Restaurant Review: Innovative Indian recipes at Punjab Grill

Dubai - Relish the cuisine’s richness and colours


Purva Grover

Published: Wed 3 Nov 2021, 2:43 PM

Last updated: Thu 4 Nov 2021, 5:47 PM

When you are from the land, you assume the role of a critic of the cuisine, and that’s one reason why sampling Indian cuisine, for me, comes with baggage — read, awareness about traditional recipes, experience with sampling authentic flavours, and well, knowing how to cook a decent fare. So, you could imagine the expectations with which we walked in for a lunch at Punjab Grill, The Oberoi, Dubai. And well, Chef Sandeep Ail’s innovative, colourful and delectable creations not only left us impressed but also guaranteed a second visit; specially to devour the dessert, Paan Ki Rasmalai, a bowl of classic cottage cheese dumplings flavoured with sweet betel leaf palate cleanser.

No, we didn’t eat in that order, we started with the salad, Tandoori Apple. If you thought that only meat can taste good when chargrilled, then you’d be surprised how good can marinated apple slices taste when served with burrata, walnut and raisin. Talking of fruits, the Watermelon Slider as an appetiser, with watermelon foam as the garnish on the fruit cube loaded with sprout chaat was the perfect small bite before the main courses arrived. Dakshin Chicken, which interestingly came with curd rice, was fried chicken crusted with Kerala papad; now how could one go wrong with this unique combo?

As we took a little break before the mains, we absorbed in the ambience, which was enhanced by the unique selection of music, including the playing of numbers like Endless Stories by Daniel Masson. Now, I never thought I could bring myself to bite into a Raw Banana curry (peel included), but I did and liked it, if not loved it! The kofta was crusted with the peel and deep-fried, giving it, in the chef’s words, a ‘sea urchin’ look. The Garlic Naan prepared like Khameer was a good partner for the Bhaati Da Murgh, which was chicken drumsticks stuffed with minced chicken and spices, and a base of labadar sauce. Will we go back? Yes, for another gastronomic treat for the stomach and soul.

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