Ever-popular Purani Dilli at Mankhool Dubai has recently opened a brand-new branch in centrally located 4 Points by Sheraton on Sheikh Zayed Road.
Although our city offers an endless lineup of Indian restaurants, the success of Purani Dilli has been their ability to stay true to their name. The menu is unashamedly ‘Old Delhi’, the capital of authentic North Indian Mughlai cuisine sans any frills or new-age tricks.
The ‘new’ Purani Dilli offers the exact same, much-loved menu but in swanky new interiors. The Sheikh Zayed branch is smaller and cozier than its earlier counterpart and boasts of shabby chic inspired décor amalgamated with kitsch Indian finds.
A flamboyant duo sit at a corner churning out live Bollywood music ranging from the heart-warming lyrics of the sixties to the more commercialized tunes of today.
We dined at a table with the perfect vantage point of bustling Sheikh Zayed Road. It’s the first weekend since the restaurant opened, but word must have gone out as there were quite a number of busy tables.
Our dinner commenced with refreshing freshly squeezed pineapple mocktails laced with fiery red chili. This drink was as ‘chatpatta’ as the Chole (an Indian chickpeas delicacy) and Dahi Bhala (a lentil patty served in spiced yoghurt) that came to the table as our appetizers.
This was followed by a mixed platter of chef’s special kebabs. There was the tenderized, spicy Shahi Gosht Seekh Kebabs, the succulently soft and tandoor-smoked Murgh Tikka Jhangiri, and my favorite, the classic ‘melt in the mouth’ Galawati Kebab from the nawabi state of Lucknow.
For our main course, we tried a range of curries that were suggested by Chef Alam himself. We loved the classic Bhuna Gosht (a deep dark brown tempered meat curry sautéed with fried onion), the Butter Chicken Khaas (a sweet creamy chicken curry that the British now claim to be their own), yet my favorite was the vegetarian Lahsuni Palak. This deep green minced spinach dish would make Popeye proud, and keep the vampires away with the amount of burnt garlic used to add a kick to its flavor quotient. Easily the most flavorsome dish from the night and not so easily found in menus around Dubai, I swiped it all clean with freshly made naan bread in record time.
We ended the night on a sweet note with spongey-soft Rasmalai.
The service here is exemplary, and with the catchy live music and an authentically delicious range of dishes that take you back to the magic of Old Delhi with the perfect vantage point of New Dubai, an evening at the all-new Purani Dilli is sure to have you coming back for more.
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