Review : Dil Punjabi (North Indian – Punjabi)
Level 2, Inorbit Mall, Hitech City, Hyderebad
With a name like that, who wouldn’t, in the quest of seeking authentic Punjabi food, get into any restaurant that spells ‘punjabi’? Well that was exactly what we, the famished few, went looking for.
The aqua themed restaurant is a visual treat. The elaborate glass showcases, rippling with water bubbles in a color changing background to the tune of red and blue is indeed eye catching. The restaurant has made a striking presence on either side of the Level 2 corridor of the mall, to be precise, on the way to ‘Chilis’ from ‘News Café’. Any newbie foodie would love to try the place out, for its fascinating aqua theme.
While the open air restaurant on one side looks like a regular affair, the indoor joint, on another side looks more attractive. Not just the aqua blue look, but the neat wooden tones, with attractively bright single bolt like table light are captivating!
Although the manager was cordial to us, the servicing by the regular staff was quite disappointing. While the first one did not understand English, the other one had to resort to a third one for the availability of each and every dish on the menu. After spending about 10 minutes haggling with each other, we decided to order the basic of all Punjabi food.
Once again disappointment is what we tasted! Despite ordering a very basic meal of butter chicken, masala papad, a non-veg starter, a few mocktails and naans, I don’t know how they still got it wrong.
The lassi was unlike an authentic one and it was slightly watery, reminding me of raita served in a glass. While the mint and ginger mocktail was good for its show, the pinacolada tasted more of coconut than of pineapple.
The non-veg starter was the only thing that was good. It was called ‘Nazmai murg tikka’, the restaurant’s specialty and it indeed was. The chicken tikkas were juicy and succulent. Mildly flavored with curd, we could taste the subdued flavors of whole spices and a little bit cream. However, I feel the tikkas could have been charred a little more to give that punching smoky taste.
Masala papad was fried instead of roasted, so it quickly became soggy because of the moisture thrown in by the chopped tomatoes. Personally, I would have liked it the usual, the roasted way. Plus, there was less of masala and more of chopped tomatoes and onions over it, which looked like salad served over a papad.
The biggest disappointment was the ‘Butter chicken’, which did not taste anything like the dish. In fact, the dish could be rightly called ‘Chicken korma’ rather than Butter chicken. It lacked that sweet and tangy flavor, so very typical of the butter chicken gravy. Instead, it was quite spicy and did not have anything in common with Butter chicken, except the color.
Since we were so disappointed with the overall quality of the food, we decided to ditch the dessert.
The only good thing is the potion size and the pricing, which is half of what is usually charged by an up market restaurant in a teeming place like a mall. The entire food came to about Rs.1400, inclusive of taxes, sufficing three people adequately.
Maybe it’s worth trying for a first timer, who is all keen on experimenting new places. However, authentic Punjabi food lovers should strictly stay away from the place. It doesn’t offer anything to the tune of authentic Punjabi taste.