Summer is a season I personally don't look forward to that much. Bombay becomes this hot sticky mess and stepping out of the house is like taking a second and sometimes third shower in the day.Travel becomes more difficult and working in the heat is just such a pain. Give me the monsoons and winters any day over the summer.
However one of my summer nights was made much better when I received an invite from the FBAI to attend a Connoisseurs Experience at the Punjab Grill, Andheri. We were invited to taste the new additions to their menu as part of their seasonal refresh.
We were Seated in their gorgeous private dining area which featured a bar as well. I got so busy talking to fellow bloggers; I forgot to take photos of the ambiance. However it was well lit and had a warmth to it. A nice place to hold small corporate gatherings or a extended family sit down dinners.
The menu which we were to be served had a healthy number of Vegetarian dishes in the mix and I was extremely intrigued to try some of them such as the Tandoori Gucchi (Morels) and the Tawa Asparagus. Its always interesting to see how modern Indian food can be prepared. Does it have to be molecular gastronomy ala Masala Library and Farzi Cafe or can it be something different? Reviews of Bombay Canteen make it seem like it has an extremely interesting take on Modern Indian food as well and I'm eager to try it out soon.
The evening started off with a Jamun Iced tea which had an excessively tea like after taste and wasn't appealing at all. As a positive there was no added sugar to the drink; on a hot summer day though give me my classics and I'm way happier.
The appetizers kicked off with a Pickled olive bhel which had a nice taste but seemed to be slightly stingy with the olives. It seemed like forced innovation to me and wouldn't be something I would order again.
The Tandoori Gucchi came up next and was for me one of the highlights of the night. The morel mushrooms held their shape really well and were intensely flavourful; their unique shape helping them keep the stuffing snug inside. The salad was fresh and well dressed with the tangy bhurani dressing on top. The crunchy bits of mathri to add texture were a thoughtful touch to the dish.
Next up were the Dahi ke kebabs which I have sampled before; this time around though they weren't as melt in the mouth as I remembered them. However it did take me a while to set up the shot so perhaps that was the reason.In terms of flavour there was a nice strong flavour of elaichi which paired well with the curd. There was also a beetroot tikki which came coated with a nice crispy coating and brought a big smile to my face. Full marks to the chef for the tikkis.
The last vegetarian appetizer to come our way were the tandoori grilled mushrooms; they were nice as far as tandoori grilled mushrooms go but nothing I couldn't get at my nearest grilled kebab guy. The star of the appetizers was definitely the Tandoori Gucchi.
The richness of the food at Punjab Grill was getting to us by that point. Thankfully the chef had anticipated that and presented us with a palate cleanser. The palate cleanser was a raw mango sorbet with pomello on top. Now ordinarily I run far far away from mangos in any form. I'm weird like that but this time I decided to give it a try and it turns out it wasn't half bad. The bitterness of the pomello made it seem like a sweet, sour and bitter bomb in the mouth which cleansed the palate completely.
It was then time to move on to the main courses for the night, we started off with the Tawa asparagus which I wasn't sure would work. I mean who thinks that a vegetable as delicate as asparagus would pair with our spices right? Mixed results on that count. The asparagus weren't wilted and still had the slightest hint of a bite to them. However despite having a slight warmth to them they seemed to become overwhelmed by the spices. Overall it just seemed a bit forced. Perhaps more time is needed to refine this one.
Next up was the undisputed star of the night for me, the Paneer Malai pede sabzi. I have never ever had softer paneer in my life. Melt in your mouth now has new meaning for me. I'm sure you guys might think I've gone a bit nuts but trust me when I say it was unbelievably soft. The gravy was nice and flavourful with mild flavors which let the paneer shine.
There was also a corn and palak vegetable which was unremarkable. The dal was strictly ordinary; my pick is still Bhagat Tarachand's Lasooni Dal any day of the week. It's always going to remain my gold standard for yellow dals; the same way the black dal at peshawari will be my gold standard for black dal till I have better.
The breads which accompained the mains were soft and pliable, the garlic naan particularly impressed with a strong flavour of garlic. Finally there was a Bahurangi Biryani as well but it seemed more like a pulao to me. One of the weaker dishes of the night in my book. There should have been a way larger amount of vegetables coated in gravy in the dish.
The last dish for the evening was the Summer dessert platter which is sure to delight any one who comes there. There were various elements served on crushed ice. The glasses and clay vessels contained: fresh rabdi with pistachios, sugarcane granita, two types of aamras, jamun granita and rasmalai. Fresh fruit included fresh jamuns, melons, mango slices, lychees with caramel sauce. However the most unique element of the was the Jalebi Churros, which is Jalebi batter fried like churros, without the sugar syrup, so one can dip it in the yummy rabdi or aamras. I decided to go for the Rabdi option and it was heavenly. I need to get my mom to make something like this for Diwali for sure.
Does this make you guys make you want to visit? Need more details about any of the food? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.
Bambaiya Veggie was invited to the event by the restaurant.
Contact Details: Phone Number: +91 9920302139 Address: Ground Floor, Morya Landmark - II, Opposite Infinity Mall, Off Andheri New Link Road, Andheri West, Mumbai