Punjab Grill Hyderabad: All that Glitters is not Gold

Punjab Grill finally reached Hyderabad with lots of hype on 20th August. It seemed to have become a landmark at Jubilee Hills for the foodies in Hyderabad on the opening day itself. After all, Punjab Grill is a critically acclaimed gourmet fine dining restaurant in India, having the distinction of serving authentic Punjabi food. Like other foodies in the city, I too was eager to dine at Punjab Grill Hyderabad. Luckily, I got a table booked for four in the slot beginning from 10:15 PM last Sunday. I visited the restaurant with lots of curiosity but what I experienced is “All that glitters is not gold.”

Interior Décor and Ambience: 3 / 5

I was under the impression that a brand restaurant like Punjab Grill in Hyderabad would boast great interiors and buoyant ambience. The interior is not something hatke to be talked about in eloquent terms. The overall interior décor is very commonplace except the glass façade which overlooks Jubilee Hills from the 4th floor. That’s not a unique experience to those who have been to Rajwada (recenlty renamed Taksh) at Banjara Hills. Rajwada or Taksh on the second floor offers a sweeping view down the glittering and bustling street through its glass front. Notably, several restaurants in Jubilee Hills and Banjara Hills, including Rajwada and United Kitchens of India (which are not far from Punjab Grill) have far better interior and ambience than the newbie in the city.

Service and Presentation: 2.5 / 5 

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I found the service disappointing at Punjab Grill Hyderabad. The table was not properly laid out (you can see in the picture above). There was no spoon on the table. We had to ask for napkins. We felt obliged to ask for spoons when we ordered jeera rice. The chopped onion was not properly peeled off. The service was so slow that we were given fingerbowls until our hands dried and that too after several reminders. Two of us walked into the washroom and washed their hands there.

Menu and Pricing: 3.5 / 5 

Punjab Grill Hyderabad has a very limited menu. To be precise, there are only one fish item, one prawn dish, two mutton and four chicken dishes in the non-veg section of the menu. A limited menu has both advantage and disadvantage. The advantage is that it helps those in a hurry and non foodies choose what to order without much to and fro. The disadvantage is that foodies have no scope to explore beyond a familiar menu.

Since we got a very late booking, we started with the main course directly. We ordered Murgh Makhani, Patiala Shahi Machhi, Zaafraani Paronta, Jeera Rice and Naan. The non-veg curries are overpriced considering the poor quantity. Pricing and quantity are not in a balanced ratio. Murgh Makhani and Patiala Shahi Machhi cost 395 and 450 respectively (excluding taxes).

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Both Murgh Makhani and Patiala Shahi Machhi came with a deceiving impression of huge quantity (as you see in the picture above). The containers were filled with lots of gravy which hid only 5 small pieces of chicken and 5 small pieces of fish in it. However, the taste was undeniably good. We were so pissed off about the service that we did not order desserts.

In July, I visited The Grand Trunk Road, one of the new restaurants in Hyderabad, which also serves Punjabi food in a highway dhaba-style setting. There I had Jalandhari Macchli ke Kofte in the main course. Priced only at 290 rupees excluding taxes, the dish had 8 plum sized kofte wrapped and steeped in tangy masala. Click for a detailed review  

My overall rating of Punjab Grill Hyderabad is 3 / 5 based on my first visit and the first impression. I would like to visit the restaurant again for the starters.

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