Monday, 30 December 2013

Punjab Sweet House and Grill

A box of sweets
Quite simply, the Punjab Sweet House and Grills Karahi Gosht Achari (Achari - cooked with pickle) is one of the best dishes I have had in a long time.

Firstly though, it was good to find out that the Punjab is open all day.  I have driven past before in the day, and always thought it to be closed, due to the shady canopies over the windows making it a little dark looking.  Also, as previously discussed here, the lack of websites/Facebook pages/etc makes it difficult - for me at least in this day and age of social media - to find such info (yes I could pick the phone up I guess!).  As such the Punjab Sweet House and Grill firmly places itself in the 'for people in the know' category.

And there were seemingly quite a few people 'in the know' when we arrived at about 13:00.  A couple of large tables of folk are already seated and waiting, and more were to follow.  As such, we did wait a little while for our food, but nothing serious, and to me shows that the food is being prepared properly and freshly, and with care and attention.  Indeed, the Punjabs open kitchen leaves the chefs nowhere to hide, and as we waited, rather dramatic flashes of flame could be seen from the toilers.

Karahi Gosht Achari

Me being excited
The Karahi Gosht Achari was immense.  The scent of lime pickle wafted into the dining room, and announced the imminent arrival of food.  The brimming karahi dish was placed on the table, and the sensory onslaught continued with an even stronger eye watering sour pickle whiff getting right into the nostrils, and also the vibrant glistening colour of the dish.  I could barely contain myself.  All the boxes had already been ticked, and all that was left to do was dive in and hope that the dish tasted as good as the build up would have suggested.  It did!  Initially yes there was a whack of lime pickle - judging from the smells we had already experienced, I would have been disappointed not to have been bowled over by pickle - and then, once the face contortions had eased, a little heat came through (subtle though), before a deep rich sweetly comforting flavour undercurrent flooded through - which I can only assume comes from slowly cooked onions and, what I guess was, ghee.  Now, there was a fair bit of what I thought was ghee, as opposed to oil, but certainly not excessive.  I'm pretty sure it was ghee, as the kind of 'butter on the turn' flavour was in evidence.  Really, really REALLY good.

Tikka Masala left Achari right
Big Tones Chicken Tikka Masala (Asian Style) (CTM) is worthy of note too.  Two CTMs adorn the Punjabs menu - and normal one, and an Asian Style one.  Big Tone went Asian Style, and it again was ace. Like a grown up CTM.  It was dry (no pink soup here) and tasted great with a strong grilled meat flavour from the charred edges of the tikka meat.  Very good.

Simple rotis and garlic naan partnered our meals and they were also good and fresh.

So all in all I really enjoyed the Punjab Grill. Following the meal, and quick visit the the adjacent sweet shop produced a small box of sweets as a treat to my work colleagues.  All at work commented on the quality of the product. 

Also noted Halwa Puri (breakfast) - so will be back very very soon.

Photo courtesy of Curry Heute