Lahore, Pakistan - Mughlai fine dining at Dum Pukht, Pearl-Continental
Dum Pukht is one of the premier local fine dining restaurants in Lahore serving Mughlai cuisine. The decor was opulent and elaborate.
Sitting down, we were served crisp rolls of papads, served with 4 types of dips: mint, yoghurt, sweet tamarind and mango chutney.
What we ordered:
- Reshmi Kebab: cubes of skinless chicken marinated in spices and yoghurt. Tasty, albeit pretty spicy compared to the versions I'd had in Islamabad the past fortnight.
- Murgh-e-Shalimar: chicken in cashewnut gravy and green herbs, flavoured with ginger, garlic and spices. Very tasty, although greasier than I'd have liked.
- Palak Paneer: creamed spinach with "paneer" cheese and spices. The rendition here has the paneer finely-minced into the spinach, instead of the paneer cubes which I preferred.
- Chilman Biryani: this is the house specialty and easily the tastiest item I'd tasted here - beautifully-scented mutton biryani with cashewnuts and raisins, covered in puff pastry and baked. It was *divine*.
- Shahi Kulfi: chunks of kulfi ice-cream with rose syrup.
- Kheer: saffron-scented rice pudding.
The desserts were unremarkable, and were really much, much sweeter than I'd have liked. One is constantly reminded that the Lahoris love their sugar.
The Chilman biryani is really memorable. Service was stiff, cold and decidedly "local", i.e. the staff spoke either little or poor English. The restaurant opens at 12.30pm, and we were turned away when we arrived at *12.26pm*, with no effort by the restaurant staff at the reception to be friendly or cordial. Not really what I'd expect at a so-called "fine dining" spot.