- RATING: 1.5 / 5
- WHERE: Mini Punjab, 20, JVLR, Powai
- WHEN: 6 pm to 1.30 am
- COST: About Rs 2,700 for two, with one cocktail each
- CALL: 2570-8633
The air is thick with traffic fumes as we step into Turban Tales. This seems oddly fitting, given that the restaurant is an urban take on the North Indian highway dhaba.
TT comes to you from the people behind the Mini Punjab brand. The vibe is easy, thanks to kitschy décor, comfortable coir-mesh khatiyaas. There’s even a jhula at one end.
But it’s a small rooftop eatery that seats only 40, so the bhangra pop is a bit blaring, particularly given the din from the street below. Nonetheless, Turban Tales is packed on the evening we visit. It is clearly a magnet for those wanting to kick back and relax after a long day.
We were recognised a few minutes after we sat down (we still paid at the end, though).
Quickly, the laminated, typo-ridden menu we had been handed was replaced by a colourful hard-bound one. These, we were told, were the prototypes they wanted to test on ‘special’ customers, whatever that means.
Shaken up at the tiny, makeshift bar that’s cleverly fashioned out of an old bicycle, the rum, galangal and sugarcane juice-based ‘Amarsar to Thailand’ was overly sweet but potent. The ‘sol of Patiala’, served in a brass tumbler, packed a searing punch with its mix of kokum, hot sauce and vodka.
With our starters began the rounds of good-bad-good-bad that would permeate our meal.
Though conceptually intriguing, the bland jalebi chaat with soggy dahi bhallas was a letdown; it wasn’t even sweet. The hard and tasteless lamb galoutis served atop leathery sheermal disks were downright unpalatable.
A sliver of hope presented itself in the form of a succulent ‘chicken tikki supreme’ with a molten cheese core and side of tangy green chutney. The jhinga pao was a winner too, the plump prawns fried Koliwada style and nestled in buttery sliders.
Dinner took another nosedive with the mains. The pind de chole was undercooked and the gravy had that harsh, raw-spice flavour of a hastily prepared dish. The crumbly ‘rang birangey kulchey’ with its steamed bao-meets-pizza base seemed to be suffering from an identity crisis.
Nothing like any butter chickens we’ve eaten before, the ‘Patiala Shahi da BC’ was a tasteless, gloopy mess that came with greasy, chewy naans; we had to send the dish back.
In no mood for a replacement, we settled for a refreshing paan ice-cream (creamy, packed with the distinct flavour of betel leaf and gulkhand). But our final order was a rancid apple murabba. Like much of our meal, it left a bad taste in our mouths.