How different can the robust North Indian food get? A lot if you visit Zorwar Kalra’s latest offering Made In Punjab (MIP). Ask for the Chicken Kurkure (Rs 350) and you’ll see what I mean. Wrapped in wanton sheets the chicken sticks come ensconced in shot glasses. At Made in Punjab the whimsical touches flavours.
I applaud the kitchen’s playfulness; a dish of tandoori chicken legs (Bhatti Murg reads the menu, Rs 390) is sent out in a kulhad. Each leg sits enticingly in a kulhad, which is a small earthen cup used to serve tea in North India. The dish not only lands beautifully on the tongue, it’s a feast for the eyes too.
Chats are a good way to judge a restaurant that prides its self on its North Indian fare. Zorawar doesn’t disappoint here. The Palak Patta chaat (Rs 145) was both humble and haute. The crispy palak papdi gets a whispering of green chutney and just the right amount of sweetened curd to jiggle the taste buds. The pomegranate seeds add to the crunch.
The kitchen is not shy of experimentation. The Ajwaini fish tikka (Rs 450) here uses Salmon as against the Basa or Pompret. Leaves of green peas are used as a delicate garnish as against the modest coriander. Venture into more adventurous territory and you don’t risk disappointment. The Beetroot Tikki (Rs 275) is a revelation. Wash it down with the sugarcane juice (Rs 150) served in a tall glass.
Hands down, MIP has the city’s best bread basket. Onion-laced kulcha, anda kulcha, mirchi parantha, makki ki roti, gucchi naan, etc are worth the lecture from your trainer. But go slow. There’s more greatness on the way. Like the Railway Mutton Curry (Rs 525 ). The mutton which is cooked overnight just falls off the bone with the gentlest prodding.
Biryanis are served in cute cookie jars. Do sample the Gucchi Pulao (Rs 595). Gucchi is a type of mushroom grown in the high altitudes of Himachal Pradesh. It takes a few spoonfuls to get accustomed to the taste. Watch the pulao disappear post the acclimatisation! The rotis are made live in the dining area and it’s fun to watch the chef toss the rumali roti in the air or release a dollop of butter on a hot kulcha.
At MIP what appears in a glass intrigues as much as what arrives on a plate. Apart from the sugarcane juice and aam panna the menu also holds the sweet and sour Ginger curry Martini. However not every dish sings. The lassi (termed world’s heaviest lassi) was just that – very heavy! Made with curd, rabdi and peda it cried for flavour.
For desserts there is the quintessential and decedent Moong dal halwa (Rs 195) and Jalebi with rabdi (Rs 195). Both make for pleasant endings.
The lattice separated sepia toned dining room packs in a lot of personality. Adding colour to the scene are the amiable servers and a background of Indian classical music.
Walk in to MIP for a simple menu sprinkled with surprises.
Made In Punjab, Level 2, Inorbit Mall, Mindspace Link Road, Malad West, Mumbai. Tel: +91 9004515000, 022 66711187
Meal for two: Rs 1500