Dishing out in wintertime

FOOD REVIEW

Dishing out in wintertime

The winter menu offers dishes prepared with minimal spices and traditional desserts rich in ghee  

While heralding the season of gajaks and peanuts, how can one give a miss to the ‘must  have’ sarson ka saag with makke ki roti and gurh to bring warmth to the body and relief to the mind? 

In search of the same, Metrolife’s quest halted at Punjab Grills in Select Citywalk, Saket. Overlooking the foggy skies from the rooftop replete with foliage, one gets to immerse in semi-classical music as the well-trained staff supplicates and serves what is required from the winter menu.

The restaurant invests a lot to evoke the true essence of Punjabi food, by serving Kaali Gajar Kaanji in earthen ware with slices of beetroot garnishing the distinct Punjabi drink for winter. Though there is sufficient use of mustard seeds, the presence of beetroot in the drink mars the peculiar taste that it gets after fermentation.

Its accompaniments, Shakarkandi Kamrakh ki Chaat and Chukandar ke Kebab, in form of appetisers are more close to the cuisine. The otherwise regular sweet potato takes an interesting twist due to its smoking on apple wood and acquires a rustic texture when tossed in tamarind with star fruit.
 Its counterpart, Chukandar ke Kebab, too has delicate texture but its preparation fails to balance the sweetness of the vegetable when hung curd and pine nuts are added. A similar letdown is Methi Chicken Tikka which has decent chargrilled chicken infused with fresh fenugreek, devoid of a pinch of salt.

It is the heavy Kharode ka Shorba and light Mushroom ka Shorba that enliven the taste buds of a Punjabi! Simmered on slow flame and tempered with fenugreek and coriander, respectively, both the soups are competent to be part of the menu.

The feast of the main course is then summoned to get to a final conclusion devoid of dilemma. In this list, lush lamb pieces, done in milk with abundance of fennel, in Tabak Maaz stand true to its original Kashmiri recipe with minimum use of condiments. On the contrary, the delicate mutton koftas floating in a thin gravy with winter vegetables (including baby carrot) are replete with garam masala and stand out as the star dish in name of Punjab Grill Deg ‘Hot Pot’.
Vegetarians need to beware since there are selective dishes on the card and the only main dish Sarson da Saag is not really impressive as its accompaniment Makkai Tava Roti which is crisp and thin sans too much oil/ghee.

The bread basket also incorporates a hard crust Bakarkhani and a sweet Sheermal which negates the presence of a dessert. However, it would be foolish to not to try the Gurh Wale Chawal and Bajre ki Choori. These are served with homemade vanilla ice-cream and Daulat ki Chaat (flavoured with few strands of saffron). Though both the sweets have ample ghee, it is the latter which recreates nostalgia of grandma preparing choori from rotis. Chef Gurpreet garnishes it with crushed lavender flowers to make it look fascinating and taste saporous!   

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