From Punjab, with love
Flavourful and succulent are two words that can describe the Punjabi Food Festival at Purani Dilli
It was a journey to the Walled City of India coupled with a gastronomical indulgence into authentic Punjabi fare. Chef Abdul Haleem - consultant chef - and Afroj Alam - complex sous chef at Purani Dilli - came together to curate a menu inspired by the culinary secrets of Punjab. Creamy and rightly spiced, the well-crafted fare was designed from age-old recipes using fresh ingredients.
The spread was appetising. Emphasis, unmistakably, was on quality ingredients cooked with due attention to perfection and flavour.
From the refreshing Aam Pudina and Pistey wali lassi to the array of steaming appetisers, there was no flaw even a gourmet could point out. The same could be said for the main course with the veritable Sarsoon Da Saag, Malai Kofta, Amritsari Machali, Makhani Murg, Rara Gosht and many more with an assortment of bread including Punjab's own Makai Roti. The walls of the restaurant adorned with various angles of the Jama Masjid gave the feel of dining within its confines.
Dubai being a confluence of cultures it is no surprise that Rahul Rupeja, operations manager, is cooking up a storm with food festivals. Kashmiri, Lucknowi and many more are set to impress.
Taste: The Amritsari fish with its crunchy, nutty coating and the soft insides, is not to be missed. Melt-in-the-mouth may sound cliched, but that was precisely how the Chicken Jahangari was, laced with the right amount of spices. The Makhani Murgh, again was a burst of flavours.
Ambience: Purani Dilli has two dininig areas, the more traditional fine dining area with live music and the Jama Masjid wall paper which truly lends a rustic, Old Delhi feel for families, and the more contemporary 'fun dining area' appeals to the younger crowd.
Service: If there is one thing the restaurant needs to look into, it would be the service. Of course, the staff was courteous, no complaints there whatsoever. But they could work on the time taken to serve the food, for we had to wait after each course.
Presentation: The white plates with the golden design were apt for the occasion with the terracotta kulhad to serve the lassi adding to the Punjabi feel. The desserts served in miniature saucepans aced.
Value for money: With appetisers from Dh40, main course from Dh70, Dh95 for lobster, and desserts from Dh30, it is a delightful steal, especially taking into account the perfect setting with live music which adds to the gratification quotient.
AT A GLANCE
Punjabi Food Festival (Nov 6 to 15)
Purani Dilli, Four Point Sheraton, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.
Cost for two: Dh250