Serving food with dollops of love and affection
The spell of heavy rain in Delhi-NCR saw us turn to Punjab Grill for our meal, and the outlet delivered
Though not many in the metros and cities are likely to be aware of the concept of a ‘rainy day’, for the uninitiated, this was the chhuti or ‘official holiday’ everyone would get on the day it rained cats and dogs. I have heard many a stories from my uncles and aunts who, back in the 50s and 60s, experienced this. And while we were thinking that the unique concept had died down, I saw it revive a few days back when Delhi-NCR received an unannounced spell of heavy rain. How? Simple – the lady of house declared that as it was a rainy day, she needed to enjoy the weather than make pakodas and chai to be followed by dinner for us. So, it was Kitchen Bandh at our home.
But then we had to have dinner so we turned to our in-house food aggregator, my younger daughter. In less than five minutes, we had the option – Punjab Grill. She also informed me the restaurant, after mesmerising foodies in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru, is making its mark in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok and Washington DC. And that most recently, the chain has opened three more outlets at Worldmark 65 in Gurgaon and Advant and Gaur City in Noida. We opted for home delivery and started debating on what and what not to order. Finally, after much deliberation, we finalised on Malai Broccoli, Dahi Ke Kebab and Tandoori Chatpate Aloo from the vegetarian and Mahi Tikka, Raunaqeen Seekhan Chicken and Kebab Platter in the non-vegetarian Starters’ spread. From the Mains, we ordered Kesar Malai Kofta, Martaban De Aloo, Palak Chironji & Mushroom Tadka, Punjab Grill Kulhad Meat Curry, Chicken Changezi and Laal Maans along with some garlic naans and lachha parathas.
As the delivery time was three-quarters of an hour away, I took to the search engine to know more about Punjab Grill and found it to be the flagship brand of Lite Bite Foods Pvt Ltd and that it was opened by Amit Burman and Rohit Aggarwal in 2008. The menu, I discovered, was curated by Executive Chef Sareen Madhiyan. While I was busy reading about Punjab Grill, the food was delivered before the promised time ie in less than 45 minutes. Now, this was fast.
I was soon to find that the helpings were generous, were packed perfectly with no spillages and more importantly, were piping hot. Remember, it was a rainy day and the weather had turned a bit cooler. The only miss was the packing boxes which couldn’t be used to reheat ie they were not microwave-friendly. But one chose to ignore the same as soon as the boxes were opened and you let the aroma of the magical dishes let in.
I must admit each of the dishes seemed to be created with dollops of love and affection. Though I had forgotten to leave instructions to make it less spicy and less oily, they all tasted perfect with only the non-vegetarian dishes from the Main section had a bit more oil than expected. What took us all foodies at home by storm, literally, were Kesar Malai Kofta and Chicken Changezi. Full marks. Though we could have ordered the desserts too, we chose our local kulfiwala for the same.
Impressed to the core after a hearty meal, I connected with the restaurant to compliment them, only to strike a quick conversation with Chef Sareen. “I learned the art of cooking from my grandparents while growing up and it later evolved into passion. Witnessing the culinary culture abroad and learning the cooking from my home gives me learning of recipes which are amalgamations of home-based cooking style and also progressive techniques. The idea of curating recipes at Punjab Grill was simple as I wanted to create food which is preferred by all generations,” he said.
While I was taking the last bite of the kulfi, I got a call from the Punjab Grill Brand Manager Armaan Aggarwal who chose to connect after my positive feedback. “Not everyone does that,” he told me, adding there are five more openings of Punjab Grill lined up in the next six months across the country. “We are planning to open 100-plus outlets by the end of FY’27-28. We aim to be the leading North Indian F&B brand with the largest footprint,” he said.
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