Sunday, 13 October 2013

Review - Punjabi By Nature, Ranelagh

I adore Indian food and had paid a visit to The Punjab Balti in Ranelagh an average of about once a month since moving here almost seven years ago. It closed for several months during the summer and has reopened with a new name, new menu (complete with newly increased pricing) and a new look.I had been apprehensive about returning as, for me, it was perfect as it was but finally went for it last Sunday.

My first impression was that the actual transformation inside doesn't really seem to have justified the long closure. The chairs appear to have been coloured in jewel - tones and there is some nice mosaic detailing around but, apart from new bar area and snazzy purple exterior, it felt very much the same. As before, we were given some poppadoms on arrival.

I was very disappointed to see that the menu in the new restaurant has been shortened dramatically and a number of the old classics (including my beloved Lamb Saag) taken off or replaced with more Western/Indian fusion dishes. I chose the Goan style scallops to start and they were pretty bland, five of them on a mild sweet 'jus' and with a mint and yogurt drizzle.

It became really obvious from my main that they must have shed their old kitchen team/ head chef. The Pilau Rice was not a patch on the old recipe and the curry sauce that came with this 'Rib Eye Steak'(read 'Tough Piece of Beef)distinctly lacked the old Punjab magic.(Noo!!!)This was like something I might make on a  good day and lacking the Xfactor of old.

We finished with some Gulab Jamun which were enjoyable but we both agreed (AGAIN) not as nice as before! . This Indian used to stand head and shoulders above others in Dublin. Now it's just 'meh'.

It wasn't broke but they decided to try to fix it anyway. And it failed. And I am more than a bit sad.