Urban Parantha offers diverse Punjabi cuisine in Vytilla
The restauranteur behind this is the grandson of Pushpa Krishnalal who started Broadway-based Punjab House
A well-functioning family business is a good reason to get stuck in a rut. But, not for Aayush Dhupar, grandson of Pushpa Krishnalal who founded one of Kochi’s oldest and most popular North Indian restaurants in 1969—Broadway-based Punjab House. Instead of choosing a vocation as a restauranteur right after completing education, he chose to work in the IT industry as a project manager for over seven years.
All for the better, maybe? He returned to Kochi with fresh ideas for foodpreneurial brands such as Just Tiffins (a cloud kitchen turned brick-and-mortar-store) and Urban Paratha (a quick service outlet with small portions suited for busy corporate diners).
His latest venture is the second outlet of Urban Paratha near Gold Souk Grandé, Vytilla, but with a different concept. “We chose this location to serve areas that don’t have easy access to authentic Punjabi cuisine including Thammanam, Maradu and Thripunithura. Our menu focusses on chicken and fish platters and has some unique specials,” says Aayush.
A blast of colours has become the norm for Punjabi restaurants across the town, but Urban Paratha pulls it off with a contemporary touch. Alongside a wall of graffiti depicting characters with a contemporary outlook (what else do you call a Sikh Batman?), the 64-cover outlet has faux windows, a billing counter resembling a telephone booth and two tables set inside grills.
By the time we settle in, the outlet’s over-enthusiastic kitchen staff led by Devender Singh and Prem Lal have already laid out a table full of specials for us. Their mix-platter kebab is a good option if you like to experiment with flavours. My favourites are the perfectly-spiced seekh kebab and the creamy murg malai.
“We also serve some kebabs which are rare in this part of the country such as the karela and ujala variants,” informs the restauranteur. We thwart his plan to order one of their specials, but instead, try their well-grilled fish tawa roast and soft paneer tikka (made in-house).
Vegetarians definitely have been given due consideration while creating their menu, I must note. If you want to try something beyond roti with aloo mattar, you should go for the Urban Paratha special—three different veggie gravies with flavours ranging from sweet to masala-rich.
The biryani list is also exhaustive with six vegetarian and nine carnivore-friendly options. Our pick is the tikka biryani with long-grain rice topped with deep-fried onions and chicken chunks.
If you’re with friends, their family-style murg musallam with supple meat and thick-yet-subtly-spiced gravy is a must try.
We forgo the lacklustre dessert menu and chug down some homemade lassi before deciding to come back to try some of their desi-Chinese and numerous chicken dishes we missed.
Open from noon - 3.30 pm and 7 - 10.30 pm.