Delicious Northern Indian cuisine served with theatrical flair
After successfully taking over India with more than two dozen outlets—and then conquering Singapore, Abu Dhabi, and Jeddah—the popular Indian restaurant franchise Punjab Grill has settled into the ground floor of the Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit hotel.
The interior of the fine dining eatery is devoid of any Indian décor clichés, and instead oozes a speakeasy-lounge vibe, with exposed walls, dark furniture, dim-lighting, ornate Rajasthani mirrors, and lattice worked wooden panels. A live acoustic band by the bar ties into this theme very well.
In an over-saturated market of orange gravies and greasy naans, Punjab Grill brings an element of refinement to Indian food, through presentation, flavours, and cocktail-pairings. Weaning our palates to the delights of modern Indian cuisine is the brilliant Chef Bharath Bhat—whose resume includes stints with Michelin-starred chefs such as Vineet Bhatia and Atul Kochhar, as well as reputed establishments such as Amal at Armani Hotel Dubai, and Alila Diwa Goa.
As is the case with all Punjab Grill franchises, the menu isn’t standardized and this gives Chef Bhat liberty to serve dishes that are familiar to the northern frontier, yet surprising in many ways. We go with the ever popular Non-Vegetarian Tasting Menu (B1,490) which features restaurant signatures based on seasonal ingredients. The first amuse-bouche to arrive is the Avocado Bhel, a popular tangy and sweet Indian street food made with puffed rice crispies, peanuts, and chickpeas, tossed with mint and tamarind chutneys. Here it is served with an avocado guacamole, yoghurt foam, and potato crisps. Second up, a savoury medley of sweet potato and pomegranate mixed with tangy chutneys and topped with yoghurt snow. The offering comes shrouded in dry ice and makes for a dramatic Instagram click. To go along with this, restaurant manager Ashwani Kumar starts us off with an Indian-inspired cocktail, the Imli Passion Infusion (B295). It’s a zesty drink made using tamarind, passion fruit, Kaffir lime and tequila—served with a stuffed puff-pastry and a syringe with spiced tamarind water.
Next arrives a mixed platter consisting of Ajwani jheenga—prawn in marinated in yoghurt, red chilies, and carom seeds, with a raw mango green chilli chutney—alongside a soft, melt-in-your-mouth Fish Tikka with mint and coriander chutney and, lastly, Malai Chicken Tikka, poultry chunks marinated with cheese and spices, served with apricot and jalapeno chutney.
Soon after we dive into our main, Salli Botti. Chef Bhat ditches the traditional lamb cubes, for New Zealand lamb racks that are cooked to perfection, and serves it with saffron rice and Dal Makhani, a rich and creamy soup made with black lentils. This we paired with the Rasa (B295), an Indian whiskey-based cocktail. We mark the end of our culinary journey with the signature Chocolate Sphere dessert. The Cointreau and hot chocolate flambé when poured over a melting chocolate ball centered with saffron and pistachio ice-cream is yet another offering from Chef Bhat that is both theatrical and extremely indulgent.
By Reena Karim
Punjab Grill Bangkok
Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit
23/2-3, Sukhumvit Soi 13
Open daily: 6pm-11:30pm
Tel: 02 645 4952