Indian winter on a plate

Punjab Grill executive chef Bharat S Bhat has whipped up another exciting tasting menu (B1,499++ for non-vegetarian, B990++ for vegetarian), which makes the most of winter ingredients and dishes that are found in India.

Begin the meal with an Indian-flavoured Tuna tartare bhel. Bhel is a common street food snack found throughout India. In chef Bhat's version, fresh tuna is cubed and mixed with chilli, coriander and chaat masala, and placed atop fresh mango for the tang that is reminiscent of bhel. A tasty dish though a tad lacking in seasoning for my palate. For vegetarians, the tuna is swapped for beetroots, which are in season.

The Galangal kaffir lime jheenga is a grilled tiger prawn marinated in galangal and kaffir lime leaf, served with a spiced coconut butter. A dish where a bit of the spicy prawn goes so well with a dollop of the coconut butter. I am not a fan of coconut in food, but that butter was worth having it slathered all over me! Yum! The spiced butter is also great on the veggie option of a chunky portobello.

Lamb leg is minced with fresh herbs and then filled with a mix of yoghurt and mint to form a lamb kofta. This is served with apricot chutney and is the next course. A neat take on the classic kofta with yoghurt and mint chutney. Vegetarian koftas are as popular in India as their meaty counterparts and here, the chef serves minced garden fresh peas as the veg option. To cleanse your palate and prepare it for the main course is the orange and fennel granite, which is seasoned with black salt.

"The inspiration for the menu was winter dishes like methi murgh of the Punjab region in India," says chef Bhat and the main course is a dish that is popular and has been on his menu before. The methi murgh is one of my favourite dishes at Punjab Grill and it is chicken breast that has been marinated for 24 hours in dried fenugreek leaves, coated in yoghurt and yellow chilli powder and cooked in a creamy onion-tomato gravy. Served with hot-from-the-tandoor methi naan. A hearty and satisfying main, even if you decided to opt for the paneer on the veg menu.

Dessert is done in classic chef Bhat's style, using liquid nitrogen. The Gulab mousse is inspired by the Italian tiramisu, says the chef. It's rose syrup with mascarpone cheese made in a siphon served with caramelised gulab jamun, lady finger biscuits and freeze dried rose petals. A pretty picture on the plate!


Punjab Grill, Radisson Suites, Sukhumvit 13 / Open 6-11.30pm / Call 02-645-4952, email reservations@punjabgrillbangkok.com.