We were invited back to Medley Restaurant at Pullman Hotel (adjacent to Deira City Centre mall, Dubai) for a scrumptious Diwali dinner by celebrity Indian Chef Sweety Singh.
We’ve had his buffet before, but this time round we actually got to meet the man himself! He greeted us at the door with the warmth of a long lost friend, and ushered us to his authentically Punjabi buffet.
The buffet includes a chaat corner, a salad counter, a specialized area for grills, and a lineup of mains, a mix of well-loved and a few lesser known authentic specialties.
There were many favorites on our table, and some I’d personally recommend would include the Khumb Masala (a decadently spicy slow-cooked lamb curry), the Punjabi Phool (better known as Punjabi Aloo Gobi, this wok-fried cauliflower in a spiced tomato base has always been one of my personal favorites), the Murg Makhan Wale Tikke (aka Butter Chicken, Chef Sweety Singh’s version featured absolutely melt in the mouth morsel of boneless chicken), the Dal Bukhara (slow-cooked black lentils in a butter base), and the Bhuna Meat Masala (succulently soft goat meat coated in pan-fried spices).
When asked what the secret to his success is, Chef Sweety Singh humbly says it all lies in slow-cooking. Unlike many Indian restaurant dishes that leave you feeling bloated, Chef Sweety’s dishes have a homely touch without the heaviness as they are made sans any cream or cashew paste base, and he also keeps his dishes clear of artificial coloring.
“Authentic, homemade Punjabi food is not heavy, it is wholesome. I do not use any cashew, almond, saffron, and food colour in any of my preparations; those are just fancy frills to lend food a designer touch. I cook my food in asli ghee, which, unlike what people generally believe, is healthy. I make my own spices. Punjabi food gets a bad rap when people impart populist touches to it, and give convention and authentic cooking processes a go by.” – Chef Sweety Singh, Times of India.
When I was a little girl, my parents had to force Karela (Bitter Gourd) down my throat. This ultra bitter green vegetable is full of nutrition, and promises to clean the blood when eaten regularly. At this buffet, they even had a Karela salad! My parents would be shocked to know I actually loaded some on my plate… and enjoyed it too! The sweetness of a creamy dressing and the tossup of leafy greens disguised the characteristic bitterness beautifully well. Yet another innovative dish by Chef Sweety Singh!
Ofcourse my favorite part of the meal was desserts, and the sweets corner was brimming with festive treats. There was an entire lineup of Indian favorites including crisp golden jalebis, coconut barfi, rasmalai, phirni, gajar ka halwa and my favorite, a very densely creamy saffron-laced kheer (Indian rice pudding).
For those not too keen on Indian desserts, the buffet also included a smorgasbord of international pastries and cakes.
Overall we really enjoyed our festive feast at Medley restaurant, and have been raving about Chef Sweety Singh ever since. His very amiable personality won him many foodie fans throughout the night, and his love for the authentic culinary traditions of his Punjabi roots is evident in his delicious dishes.
Do try out Chef Sweety Singh’s creations at Medley restaurant (Pullman Hotel, Deira City Centre – Dubai). I bet he’ll turn you into a fan too! Call 04 294 1222 for more details.