I remember writing a bad review about Punjab Grill last year and how I was not at all pleased with their food and service. Well, tonight’s dinner changed all that.
Punjab Grill’s latest outlet at Andheri West, hosted an exclusive “Connoisseur’s Experience” for the FBAI and Joash & I were really happy to be a part of it. I am so glad we didn’t miss this!
I knew I was going to examine each and every aspect of the restaurant, because I was constantly reminded of the bad experience I had had the last time I went there, but I decided to go with an open mind. For me an experience at a restaurant is complete only with excellent customer service and I’d like to give full marks to this outlet for that. Punjab Grill did just that, and of course, overwhelmed our taste-buds with delicious food.
It was nice to be welcomed with ‘gajras’. The room filled with the sweet smell of jasmine and everyone soon forgot their traffic jam woes. All of us had a copy of menu at the table, a scroll which had a pretty bow on it, just went to show the care that was taken in order to make the evening a memorable one.
We were very impressed by the “Summer Special Menu” and couldn’t wait for the food trail to begin. For the welcome drink we were served Jamun Iced Tea, I generally don’t like tea and this was a bit too strong for me. I would’ve loved a milder version of this, though it was commendable that the drink was all natural without any additives or artificial flavours. It looked like almost everyone else at the table enjoyed it.
I really appreciate it when restaurants make an effort to innovate and recreate simple dishes by adding their own blend of ingredients, trying different flavours to bring in their own twist to an Indian dish. Today’s dishes were all about that twist. We were served Pickled Olive Bhel, a fusion that I had never heard of before. Served in a cutting chai glass tumbler, with a small wooden spoon. It was a good attempt at bringing in variety but I think the olives were just too sour for the bhel and it was completely OK.
Next, the star of the evening, ‘Tandoori Guchchi, Mixed Lettuce Salad with Burani Raita Dressing. I never thought Morels could be made this way, they were cooked perfectly. I have heard of Kashmiri Guchchi pilafs that are quite famous; and I will definitely try to make this at home.
And then the entrees just kept on coming. The Norwegian Salmon Tikka in Saffron Aoili was something that we were looking forward to. I absolutely love the use of saffron in aoilis, and salmon has always been a weakness. A lot of restaurants fail to cook Salmon the way it’s supposed to be cooked and end up serving fish that’s overcooked or dry most of the time. It doesn’t normally take long to cook, so I was really interested to know how it turned out. When the waiter got us the Salmon Tikkas, Joash and I looked at each other as it smelled so good and the saffron made it smell irresistible. It was delicious! It was fabulously cooked, still pink in the centre, moist, and the saffron aioli just lifted it up giving it an extravagant oomph. It was great to see Norwegian Salmon in such a majestic form. Loved it.
Then, we were bowled over by another crowd pleaser, the Chaamp Taajdar. Lamb chops that were marinated for 24 hours and slow cooked to perfection. Melt-in-your-mouth kinda meat that fell right off the bone. Mind-blowing! I was very impressed with how the flavours were spot on. Everyone at the table loved it.
The Tawa Grilled Prawns in Achari Nimboo Marinade looked beautiful but we couldn’t enjoy it as it was just too salty. We also had the Tandoori Button Mushrooms which were OK.
Palate cleanser. Sweet and sour mango sorbet topped with grapefruit. Was really nice!
And now, the main course. Everything on the menu just looked so interesting.
We had the Rahrya Meat first, lamb chunks in thick gravy with Garlic Naan and Lachchedaar Paratha. It was a little disappointing as the meat wasn’t cooked properly. The course was redeemed by the Paneer Malai Pede, the best paneer preparation I have ever had in my life. Chef Pradeep told us that they came up with this dish as they wanted to present paneer in an unconventional way. It was soft chenna balls, served with delicious malai gravy. I never thought I’d say this as a non vegetarian, but the veg main courses won my heart that evening.
Next we had the Butter Chicken which was OK, well frankly I couldn’t keep my hands off the Paneer Pedes 🙂
I even tried the Tawa Asparagus and the Palak Makkai which were delicious too. It was my first time trying Asparagus cooked that way; it was different and worked well with rest of the dishes that were served.
Punjab Grill really need to improve their rotis and naans. They were extremely dry and crisp, and actually took away from us being able to enjoy the main course gravies to their full extent.
I didn’t really enjoy the Panjaratni Dal, it was just like normal dal tadka. We were also served the Bahurangi Biryani, which completely lacked the depth of flavours. It was a very weak dish for me. We ended our lovely meal with a flute of Thandaai. I was so happy Joash could taste this as it’s been his favourite off-late.
Chef Pradeep had a surprise for all of us. We were soon served the Summer Dessert Platter! It looked like a giant bento box slash sushi dessert platter with various elements served on crushed ice. It was different. There was fresh rabdi with pistachios, mango slices, lychees with caramel sauce, sugarcane granita, aamras, aamras infused with saffron and pistachios, jamun granita, fresh jamuns, rasmalai, checkered medley of melons and the most unique thing ever served, Jalebi Churros, which is Jalebi batter fried like churros, without the sugar syrup, so one can dip it in the yummy rabdi or aamras. It was a nice option for a group of 2-3 people to have a variety for dessert. The churros were a great idea I really enjoyed it.
What I loved about this dinner, apart from the great food, was the impeccable service. Full marks for that. I would definitely like to be back to try them out on a busy day. I was really impressed by how everyone at service was at their best, right from the receptionist to the busboy. It was great meeting Mr Deepak Bhatia – AVP Operations & Planning and other Managers, they gave all of us some really good insight about the brand and their journey of food. It was also great meeting the man responsible for the Connoisseur’s Experience, Chef Pradeep Khullar. He had a really good team supporting him, and it all reflected in everything that was served.
It was an event done well, and he managed to keep a roomful of bloggers very happy and content! Oh and by the way, how could we leave Punjab Grill without a round of the famous Paan Shots. With that we raised a toast to a brilliant and successful innings at Andheri West. I strongly recommend you try this outlet for a great experience. I’m so glad I was here; it has definitely changed my perspective of Punjab Grill.