Venue: Punjab Grill, Select Citywalk, Saket
Date: 19 April 2017
Punjabis are known for their joie de vivre worldwide and the attitude reflects in their food which is known for its strong flavor and taste. Punjab Grill is holding a Punjabi food festival, Rangla Punjab, at their Saket outlet. We recently got to taste their specially curated menu for this festival. Since one of us is Punjabi, many of the dishes mentioned in the festival menu like Lobia and Vadi Wale Chawal were ghar ka khana and we were excited to see how these dishes are going to taste on a restaurant table. One of us is Bengali for whom almost all dishes were new and the excitement was obvious.
They started with drinks – Kali Gajar Ki Kaanji, Rabri Lassi and Kharode Ka Shorba. Kaanji tasted more like a Kaanji cocktail and had a churan like masala that somewhat overpowered the ususal kaanji taste. It was served in a glass size ceramic jar we call martban. It’s important for Instagrammers like us who click first and taste later to have a photogenic dish. We wish the drink was served in a transparent glass so that the lovely wine red color of the drink would show. The lassi was served in a huge brass glass and it was thick, buttery and heavy. Go easy on this for you want to keep space for rest of the food items. Shorba was warm, delicious and comforting.
Starters had Mutton Ke Tikke, Mutton Chop and in vegetarian – Tikki With Choley. The vegetarian starter stole the show. Probably the best tikki choley we have had. Crispy but tender tikki topped with fresh spicy chole, this was a dream combination for a true blue Punjabi. The other items were nice and we liked the fact that the mutton chops were not greasy but the Bengali in us found them terribly hot. Once again Lassi came to his rescue.
The culinary journey that started with good food and services almost came to a halt after they were done with starters. We had to wait for around 25 minutes to get our main course served. We couldn’t understand why. Since the menu was pre-decided, this long waiting time was unfathomable. We kept munching on our salad while we sent a few reminders to the staff.
For main course we were served Laal Lobia, Kacchi Mirch Paneer and Makhani Chicken. Lobia was just too spicy even for Punjabis. Moreover the tanginess overpowered the taste of the lobia. Paneer was fantastic and we finished most of our garlic naan and pudina laccha paratha with this dish. Vadi Wale Chawal were alright but were not what we expected. The rice had a cocktail of flavors and fragrances in it just like biryani, as a result the simple and rustic fragrance and taste of vadi could not shine through. It was a decent dish on its own but we believe if its called Vadi Wale Chawal, then vadi should be the hero of the dish. No Punjabi feast is complete without mentioning butter chicken. Makhani chicken was well cooked chicken in a thick delicious typical Punjabi gravy. Sadly two dishes that we looked forward to – Atta Chicken and Karela Keema were not served But we were almost full by now but we kept some room for the desserts.
We were served Gur Halwa and Fruit Cream for desserts. Gur halwa had gur instead of sugar as the sweetening agent. The fruit cream stuck out like a sore thumb. There was nothing Punjab about it and just didn’t gel with rest of the menu. Moreover It wasn’t sweet enough to qualify as a dessert. Nevertheless it helped saving on some calories.
Rangla Punjab food festival by Punjab Grill had many hits with a few misses. For Delhiites, who like heavy spicy Punjabi food and do not mind a cheat day once in a while, Rangla Punjab food festival is highly recommended.