Food review: Do you love chillies and chutneys?
An explosion of colour and flavours await desi appetiser lovers in Jumeirah Beach residences.
Let me make it known that no desi meal is ever complete without the two most delectable, unpretentious accompaniments; the chillis and the chutneys. They add zing to the blandest of food and only enhance the taste of the gourmet preparations. It was the interesting usage of these two items as the name of the restaurant Chilli & Chutney, Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort, Dubai that piqued my curiosity to sample a meal there.
The airy, spacious interiors, with touches of blues, yellows, and golds, create a warm, almost a Rajasthan-palace like ambience, especially with the larger than life portrait of a Rajasthani man in a turban, created by a UAE-based artist.
No surprises on what we started our meal with, a platter of popaddums and chutneys. The copper cutlery only added to the vibe, as we doused an assortment of popaddums, and selected our favourite off-beat chutney as the one made with labaneh and chilli, a perfect local touch to the meal.
Next up, well, who doesn’t like panipuri, call it by any name, puchka or golgappa, if you wish. Looking pretty atop shot glasses, this platter promises a rollercoaster ride for the taste buds, for the regular sour-sweet water gives way to choices of tamarind, mint, cumin, and Miranda (yes, the aerated soft drink) water.
Whilst your regular panipuri (the crispy fried dough balls) are filled up with potatoes and sprouts, these came overloaded (no complaints there!) with diced avocado, beetroot, etc. with a dash of sev (crisps made from gram flour) as the garnish. With a burst of flavours and contrast of textures, this one would surely go down as one of the best we’ve eaten in the city. The street food was surely the treat for the eyes, Instagram, and the tummy.
If as a non-meat eater, you’ve always wondered what it is about the Galouti Kebab that draws a cheering from foodies, then sample the as-close-as gets vegetarian version here. Subz Shikampuri Kebab, a platter of kebabs atop bite-sized crispy rotis (with cumin) came with the customary onion rings and well, the mint chutney. Though, you need not be toothless to relish these; the easy, tender, vegetables stuffed in baked pumpkin would melt in your mouth.
The mains did disappoint us a little, perhaps because the starters were a notch higher. The Chicken Dhaniya Korma, which was a preparation of cashew nuts and coriander gravy, had an overwhelming taste of the coriander. The Bukhara Kofta Curry, mashed potatoes and sweet dried fruit dumpling in tomato gravy was a tad tough to bite in. The Warqi paratha was flaky and did make up for an interesting bread choice. Will we return? Yes, for the starters mainly.