Punjab Grill Juhu review – launches winter special menu

Punjab Grill

Deg Hot Pot- my favourite

Mumbai surprisingly is experiencing the chill of winters this January, unlike the past years where winters came and went without anyone noticing. The early morning fog and the evening nip in the air just reminds me of the autumns I spent in Delhi (Winters are freezing in Delhi). And, I am enjoying every bit of the current Mumbai weather for sure. This weekend, Punjab Grill launched their winter special menu in their Juhu restaurant and invited Mumbaigloss to be part of this occasion. Punjab Grill is a gourmet fine dining restaurant with many branches across major Indian cities. It was started by Indian food mogul Jiggs Kalra but two years back he sold it to Lite Bite Foods. They have another branch in Palladium mall in Lower Parel. Lohri celebration was also planned at the venue along with traditional dance forms like Bhangra and Gidda. They had also arranged for a bonfire for the guests to rejoice and to feel warm in the cool Mumbai weather. All in all, the ambience was reverberating with the festive fervor.

Punjab Grill Juhu

Ambience and entrance

The first thing Mumbaigloss liked about the Juhu Punjab Grill is that the standalone property is massive and at a prime location. Outdoor seating is comfortable and the inside seating has the best of the interiors.  The venue can easily accommodate 300 – 500 people. But there is no dedicated parking area. You need to park your car on the street ahead. (Valet parking is available.) We were received warmly by the waiting staff who directed us to an outdoor seating arrangement. The staff was attentive and efficient keeping a hawk’s eye on the needs of the guests. The seating area was gleaming with decorative lights and candles in addition to the tasteful floral decorations. Cane sofa seats with traditional colorful cushions were perfect to the theme of the restaurant. Though, the serving staff was having a tough time serving the person seated in the inside corner of the sofa. But still, I would say, they managed fairly well. The music played was Indian fusion, sometimes digressing to oriental world music. Over all, the ambience was apt to the theme.

Punjab Grill Juhu

Protibha Chakravorty from Mumbaigloss at Punjab Grill Juhu

Now, let me talk about the major attraction of the occasion – the winter special menu at the Punjab Grill and their innovative cocktails. I ordered for a Mahabaleshwar Strawberry Rossini (Chilled Champagne with fresh strawberry pulp) and Protibha ordered for Nashik Grape Martini (Fresh black grapes with basil and vodka). They looked great. I found my drink too sweet for my liking. May be, I was expecting more flavor and less sweetness. Though, Protibha loved her drink. Gradually, the food started coming in. First, they started with black carrot Kanji, a fermented drink prepared traditionally all over Punjab during winters. It is a mix of sour and savory taste with few spices to add up to the zing. I was nostalgic for a while as our Punjabi neighbors always used to prepare it and share it with us when I was a kid. (Baby aunty this one is a thank you for all the kanji, makki-ki-roti, sarson-da-saag and white butter you have fed me as a kid.) And, then came the sweet potato and star fruit chaat lightly smoked with apple wood. It was flavorfully different. I liked it. Kharaode-ka-Shorba or lamb trotter soup with fenugreek was bland. I was expecting some spices in the Punjabi delicacy. May be a bit of Kaali mirch would have made it a steaming hot cuppa.

Shorba - Lamb trotter soup

Shorba – Lamb trotter soup

Chukandar-ke-kebab – beetroot fritters, Bheja Masala (lamb brain gravy), lamb ribs roasted on hot plate were impressive. But the best dish for the evening was ‘Deg – hot-pot’ a lamb stew made with baby carrots, turnip, apricot and other winter vegetables. It was served with a traditional bread basket including chapattis made from bajra, spinach, makki (corn), etc. The stew was subtle yet packed a lot of flavors because of various vegetables and whole dry fruits used to prepare the light gravy. The meat was cooked to perfection and easily came off the bones.

Punjab grill

The spread, lamb with baby carrot from the stew, earthen pot containing Kanji and sweet potato chaat

I also liked their Bahurangi Biryani, a basmati rice preparation with various vegetables. An absolute treat to the eyes as well as the taste buds! Protibha was happy with the regular butter chicken and kali daal.

Punjab Grill Juhu Winter menu

Bahurangi Biryani, bread basket, kebabs and Bheja masala

Though, the vegetarians complained that the kali daal was bland. May be chef Gurpreet Singh has tried to balance the spices to cater to wider sections of their clients. Expats can easily indulge in these dishes without worrying about it being too spicy. The desserts included Bajre ki churi, millet roti and jaggery crumble garnished with lotus seeds and Chiroli nuts served with vanilla ice cream. I fell in love with their vanilla ice-cream. You all must be wondering what’s so special about the humble vanilla ice-cream. Well, it’s light as air, fluffy as cotton candy, with the right balance of sweetness and was perfect in every way. I wish they would have served it right at the beginning then I could have asked for a couple of more servings. Will I go there again? Yes. This time I plan to try their Palladium mall branch.

Punjab Grill desserts

The popular dessert – Vanilla ice-cream served in earthen pots

Pros – Lots of space, good ambience, good food. Cons – Restaurant is expensive. Average cost for a meal for two – Rs. 2000 to 2500.

More images of the property:

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Images via Punjab Grill

About MumbaiGloss

Parimita Chakravorty is an author, blogger, features writer and a communications specialist. She has written for various popular magazines and websites related to beauty, fashion, jewellery and lifestyle, including HAIR India, Femina.in, BeBeautiful.in, Hello, etc. She has also contributed to various youth blogs and magazines. Her book ‘Look Stunning At Any Size’ has been well appreciated and received by the readers. Currently, she is part of India’s leading IT brand and takes care of their internal communications. Parimita is also working towards bringing awareness about Endometriosis in India; a silent epidemic which is consuming a lot of lives. She manages a page ‘Endometriosis India Files’ where patients discuss their condition and diagnosis.
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