Hello my loves! Hope you’ve all enjoyed your weekend. I finally got the chance to share a somewhat detailed review of my visit to Punjab Grill last Tuesday. I’ve also shared a video on my stories (check the “Punjab Grill” hightlight) on Instagram. I haven’t done a proper review in months and I’m so glad that this restaurant is the one I started with. Punjab Grill has set a new standard for exceptionally good food and service. Here are all the reasons why..
It’s located in the Venetian Village at the Ritz Carlton Grand Canal. I haven’t been there before, which is quite a shame considering how long I’ve been living in Abu Dhabi. The beauty of this location lies in the fact that you forget for a moment that you’re in still in Abu Dhabi because of how the buildings are fashioned. It’s got many more restaurants which I plan to visit in the not-so-distant future.
The general vibe of restaurant was calm and somewhat romantic due to the soft lighting. You’ll get a good view of the canal regardless of where you’re seated. Another thing that caught my attention was all the Time Out Abu Dhabi awards that the restaurant has been racking up over the last few years. It all made sense to me in the end.
Since we’re still dealing with a pandemic, they have ensured to keep important measures in place. All customers have to go through a quick temperature check. Half of the tables and booths have been blocked out to maintain a safe distance between the customers. Other safety measures include sanitizer pumps placed on all the tables and designated doors for entry and exit.
One of the many things I truly appreciated is that they picked out the most Keto-friendly items from their regular menu and crafted an outstanding 5-course meal! I was told that this is done to accommodate customers with dietary restrictions, provided they inform the restaurant beforehand. They also make sure to check in with you about the level of spiciness you’re comfortable with.
We were served a bunch of creative chutneys along with rice cracker baskets. My favorite two had to be the walnut and radish chutneys. I steered clear of the rice crackers for obvious reasons, but my sister seemed to enjoy the combination.
First thing on the menu was the curried coconut prawn soup. I kid you not, and without exaggeration, it is the best soup I’ve ever tasted in my life. Even if you’re not following a low carb diet, you simply cannot miss out on this one. Perfectly spiced, unbelievably creamy and beautifully presented.
Next was the salmon Tikka with cucumber and berries Raita. There was also a large parmesan crisp on the side. I loved the contrast in textures and flavors on this one! It was packing a little heat, a bit cool and sweet all at the same time. The yogurt on the plate couldn’t have been more than 2-3 tbsp, so don’t worry about piling up on carbs.
Next on the menu was a classic chicken Tikka with grilled peppers, cheese stuffed mushrooms and burrata. If you think this combination is great as is, just wait until they pour in that incredibly rich Makhani sauce on top (plus it’s sugarfree!). It took it to a whole ‘nother level! So, so, so delicious!
We were already full by the time we were done with the chicken Tikka and totally forgot that there were two more items on the way. That’s when the shredded lamb roast and vegetable Couscous was served. It came in a serving pot that’s been sealed with some dough. As soon as they carved it open, we were hit with the most amazing aroma of spices. The Couscous was made out of grated cauliflower and cooked with caramelized onions, some cashews and raisins. A dangerous (but super yummy) combination for the Keto diet. I would tread lightly on this one. I did my best to avoid the raisins and onions, and mainly focused on eating the tender lamb strips. This was a truly phenomenal dish I wish I could’ve had more of.
Last but not least, the sugarfree Rasmalai to end things on a sweet note. Even though it was sugarfree, this beauty was still made with regular milk. I tasted a tiny bit and gave the remaining away. I thanked God that I was full and able to practice some form of self control even though it was super luscious and fluffy.
I must say that a big part of this magical experience was due to their excellent service. They made sure we were having a great time and checked in every now and then to see if we needed anything. Huge shoutout to Saurabh for his professionalism and putting up with all my questions about the food that was being served.
Best Suited For:
I feel like this restaurant would make a perfect venue for a classy date. It’s got all the right elements for it; delicious food that’s been plated with great attention to detail, low ambient music and the possibility of going for a nice walk along the canal after lunch or dinner (when the weather improves). I also recommend it to people who want to take friends visiting from abroad out to a fancy dinner, keeping in mind that this is the only branch in the Middle East!
I had the pleasure of briefly meeting the talented Chef Sandeep. Another cool thing you guys should know is that he took part in the “Chef’s Table” series in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Culinary Season, where he has prepared a 5-course menu featuring some of his finest creations. The price is set at AED 350 per person and the menu will be available all throughout August. There’s also another promotion going on for stuffed Kulchas, so If you’re not on Keto, you should go on ahead and treat yo’self!
You don’t have to be a connoisseur to appreciate the level of skill and effort that went into crafting each meal. I absolutely loved every minute of my experience at Punjab Grill and will be returning to try more of what they have to offer. I would like to thank the lovely Rutavi (@rutaagayire) for arranging for this visit and the Punjab Grill crew for the unforgettable evening!
Until next time!