Punjab Grill, located at The Venetian Village in Abu Dhabi, is a fine dining Indian Restaurant that never disappoints. Situated right opposite Khor Al Maqta, the restaurant offers a perfect scenic view, especially now since the weather is getting better. Quite perfect for almost anytime of the day, dinner would be a romantic option I’d definitely call in for a reservation.
Being the second time here for a Business Lunch Menu tasting, the key points to look out for is consistency, and I must say that Punjab Grill has definitely checked that box! A few derivatives off the main menu, the Business Lunch menu offers a three course meal with choices in each course at the price of AED 95 per person only. With the view it has to offer, the quality of service and food, this definitely is “Fine Dining at a bargain!” and a perfect way to size up a fine dining restaurant! Starting from October 2016, this menu is available on weekdays (from Sunday to Thursday) from 1pm to 4.00pm (drinks not included). Here is an overview of the menu offered:
Invited by the restaurant, it was quite a warm atmosphere to sit among fellow food bloggers and chat about the best food out there…or I should call it “the next best thing in town”. So we got down to business and called in for the mocktails (yes, cause I was driving that day). It does depend on how the weather is I suppose, but nonetheless, you need to order one of these interesting fusions…
If you read my first experience of Punjab Grill, I most certainly was craving for their Signature Rasa. I mean whiskey and cumin!! – Who wouldn’t want to take a sip of it again?! Aside from the fact that the cocktails are really impressive, I must say the same about the non-alcoholic mocktails as well. So we tried the Guava Masala which is a interesting blend of Guava Juice with a dash of tobasco and pepper. A bit spicy yes, but definitely refreshing! It kinda reminds you of a chaat of some sort. Downing this glass, we wanted to try the Aneeka. The Aneeka is a blend of Pomegranate juice and mint leaves. A bit on the sweeter side due to the addition of vanilla syrup, but I guess its a bit of a stronger version of a non-alcoholic Cosmopolitan.
As we kept downing the drinks we were invited to try out some amus bouche (or palate cleansers) that was to prepare ourselves for the food itself! Of course, no indian meal is complete without a fresh from the oven bread basket – full of papad and crispy rolls.
The fresh bread basket came with a variety of dips that included pickles, green (fenugreek) chutney and labneh (mixed with burnt garlic) – that was really delicious! The Amuse Bouche reminded me of a typical roadside chaat that consisted of puri stuffed with chaat and fritters topped with yoghurt and chaat masala (with sev obviously). It was definitely fresh, and quite difficult to stop myself from filling up with this to leave space for the main food!
Of course, with a lot of confusion I tried to pick one Appetizer and One Main Dish.
For the appetizer, I opted for the Dal ka Shorba again. Only because I wanted to gauge the restaurant on its consistency. I must say it did quite well! Served elegantly with a Spinach Fritter and a julienne or two of ginger, the hot dal is poured in front of you. I happened to take a small video of this dramatic scene (hehe).
Think about this….ginger, crispy spinach fritter (that softens as you eat) and rich, hot dal! Perfect isn’t it?
After a lot of picture-taking, and slurping of the amazing appetizer, we made our way towards the main course. But wait, there was palate cleanser that surprised us first. Mixed berry sorbet in a martini glass, this palate cleanser was quite contrary to the hot appetizer!
And so it made our way to the table…the main course. Now picking between the meat, fish or chicken was quite confusing obviously. The meat dish seemed to be a rich bowlful of a type of “Rogan Josh” I suppose. The chicken seemed quite interesting where there was an interesting combination of Murgh Malai and Chicken Tikka! However, that afternoon, the fish seemed to be the most interesting dish on the menu. Plus, it was one way of going light, I suppose.
u Trying out fish at an Indian Fine dining restaurant seemed a bit weird (to some people). However, it was the interesting combinations put on the plate that mattered to me more. A fillet of baked Nile Perch, served along with Porcini Korma, Kadhai Asparagus, Tomato Achaari and Green Apple Foam – Heck yeah! The fish was baked (in the tikka fashion) quite perfectly. With crispy and the signature (almost burnt edges), the fish was tender and moist inside. Served with a delicate helping of subtle Porcini Korma and a spoon of Tomato Achaari on a bed of Asparagus, it seemed like an entire meal on this one plate by itself! Of course, not to forget the touch of Green Apple foam which gave the dish this nice lightness and bittersweet touch that comes with green apples.
The tikka spiced fish comes a dash of mushroom korma that’s quite subtle in flavor to calm your palate. Overall, I do strongly recommend this dish if you do have it for a Business Lunch, and you don’t want something too heavy to put you to sleep when you get back to the office!
Well after a heavy meal comes desert right? Well not immediately, not for Punjab Grill. We were invited to try out another round of palate cleaners. This time, an interesting one…
The above palate cleansers, served on a bed of ice, is essentially Tender Coconut Juice in the jelly form. Of course, you can’t really expect a full flavor circus dance from a palate cleanser. However, this particular one takes the form of Tender Coconut Juice that’s jellified with the help of Agar Agar. Served on a spoon of honey and pepper with a hint of ginger it’s quite the right combination to aid in digestion. Moreover, since its served chilled, this definitely is the right way to end your meal (perhaps on a hot day!).
Alongside a cup of tea, we were left a bit confused (again) trying to decide between Rasmalai and Gulab Jamun. Being a fan of both, it was a good thing that they served us both!
The Gulab Jamun was quite nice in all ways you’d expect. Warm in the center, and served on a bed of sugar syrup. With a couple of dry fruits strewn around, this particular dessert comes with an interesting piece of biscotti. I wonder why?
Moving on…the Rasmalai as everything from smooth to creamy to decadent to rich. I guess some would say this was even better than chocolate! Now I didn’t expect a whirlpool of smoke flowing out of this. Neither did I want any fancy decorations or overflowing mason jars in my dessert. This was as perfect as it looks. Completely homemade, you can actually taste the condensed milk in it and discover that spongey cottage cheese! Oh it was beyond amazing!
With a cup of green tea to wash everything down, we continued with the conversations about food! Talking about our experience and the business lunch menu on offer. I’m sure I can speak on behalf of all the blogger that day, this deal is quite a steal actually! For AED 95 per person, you get an amazing sneak peak into Fine Dining. Beautiful service, fresh and amazing food, I’m quite sure I’m going to re-route all my business lunches here! This calls for an even better reason to dine here, since the weather is getting better by the day! I am definitely going back again!