Punjabi Dhaba tasting
Ate at punjabi dhaba as part of our ongoing wedding catering tasting of Indian restaurants.
I know it might not seem like an obvious pick, but our friends were interested in bracketing the low end.
We've eaten there several times before, but this was a chance to try a lot of dishes at once.
first the winners:
Chicken Tikka Masala excellent
which is interesting because:
Chicken tikka by itself was bland, in need of salt at least.
But when put in the Masala sauce it was delicious.
special chicken curry. delicious stewed flavor.
Saag paneer. good. Hadn't had it before, I think.
mix of mustard greens and spinach. Had some of the bitterness of the mustard greens.
good paneer texture.
naan. good malty flavor
pakoras extra good. had more ginger than last time I had them
samosas. good crispness. slightly spicy filling.
onion chutney -- one of my favorites
overly clovey, but OK
shrimp masala -- not a great blending of flavor and texture
(the shrimp was good, just didn't go with the sauce)
the not-so-good in my opinion:
tamarind sauce very sweet
chole masalawala -- kind of garbanzo-ey, which I know is what it is,
but sometimes chickpeas are rich tasting and other times they can have this wet cardboard flavor.
also we tried all of the lassi
the mango and the plain were the clear consensus winners. strawberry and guava were too sweet.
I admit it's hard to imagine the food outside of the "ambience", the bollywood videos, and the utter chaos of the restaurant experience, but I think the food will work well in a nice buffet.
looking forward to more tastings this weekend!
chicken tikka by itself, if i am correct, is chicken that has been soaked in yogurt and some spices (i'm guessing due to it's red color) and is then baked. it's got wonderful and subtle flavor and is fantastic with some of the cucumber yogurt... just great simple flavors :)
Wha? There's such a thing as "chicken tikka" that is not "chicken tikka masala?"
The ambience (and the price) is the whole game at Punjabi Dhaba. Take that food out... and, well, you might be better off getting some of those ready-to-eat Indian meals from the supermarket.
Tip: mixed platter for 2 is where it's at. You get that nice sampling of room-temperature dishes to gorge yourself on.