The Cosmopolitan of Spice – Punjab Grill Review
Bangkok Foodies Review – Punjab Grill Bangkok
Somewhat intimidated by Indian cuisine with its extensive regional varieties and unique spice characteristics, I went to Punjab Grill with an open mind and a fresh palate. Proclaimed as “North Indian Frontier (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Punjab) gourmet cuisine” and made Internationally renowned by their Marina Bay Sands outlet in Singapore, the “Lite Bite Foods” F&B group decided it was time to bring the brand to Bangkok and they chose Radisson Blu Suites as their resting place since February 2016.
Rather impressive – in terms of size – the restaurant layout is multi faceted. Rectangular shaped, in the middle is a raised platform for dining, wrapped by a low glass petition and on each of this rectangle are varying dining concepts: a bar, a lounge, casual group dining and kitchen view seating.
In terms of ambience, it’s luxuriousness with commercial tastes. Lots of browns with dim, warm lighting, accents of copper and gold and purple. We sat by the kitchen (of course) with a narrow window which displays 3 polished modern tandoori ovens. It’s a shame however the pass is hidden by a narrow divider where Chef Bharath Bhat presides over each dish on the pass. I had to squeeze-in the gap to capture him at work.
Chef Bharath Bhat arrives to our table with a warm introduction to our complimentary papadum and dips, and we were not privy to this treatment as he visits almost every table to present almost every dish. Although possessing a calmness there is a fire in Chef Bharath Bhat’s eyes and an exactness in nature which reflects his 5 star resorts experiences, from the Grosvenor House Dubai, Armani hotels to the St. Regis Bangkok.
Our Papadums with 3 different dips were refreshing and rich in flavour, particularly the yogurt and mint dip. The first dish of Dhokla with steamed chickpea sponge was an interesting but pleasurable encounter. The fluffy texture of sponge had a sour note and a little kick of spice at the end, moreover the Coconut chutney espuma, balanced this dish beautifully. I would have preferred a little less sponge or cut into smaller bites to refine this dish further.
The Avocado Bell (their signature), a reinvented street-food dish, was an explosion of textures. The puffed rice, pea nuts, creamy guacamole with the smokiness of the Chaat Masala and yogurt mousse will have you dreaming of a bustling, contemporary India.
But where Chef Bharath Bhat and the team exceeds themselves was with the Grill Chili (Canadian) Lobster. Although small in size, the lobster was extremely succulent. Marinated in chili garlic the beautifully charred lobster sat in a shallow pool of turmeric scented coconut sauce. This dish highlights the Chef’s aptitude for taste and complexity. The morsel of pomegranate curd rice contrast with the warm and creamy, spiciness of this exotic Thai-Indian dish, which is further testament of skill.
The Butter Chicken, the least complicated dish, satisfied the less. The pan roasted chicken thigh was juicy as expected but the sauce a little overwhelming in creamy richness. A degree of acid or an indescribable element was missing in order to round off the flavours.
I was converted back once the Chocolate Sphere came out. Gimmicky, much like some of their cocktails which were presented in a round vessel, with smoking vapor and dry ice encased. This Instagram-fave dessert however, tasted just as good as it looked.
Once the sphere is set alight to reveal the inside, you can taste the still-hard frozen chunks of ice-cream with the decadently sweet, bitterness of the Green cardamom scented chocolate sauce with delightful chewy bits of Pistachio kulfi.
The tasting menu at the Punjab Grill Bangkok was happily satisfying. It is one menu that doesn’t alienate those who are sensitive to spice but also accommodates to the local Indian palate. You just had to look around to see it were mostly Indian diners and for a tasting menu of 7 courses 1490 THB Nett is an absolute bargain! Most of all it rotates every month so loyal regulars never get bored.
Chef Bharath Bhat’s ability to expand the mind through one’s palate with Indian dishes of varying International flavours, and pleasing the masses on a fine dining level at the same time, is one he can proudly say is achieved.
Punjab Grill Bangkok
23/2-3 Sukhumvit 13, Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit, Klongtoey Nua, Wattana
Special menu on December:
Vegetarian Set Menu 990 THB / Nett per person 1750 THB / Nett including beer pairing
Non-vegetarian Set Menu 1490 THB / Nett per person 2250 THB / Nett including beer pairing