Tried & Tested Food Review
Having already made a mark with its mouthwatering non-vegetarian food, Punjab Grill, quite a popular face in the industry, has introduced a special vegetarian menu. Khevna Pandit stopped by to try the new menu to see if it lives up to its name
Punjab Grill spells out royal in every way, whether it’s the hearty food, refined ambiance or prompt services. And, if you’ve been here, you’ll know that it’s undeniably a fulfilling experience. However, a quick scan through their menu and you realise that it is, in fact, a meat-lover’s paradise. And so, for someone who’s a vegetarian (like me), it was an opportunity that knocked at the right time — and I just couldn’t pass up the chance to step in and try the vegetarian fare that the restaurant had recently introduced. Speaking of stepping in, the famous lion-embellished doorway led us to a grand, spacious seating area with heavy table sets spaced out some distance apart. We made ourselves comfortable and were thrilled that we were just in time for their live unplugged night!
Sips and soups
After a long, enjoyable conversation with the staff and the chef, we began dining. For drinks, we were served their mocktail platter, which consisted of a Fruit Punch (Rs 145), Blue Lagoon (Rs 145) and Mangorita (Rs 145). I am a fan of frozen margaritas, but the mangorita didn’t leave an impact. Neither did the Blue Lagoon. It had all the makings of a good drink, but lacked something that I can’t quite put my finger on! However, the fruit punch was a delight with every sip! Even though it was a simple blend of fruit juices and ice cream, it was smooth and had the right amount of sweetness, which made a great accompaniment for our starter. We were served the Daal Shorba (Rs 220), a soup made from a combination of three types of lentils, finished with coconut and topped with palak and channa croutons. We were told that it has been created to taste like chicken soup, and my dining partner was impressed at how similar it tasted. With a hint of coconut, the shorba was luscious and creamy and it warmed us up on the rainy evening that we visited. And besides, bobbing for croutons was a fun game and they weren’t chewy — so not quite like chicken after all!
Starters and chaat
Moving on, we were served a mouthwatering portion of Dilli Wali Papdi Chaat (Rs 195), Classic Dahi Bella (Rs 195) and Sprouted Dhal and Kala Channa Chaat (Rs 225). Let’s face it; you can never get enough of chaat. Not being biased, but the Dilli Wali Papdi Chaat, which had a crunchy burst of flavours presented with sweet yoghurt and tamarind, left me craving for more. Whereas, the Sprouted Dhal and Kala Channa Chaat was a mix of sprouts and chickpeas that you want to keep munching on. Before we could even fathom how full we were, another round of starters was served to our table. The Hara Bhara Kebab (Rs 395), Beetroot Ki Tikki (Rs 425), Soya Champ (Rs 395) and Malai Tofu (Rs 425) were elegantly presented on a platter. What stood out was the Beetroot Ki Tikki, which was soft and scrumptious. The Soya Champ was yet another replica of a chicken delicacy and was made to bridge the gap between you and your non-vegetarian friends. While you can’t really go wrong with the Hara Bhara Kebab, which is a familiar vegetarian starter, the Malai Tofu was bland when compared with its accompaniments.
The royal feast
We were exhausted from all the munching, but we simply couldn’t say no to the portion of Dal Palak (Rs 425), the Tawa Sabjiyaan (Rs 425), the Trio of Sautéed Mushrooms (Rs 525) and an assortment of Indian breads that came next. The graph that had been going upwards until then came crashing down abruptly. The Dal Palak did not match up to our expectations — we’d have liked for it to have been spicier. The Tawa Sabjiyaan was a great combination of five garden fresh vegetables glazed in pickled sauce, but the Trio of Sautéed Mushrooms seriously disappointed the mushroom-lover that I am. The good start with the appetisers majorly fizzled out with the main course and by the time we tried the Brown Rice Matar Pulao (Rs 425), we weren’t exactly hungry or hopeful.
Just before I stamped my average rating on the place, we were served two of India’s most loved desserts — Moon Dal Halwa (Rs 215) and Gulab Jamun (Rs 215). The halwa, sprinkled with dry fruits, was rich, and neither too sweet nor entirely insipid — and that’s what made it a great after-meal pick. And of course, even with a full tummy, we scooped out the baby-sized gulab jamuns, which were simply out of this world. Served warm, they ended our meal on a sweet note and we left with a smile.
I can’t say that my experience was entirely a good one, but the warm service, lively atmosphere and the aroma of Punjabi food makes for a lovely evening. And, isn’t that what we really want at the end of the day? We think the vegetarian menu at Punjab Grill is definitely a good start for leaf eaters who’ve been waiting for a reason to drop in. So, if you’re waiting for the right time, now is your chance to grab a table and dig in!
Where: Ground Floor, Morya Landmark – II, Opposite Infinity Mall, Off New Link Road, Andheri (w)
Meal for two: Rs 1,600
Alcohol served: Yes (pint of beer costs Rs 95)