Saturday, 12 December 2015
Punjab Grill, Palladium, Lower Parel, Mumbai
It was a long and tiring day yesterday. But at least the promise of weekend was there and I wanted to start the weekend with a happy mode. Specially considering the fact that I have spent way too much time in hospital in past few months due to some health complications AND December is my birthday month, so it was time for a little celebration :) So off I went with my mom & sister to a good movie and then it was time for some delicious dinner. I had been hearing so much about Punjab Grill and been waiting to try it out. Turns out, yesterday evening was perfect time!
Side note-> A lot of my friends had told me it is one must-visit Fine Dine place in Mumbai. But then at some places,it is mentioned as Casual Dining! Honestly, I have trouble differentiating between Casual and Fine Dine, especially in Mumbai where sometimes even the most atrocious food costs a bomb at some places. A middle class family rather prefers to have street food in Mumbai than enter a restaurant most of the times because spending 2000-3000 for a family of 4 seems a norm now! So instead of hankering over such labels, I prefer to focus at the quality of the food, the ambiance and the service and if it makes me have a good,relaxing time, I am fine with being a little extravagant, I save up for my culinary excursions :)
So, we entered the gorgeous Punjab Grill in Palladium Mall at High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel, Mumbai. Ambiance is very royal, classy and soothing. I love the golden hues in the decor. And those beautiful chandeliers! Personally, I find it soothing and so did my mom and sister. It is quite a spacious place, with these private curtained seating areas which would be perfect for an intimate family gathering. In fact, I think, some kind of marriage or similarly auspicious occasion's talks were going on in one of these when we entered. Quite charming :) I always make it a point to have my dinner before 8 PM nowadays, so we went here by about 7.15 PM if I remember correctly. There was nobody at the door, which means we thought we were free to sit anywhere, but the moment we took a sofa seat,the reception hostess came running to tell us it was reserved. Umm, okay :D We did not mind it, but I wish she was there at the reception in the beginning itself. Anyway, that was a small thing. Service throughout the evening was impeccable to say the least. Water was refilled regularly without us having to wait even a moment, food came in quickly and was served elegantly, the staff regularly asked us if we were enjoying our meal and everything was as per our liking. Even our mom who is a tough person to impress said that the service here reminded her of 5 Star hotels like The Taj and Marriott :)
The food itself is very good. We tried Paneer Tikka Multani, Roomali Roti, Subziyan da Millniyan, Tarkari Kesari Biryani. To begin with, the portions are very good. My sister and I are complete foodies while our mom is a light eater. Usually, we need 1 starter and 2 main courses to fill us up but here even having 2 starters is more than enough :D It is a good thing that my sister and I were starving yesterday since we were so busy and had no time to have lunch, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to finish it! For someone like my mom, just the Paneer Tikka Multani starter was filling enough :) And it was also the best dish for me! I am a Paneer lover to the core, and this Paneer was so soft, so delicious, so perfectly marinated, I would have ordered it again if I had already not placed the rest of the order :D
Roomali Roti is my mom's favorite type of bread, whenever we are out for lunch/dinner, she asks us to find a place with good Roomali Roti in its menu :D She loved it here. Enough said. Subziyan da Millniyan is basically Mixed Vegetable or Kadhai Vegetables with a little difference. I think, usually mix veggies are made in a tomato based gravy, here it was a bit creamier so either they added cream or it had a cashew base. But it did not overpower the vegetables. I love the crunchiness of capsicum that is usually absent in most of the mix vegetables I have, either because it is so oily that independent veggies lose their flavor or because they pound and mash the veggies. Here,at Punjab Grill, the gravy's creaminess did not overpower the veggies at all! I love that :) I could distinctly taste the capsicum, beans, peas and paneer while also enjoying the lightly creamy gravy that went perfectly with Roomali Roti. Beautiful :)
Tarkari Kesari Biryani is the only dish that disappointed me. I guess, reading the word 'biryani' conjures to my mind the powerful Dum Biryani I have had at one of my friend's place at Eid. His mom makes this killer Biryani that has this beautiful fiery spice mix with veggies and this tinge of yogurt..well, you know how Biryani is supposed to be. Just try to imagine the veg version of it without the lamb/chicken. THAT is what I crave. Tarkari Kesari Biryani was more of a veg pulao. It was delicious no doubt, but it was not Biryani. It had a beautiful tinge of saffron, a divine fragrance, the Basmati Rice was deliciously cooked no doubt, but It Was NOT Biryani! I am no purist when it comes to food, but I want Biryani when it is written Biryani on the menu. And yes, Vegetarian Biryani can be as good as the non-veg variety, I know it because I have tasted it and even my non-veg friends have tasted it and loved it. So yes, this is one dish I am not ordering again and not recommending either. I am not sure if the non-vegetarian Biryani is authentic Biryani or not,but at least the vegetarian version is not.
Anyway, by this time, we were completely fill to the brim so did not order any dessert. In the end, they gave these beautiful Pan Shots that was cooling and freshening in one swipe. My mom wants to know if they serve it as a full fledged drink :D Lovely end to the evening.
While I spent almost Rs. 2000 on this beautiful evening, I think the quality of food (except the veg Biryani!), ambiance and top-notch service quite justifies it and I would also recommend it as a worthy Fine Dine place to everyone. (If they work on the Biryani part), I will come back soon :)