Food from the frontiers
There’s a burgeoning crowd at Phoenix MarketCity on a Saturday afternoon, but it is business as usual at the fine dining restaurant Punjab Grill. As we are escorted to our seats at the corner of this packed restaurant, we speak with Rubeena Khan, the assistant restaurant manager, who tells us that although the old favourites have been retained, the menu has expanded to include some relatively new dishes such as dahi ke kebab (made from hung curd), raan-e-sikandari (lamb leg rubbed with cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaves), and their in-house specialty, the murgh tikka Punjab Grill (chicken marinated in a cumin, garlic and cheddar cheese).
As we wait for the specialities to arrive, sipping on our refreshingly cold lemon mint mojitos, we can’t help but take a peek at the lavish lunch buffet with an assortment of 20 dishes that is perfect for those who want a little taste of everything. However, the arrival of the raan-e-sikandari beckons, and true to its word, it is a royal dish. The succulent lamb falls off the bone, and the spice mix is spot on. The portions, however, are gigantic, so we recommend restraint while you order. From the appetisers, we also sample the paneer tikka multani, and the signature murgh tikka Punjab Grill that is both succulent and smoky. The stand out dish, however, was the dahi ke kebab, which provides layers of taste – crisp on the outside, creamy on the inside and not to forget, leaves a cardamom aftertaste, after every bite.
The starters can be quite filling, so we limit our main course order to some lehsooni (garlic) naan, jeera rice and a delicious murgh makhni dusted with dried fenugreek, making it the perfect accompaniment for the naan. Upon Rubeena’s insistence, we also try the raarhya meat, a rich combination of marrow filled shanks and lamb chops with kheema lamb cooked with the gravy – again a dish that speaks of the rich food that the North West frontier cuisine boasts of. Those with a sweet tooth must not miss out on the chocolate gulab jamoon, with a decadent chocolate centre (a pistachio variation is available as well) and the litchi ki tehri, made from shahi litchis and sultanas steeped in milk, sweet enough to give you a sugar high.
Open from 11 am to 11 pm. Meal for two approx. `1,500+ taxes. Details: 73586 46944