When you get invited to a Sunday dinner at one of India’s famous fine dining places, you don’t say no. Punjab Grill – Gourmet Fine Dining owned by Lite Bite Foods is currently having a ‘Rangla Punjab’ special menu. I was invited for this & though I’m not from a Punjabi household, I’ve always loved the cuisine. Of course I expected it to be heavy but I was waiting to see what’s different that’s in store for foodies like me!
Located in heart of Lokhandwala, the restaurant impressed me with its sprawling seating arrangement, high quality service & elegant décor. On one hand, I loved how the contemporary chandeliers lit up the entire wood-filled dining room and on the other, the clay pots, dhol & colourful scarves totally channeled the Punjabi mood. Despite arriving at about 7.30pm (& that’s considered pretty early for an Indian dinner) the place seemed to be already buzzing with a lot of people.
Apart from the main dining area, there’s a private eating space as well that’s available for bookings. There’s a buffet counter (which was non-functional at the time I went) and an open kitchen where chefs were showing off their culinary expertise.
I was politely greeted by the manager and brought to a cosy sofa dining seat.
The first thing that I was served was a black carrot juice blended with mustard called Kaali Gaajar Di Kanji. Sounds absurd? It tasted good though. This one was priced at Rs 125.
BUT I couldn’t finish the above drink because I had already ordered the iced lemon tea for myself. Very refreshing! Price – Rs 177
Then came the fun starters! We were served Macchi De Pakode (fish & chips made with sweet water fish). Being a bong, I could hardly keep my hands off this & it was good to see fish as a starter dish compared to the clichéd tandoori chicken. This one was served with mint chutney & chips. Price – Rs 745
This was followed by Lamb chops (Punjabi style) & Amritsari Baby Corn. Notice how there still wasn’t much chicken? Maybe mutton & fish are ruling the roost these days 😉
And then came this – Dahi Kebabs!
Yes, you read it right. Dahi Kebabs – this was the first time I tasted anything like that. Made with yoghurt cheese & cardamom, this one was served with mango chutney on top. Price – Rs 395
And just when we were about to finish the starters, (well, to be honest we couldn’t finish everything) we were served home-made butter, ghee shakkar (no I didn’t make this up, this was actually the name of a dish – it’s a jaggery paste) and a whole variety of achaar that apparently came complimentary with every meal served at the restaurant. There was a chicken achaar, mutton achaar and gobhi achaar!! Can you beat that? I’ve never gone beyond fruity achaars, so this was quite a revelation! And of course no Punjabi meal is complete without green chillies & raw onions. I just couldn’t wait for the mains to arrive!
The first dish that was served was this – any guesses what this is?
Well I couldn’t tell at all. So I let the chef unravel the mystery.
It turned out to be chicken (what I was craving for all night long!) but this one was different. Move over butter chicken and say hello to Kotkapure da Atta Chicken. Now this one is a restaurant creation & apparently inspired by an Afghan dish made out of a whole baby lamb. It took me a while to get used to taste, not the best thing I tried in my life but I liked the fact that I was trying something new. Price – Rs 545
This was followed by the Khoya Paneer, which was yummy! Once again, something different.
Price – Rs 525
Then came Maa Chholey Di Dal which was absolutely delicious – home-made daal & definitely one of my favourites in the mains. Price – Rs 425
And finally, there was the quintessential sarson da saag & makkey di roti – I was in paradise!!
Price – Rs 425
Of course apart from the above, we were served three different types of naan – red chilly, ajwain & pudina flavours. I didn’t fancy them much.
Finally a non-veg preparation, well again it’s mutton. This was kunna meat served in a clay pot, very tasty & surprisingly had a sweet flavour to it. Price – Rs 575
And just when I thought this was over, the waiter brought along a pot full of scrumptious Harey Choliya Da Pulao – I loved it! Price – Rs 325
Overall, the main courses had more vegetarian variety than non-veg (approx. ratio being 1:3) which was definitely a little surprising but not disappointing. But picture abhi baaki hain ….
There was Makhane Di Kheer which was essentially a type of rice pudding. Price – Rs 245
Masala Gur, which had a strong taste of ginger for some reason. I didn’t really like this one.
Gurwale Chawal, which tasted like sweet pulao made of gur. TOO FULL BY NOW!! Price – Rs 245
But the highlight of the desserts was this – Paan Ka Shot. A successful innovation made of betel leaves & vanilla ice-cream. This one is THE signature dish by the Punjab grill group that closes out every meal – it’s very refreshing after a hearty meal.
On the whole, I felt that the Rangla Punjab menu offers a good number options – more meat options in the starters & more vegetarian choices for the mains. Presentation was overall impressive, barring one/two dishes. One of the biggest draws for this menu is that it is relatively cheaper than its usual ala carte list. Also, the quantity is more than satisfactory. The festival will be ending on the 16th of March 2016. So, all those fond of Punjabi food shouldn’t miss out on this!
Ground Floor, Morya Landmark – II
Opposite Infinity Mall, Off Andheri New Link Road
Andheri West, Mumbai