No cuisine in India has earned as much goodwill or carved as much space for itself on the local gastronomy circuit like Punjabi food has. We all love our Butter Chicken and Paneer Masala so much that it isn’t unusual to spot these dishes on the menus at local roadside eateries. But the restaurant called The Funjabi Tadka in Bandra west adds a playful twist to these staple dishes and other usual suspects, in terms of their names and ingredients.
The décor isn’t much to write home about. A tad bizarre, with its dark brown wall and furniture, it lacks the Punjabi dhaba-esque appeal one usually associates with Urban Tadka in Versova or Pritam Da Dhaba in Dadar.
The owners too seem to have made their peace with the fact that it is the food, and not the ambience, which will pull in the crowd. And the elaborate menu does offer plenty of choices to put that theory to test.
We started our meal with a glass of Sweet Lassi (R80) and two starters — Mushroom Ki Galouti on Ulta Tawa Paratha (R195) and Fish Amritsari (R280). We expected the lassi to be thick and creamy, but we were sadly disappointed by what was eventually served to us.
The starters, however, ensured that the bad taste in the mouth didn’t last for too long. The mushroom kebab was soft and can give the original Galouti a run for its money. The fish too was fresh and packed with loads of masala — just the way we like it. Already stuffed, we ordered the main course — Paneer Palak Saag (R195), Nimboo Wala Butter Chicken (R280) and Tadka Special Matkatod Biryani (R210). The saag, with its thick gravy, looked interesting, but it left a minty aftertaste, which we didn’t quite like.
The Butter Chicken, though, was a surprise. Not your typical red-yellow gravy, it came in an extremely creamy sauce, nimbu maar ke (with a lemony twist). Tasty as it was, the cream ensured that we could eat no more than a few bites. The biryani was good and we have to give the dish one extra point for the name that is just guaranteed to arouse interest.
But would we go back? Only if we are bored of the usual fare elsewhere.
What: The Funjabi Tadka
Where: First floor, C’est La Vie, Hill Road, Bandra west
Call: 6132 2222
What’s on the menu: Punjabi food with a twist
What we like
The interesting names of the dishes
We don’t like