Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Punjab Grill, Bangalore

Most of the times; we friends land up at a lounge or some place that served international cuisine.  At least this has been the trend since the past few months. Monkey Bar, Willy Vanilli, Toit and Bricklane Grill are a few names that come off my head. Indian food was something we missed and as we thought of where to go, one suggestion got all of us craving for this regional cuisine - Punjabi cuisine. Punjabi cuisine was something we friends had not tried in a long time. 2 restaurants that immediately struck our mind were Punjabi by Nature and Punjab Grill. Not having got a reservation at Punjabi by Nature we decided to meet at Punjab Grill.

Both beverage and food menu were quite impressive. In the beverage menu, Punjab Grill had a special section allotted to cocktails with a twist like Khooni Chameli (Bloody Mary with an Indian twist). The food menu left our mouth watering; for the delectable listing of soups, tandoori starters, curries, Indian breads, biryani and desserts. There is a vast spread of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian tandoori starters and curries one can choose from. 

What we ate:
Quiet surprising, a couple of us thought soup would be good ways to start with while the rest of us though alcoholic beverages would be the way to go. So it was Tamatar shorba, beer and Punjab Grill special cocktail; the name of which I do not remember. With this we also placed the order for a vegetarian starter and one non vegetarian starter. The vegetarian starter was Kurkuri – minced vegetables wrapped in dough coated with vermicelli.  Each of these Kurkuri sticks came in a shot glass partly dipped in a sweet-chili sauce. First taste of this sweet-chili sauce had me thinking – “Thai infusion in Punjabi cuisine; bole to - Punjabi cuisine mein Thai tadka”. Well.. Thai Sweet-Chili sauce is what I mean. Nonetheless, this kurkuri sticks were nice and tasted well with the accompanying sauce.

The non-veg platter was what two of us looked forward to. Portion wise, the platter was good for 2 of us with 2 pieces each of Chaamp Taajdar (mutton chops), Amritsari Machhi, Murgh Malai Tikka and Murgh Tikka Punjab Grill. The mutton and fish were really tender and flavorful. The fish was fresh but the mutton chops barely had any meat on it. Both murgh malai tikka and murgh tikka were delicious and succulent.

For the main course, it was Patiala Shahi Kadai Paneer for the vegetarians - a very common Punjabi preparation of paneer, onion, bell pepper and various spices succeeded in hitting the right spot. Kadai paneer. Non vegetarians opted for another famous Punjabi delicacy; Murgh Tikka Lababdar – a rich and creamy tomato based gravy with succulent and mouthwatering boneless pieces of chicken.
Patialashahi Kadai Paneer
Murgh Tikka Lababdar

A couple of Indian breads which included butter and plain naan were called for as an accompaniment to the savory gravies. The naans both plain and butter were a big disappointment for they were hard to break into bite size pieces and also quite chewy. As a result, these were sent back and tandoori rotis were called in its place which was quite nice but really huge in size.  

The vegetarians decided to call for a pulao from the rice section and the pick was chutney pulao. This was a mint and coriander flavored preparation of rice and potato chunks. This dish was served cold and when the staff was informed about this, it was heated in a microwave and served again. This was not a big hit on the table for it was too dry and lacked enough flavoring.

While we were stuffed to the throat and had a lot of food left over due to the large portions of the gravies and the huge rotis, my friends - a dessert lover called for a highly recommended gulab jamun stuffed with chocolate that we all shared.  This was a nice finish to a rather inconsistent meal.

The most awaited part of our dinner was the finale… Paan Shots! At the end of the meal along with the check, Punjab Grill serves a sweet paan liquified and presented in a shot glass to each and every diner. I can easily say this was quite refreshing and easily formed the best part of our dining experience. We all loved it so much that we asked for another round of this to be served to us.

The first look that grabbed my attention was the waiting area - a very nice set up where we were seated for a couple of minutes until the staff confirmed our table was ready to be occupied. The ambiance was really nice with plush interiors, well spaced out tables and sections made for a private dinner. Diners have an option to pick between indoor and outdoor seating. Though it was a very pleasant night, we picked indoors for this restaurant is located very close to the busy main road and we didn’t want to get disturbed by the traffic sounds and the air pollution.

While the food was good but lacked the WOW Factor! Service at Punjab Grill is the weakest link which I had heard about quite often before visiting the place. Still unexpected; I can say, “We got a firsthand experience of the service lapses right from the start when we waited for a couple of our friends to arrive. To begin with, we were not attended to for 15 minutes possibly based on the assumption that we’d want to start only after the rest of the diners on our table arrived. The food brought to us was cold or got cold as we waited for the accompaniments to arrive. The staff failed to educate us about the portions of the food served especially the naans and rotis which were king sized and each could feed at least 2 people who have an appetite as large as mine. Dessert was forgotten and the check was brought out to our table.

The boon is diners do not have to worry about parking which is a big hassle in Koramangala for Punjab Grill provides for valet parking service.

Pricing is exorbitant for the poor service and overall dining experience that Punjab Grill offers. An average bill for 2 diners for a starter, a main course, breads and dessert will leave your pockets short by Rs. 1500 to 1800 excluding other charges and taxes.

Quick Tips:
Something a staff member here fails to suggest - Portions of the main course are generous. Indian breads are king sized and can be shared.

Go for: Good Punjabi food, great ambiance, Paan shots

Do not go for: Poor service

Address: SJR Primus, Ground Floor, 7th Block, Koramangla (LandMark: Opp. Forum Mall), Bangalore
Phone Number: +91 80 40902161 / 62


  1. Based on the quality of the food you got, the service and the price. I wouldn't be going there... You need to introduce a rating system for your reviews.

  2. That's a good idea... Help me out on it?