Nana does not want for Indian restaurants. It’s hard to walk 100 metres without bumping into a curtain–veiled joint offering Northern, Southern, or Central Subcontinental cuisine. Yet few in the neighbourhood can boast the kind of ambiance and originality that the recently launched Punjab Grill achieves.
The latest branch of an India-based empire of elegant eateries that reaches to Dubai and Singapore, Punjab Grill reveals itself behind regal wooden doors, emblazoned with its lion insignia, inside the Radisson Suites on Sukhumvit 13. Beyond the sumptuous entrance lies a dining space defined by dark wood and brick, white linens and cushioned chairs, and three copper-cast tandoors visible behind a glass partition. Such a clean and lordly setting complements the slight twists and turns taken on the classic Punjabi cuisine served here.
Led by Mumbai-born Chef Bharath Bhat, whose past experiences include helping to open the world’s first Armani Hotel at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and plying the kitchen at Michelin-starred Indego by Vineet, Punjab Grill brings the manifold flavours of the north Indian state to diners in abundance. Tandoori-cooked kebabs, including prawn (B900), chicken tikka (B450), and braised and char-grilled mutton (B900), are redolent of exotic spices, like carom and coriander seed. And traditionalists will enjoy the chef’s heart-melting butter chicken (B425) and aromatic chicken dum biryani (B475), cooked with green cardamom, mace, and rose water and eaten with a dollop of refreshing house-made raita.
But Chef Bharath’s deviations from tradition—in his impeccable presentation and service, for example, or a few foreign touches, like flambéed rum drizzled over tender, slow-roasted lamb leg in tangy off-red gravy (B1500), or a crab and lentil shorba in which steaming crab stock is poured from a teapot over claw meat at the table (B190), or an amuse bouche, of all things, of avocado papdi chaat, a crispy flour cone with a creamy guacamole-like filling—amplify the excitement of exploring another side of India: its rapidly developing five-star culinary world. This is even visible in the chef’s inspired desserts. Take, for instance, a churro-like paneer jalebi (B275), or a chocolate sphere that reveals cubes of kulfi when a hot cardamom-laced chocolate sauce is poured over the top (B225).
For all the vibrant flavours exploding and expanding on the tongue, and the skill Chef Bharath displays in revving up Indian traditions, Punjab Grill stands out as that rarest of institutions in Bangkok—a fine dining Indian restaurant. Better yet, it cleaves closely to Punjabi heritage, transcending stereotypes while achieving culinary perfection.
Radisson Suites, Sukhumvit 13 | 0 2645 4999 | punjabgrillbangkok.com | daily 6pm-11.30pm