In a nutshell:
YUMMRAJ was pleasantly shocked after having ‘The Winter Special Menu ‘at Punjab Grill. Oustanding planning & execution.
Address & other details: Punjab Grill
Meal for 2: Rs. 2000 onwards
Cuisine type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
This is a review of special winter menu at Punjab Grill.
We have eaten at Punjab Grill several times since many years when it was launched by Celebrity Chef Jiggs Kalra. The chain was sold off & is now run by another Group – Lite Bite Foods. Be it the earlier days or be it post the new Management, we have always liked the food here but were never ‘bowled out by it’ in general. The special winter menu bowled us over…………We were pleasantly shocked.
The Saket Punjab Grill has two Dining Halls that r served from the same main kitchen. One is a very nice cool Rural look setup that is really nice & I thought we cud have a good time in. The other is a regular Restaurant Dine in set up. The ‘cool’ setup was pretty dark & hence we had to compromise & sit at the regular Dining Hall , so that we cud get great food pics for u.:)
The normal menu card was pretty elaborate & we were used to it in so many years. We straight away moved to the winter special menu & refused to even look at the normal menu.
The Staff members were pretty attentive & good. The guy serving us was specially good & really made a massive positive difference to our 2.5 hr stay at the restaurant. He was warm, knowledgeable & very efficient. Service in general was slow as they wud cook most of the food (if not from scratch) & serve piping hot.
Punjabi Sufi songs were being played in the background. Loud enough that u can hear it and silent enough that u can talk and not shout at ur co diner
We have been to many food festivals. Some r a planning disaster & somehow manage with good execution, some have great minds behind planning the menu but end up at average or bad execution by cooks. The food here at Winter special was type 3 – Great conceptualization & planning by Chef followed by super executions at the kitchen , resulting in an amazing culinary experience that we will remember for long.
Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:
We started with Kale gajar ki kanji. It was a drink made from black carrots. It was sour, tangy, hot & had a enjoyable fermented feel to it. It had perfect balance of seasoning. Mustard made it strong. Just Superb. Words r difficult to explain how good. So cutting short & rating it 4.75/5. Caution – If u r not a food adventurer / not used to this drink from childhood, u might not b able to appreciate this drink in the first few times.
This drink was served with 4 batons of kaali gajar fermented. The gajars were still bit crunchy and of course tangy to taste. An Aloo bonda was also served with the drink – It was good & was as perfect as it cud b.
Post the drink we moved to Shakarkandi Kamrakh ki chaat – Applewood smoked sweet potato & star fruit tossed in sweet & sour tamarind. This smoked dish was brought to us covered with a metal semi circular lid & then the lid was lifted up in style for serving. A waft of smoke rushed out.
Inside, we saw a bunch of sweet potatoes in tamarind dressing & chaat masala, garnished with a bunch of deep fried julienned potatoes that exuded smoky flavor in every bite.
The sweet potatoes were very balanced in terms of being tangy, sweet, sour & salt all at the same time. The sweet potatoes were paired with juicy cuts of star fruit and topped with sweet and sour tamarind dressing .Enjoyed this to the core. Rate it 4.5/5.
The next item that we ordered was Chukandar ke kabab – Crisp Beetroot Kababs with hung curd & pine nut paste stuffing.
The beetroot was naturally sweet but was not annoyingly sweet. The grated beetroot body with a hung curd and pine nut paste soft middle & very crispy outer layer made quite an interesting combination. Loved it again. Hung curd was not too sour as well. Interplay of sweet, sour & salt was optimum. Loved it again & rate it 4.5/5. As good as anything can get with the humble beetroot, I wud say.
At this time a firang family walked in and sat in the table beside us. They were given wet tissues as they sat down, by the hostess in saree – it was not given to us . Then we noticed that wet towels were not being given to other Indian guests who joined after we did!!!! Hello!!! Aparthied?????
Next dish was Tabak maaz – Succulent lamb ribs simmered in fennel flavored milk, finished on tava.
We have had many a Tabak maaz so far, at chor bizarre, Kashmiri kitchen, wazwan, ahad sons etc. The one at Punjab Grill was the softest, juiciest, was the freshest meat, had amazing fat between the layers and everything was great except that this was a tad less rustic than the other ones. First few bites expected rustic ness and were confused. Slowly the relative subtleness grew on us. Loved the rest of it very much. Rate it 4.25/5.
This was served with an excellent Akhrot aur mooli ki chutney. One of the best I hv ever had – intense, robust & just too good.
Punjab grill deg hot pot – Punjab Grill Signature Hot Pot with Mutton Kofta, Mutton Jus & Winter vegetables – baby carrots, shalgam & apricots.
The full apricots gave sweetness to the dish and were obviously naturally sweet when one wud bite into them. The kofta was one of the best I have had of late. It was super soft, melt in the mouth, intense in taste & flavor & lumpy as if hand pounded.
The meat was very soft & wud fall off from bone easily. Needless to say it was tasty.
The thick intense gravy had a great balance of sweet, a tinge of sour and of course salt. This dish again floored us. Rate it a super duper 4.75/5.
We were pleasantly shocked at how wonderful this culinary journey was . Wow. On very few occasions do many dishes r good at the same time.
We got packed Sarson da saag – slow simmered hand pounded mustard & winter greens with dollops of white butter. Wow. Really stood out from the crowd. As rustic & robust it cud get. Hand pounding endured that the saag was lumpy & uneven & that took up the texture hence the taste to a different level. My tastebuds gave a standing ovation to the interplay of spices with the saag. Takes super caliber to convert ‘ghaas phoos’ (of Cheeni Kum fame) into such an amazing dish. I wud have rated it 4.5/5.
However this was the only dish that suffered a small executional issue. It was over optimally salted (not to the level of being inedible). Revise down the rating to 4/5.
For dessert we were contemplating between the Rice dessert & the bajra dessert. Our server said he wud give us small portions of both to taste at the price of 1. So we agreed.
Gurh wale chawal – It was a dessert made from long grains of aromatic, soft, independent strands of basmati rice, gur , generous amount of ghee, garnished with fried super slim coconut slices, dates & chironji. Every bite was a delight. Outstanding. I do not remember having such a great gur based dessert in the whole of this winter. I rate it 4.75/5 This was served with ‘home made vanilla ice cream’ that we chose to ignore.
Bajrey ki choori was Bajra roti pounded with ghee and gur to a coarse powder. Served warm. Amazing . It had a burnt feel on he top layer & a super intense taste. It had a bit of salt & was predominantly sweet, but not over sweet. It also had a tinge of bitter due to burnt effect .
This was served with Daulat ki chaat. Very fluffy creamy feel as if entered the mouth only to disappear in a moment and leave back traces of mawa. Wow. Better than the one we recently had in the roads of chandni chowk.Once again rate it 4.75/5
Rating of food at Special winter menu at Punjab Grill averages out to 4.53/5.
The advertisement of the festival said this is till 12th Jan 2014. YUMMRAJ wrote on the feedback form of the restaurant ‘ Pls try to extend this by few weeks’ so that more people can try out this amazing food.