This Indian fine-dining contender boasts contemporary flair.
Fine-dining Indian restaurant group Punjab Grill has a dozen venues in India, plus locations in Abu Dhabi, Singapore (where it’s been hailed as one of the city’s greatest restaurants) and in Bangkok. Authentic yet modern, chef Bharath Bhat’s menu has creative touches, such as the avocado papdi chaat, a take on the classic Indian street-side snack with a taste of Mexico and the look of a California maki, alongside classics like chicken tikka and lamb chops cooked in real tandoori ovens.
Fine-dining Indian restaurant group Punjab Grill has a dozen venues in India, plus locations in Abu Dhabi, Singapore (where it’s been hailed as one of the city’s greatest restaurants by SG Magazine and CNNGo) and in Bangkok.
Authentic yet modern, Indian chef Bharath Bhat’s cooking draws on his experience at five-star hotels like Grosvenor House in Dubai and Armani Hotel in Burj Khalifa building, including stints as a sous chef at the one-Michelin-star Indego by Vineet Bhatia and Simply India by Atul Kochhar.
The decor attempts to be fittingly grand but lacks the restrained elegance of the Singapore venue. Art deco chandeliers, Mughal decor pieces, a bare-brick kitchen and Edwardian faux-wood paneling are a bit much for a single spot. Service is warm and efficient, with waiters capable of handling questions without running off to get the maitre d’.
The menu has plenty of creative touches, such as the avocado papdi chaat (B220), a take on the classic Indian street-side snack with a taste of Mexico and the look of a California maki—crispy without being oily, the papdi comes as a cone. You’ll also find classics like roasted tiger prawns (B900), chicken tikka (B450) and lamb chops (B900), all cooked in real tandoori ovens. Rubbed and marinated in yogurt and spices, with distinct notes of smokiness from the oven, the tender meats are a highlight. (Too bad the lamb is overcooked.)
That same oven is used for a la minute flatbreads (naan and paratha), which have the same beautiful charred aroma along with a pillowy texture. You’ll use them to soak up the rich, spicy curries whose creamy feel manages to be silky smooth without being oily (from B280 for vegetarian options, B650-900 for non-vegetarian).
There are also vegetarian and non-veg options for the tasting menus (B990/B1,490 net, or B1,600/B2,100 net with wine pairings), a good deal given the net prices. Buffet brunch on Sunday is B1,300 net (with soft drinks) and offers a laidback alternative to the fine-dining plating of the tasting menu.
Punjab Grill was immediately welcomed among top contenders like Rang Mahal, Indus and Charcoal. Still, we’d rank it below the top three. Not unlike the decor, Punjab Grill’s fine-dining tweaks feel a bit gimmicky amid what is otherwise a delicious and authentic meal.