: Do order the Kashmiri Chilli Duck and the Stuffed Kulchas too.
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Known to be one of Bandra’s most elegant and stylish restaurants, Arth serves modern cuisine using traditional cooking techniques. Chef Amninder Sandhu uses her mother’s recipes and puts together a beautiful dish for you, proving that a meal outside can still taste every bit as good as your mother’s home cooking.
Quick Tip: If you love experimenting with food, try the Gosht Ka Halwa, it will be a memorable experience!
The Sahib Room & Kipling Bar, The St Regis, Lower Parel
The St. Regis’s North Indian restaurant serves lip-smackingly delicious Mughlai cuisine in an extremely luxurious setting. A little heavy on the pocket, you can spend your bucks on their rich, creamy butter chicken gravy that has a balanced proportion of chicken pieces to the delicious thick gravy, just how we like it!
Quick Tip: End your lavish meal with the betel leaf flavoured Kolkata Meetha Paan ice cream.
This is pretty much the perfect spot to revisit the glamourous old-school side of Bombay. The formal dining space has changed little over the years, whether it comes to an elegant, dimly-lit décor, or their classic Indian menu. Expect the butter chicken gravy to be prepared in an indulgent fashion and served with fluffy butter naans that will blow you away.
Quick tip: Head here for a family lunch on Sunday.
Khane Khas, Pali Hill
A much-loved local favourite, Khane Khas is known for serving extremely flavourful butter chicken in a low-key, simple setting. We are already dreaming of their mildly-spiced butter chicken gravy coupled with roomali roti and tangy, green chutney.
Quick Tip: Head here early to avoid the long queues.
At a typical North-Indian restaurant like The Great Punjab, we always like to stick to our family’s favourite order. butter chicken with butter paratha is the way to go here. Team this with a chilled glass of Chaas and get ready to head to gastronomical heaven.
Quick Tip: Satisfy your kebab-pangs here, they have a wide array to tease your taste buds.
What are some of your favourite butter chickens? Tell us the comments below!
Written By Misbaah Mansuri and Nidhi Mehra!