Eating out Head for Pind Balluchi where the ambience is rusic, hospitality warm and food delicious

Have you ever experienced a typical Punjabi rustic ambience in the middle of a mall in the city? That’s right. Head to Garuda Mall and take the lift or escalators amidst all the hustle-bustle and squeeze your way through the shopping crowd and you land on the fourth floor and enter the Punjabi restaurant called Pind Balluchi.

You are greeted with a peppy Punjabi bhangra music and a staff that is attired in the traditional dress. The ambience transports you to a traditional Punjabi dhaba. Even this space is designed to resemble one – with pink bangles, mirrors and bright pink curtains adorning the ceiling, the place cuts your mind off the mall life.

“‘Pind’ means village and ‘Balluchi’ is the name of a place,” explains Anshul Kapoor the General Manager of Pind Balluchi. “We have 28 restaurants of the same name in Delhi and now we have branched out to Bangalore. To maintain the consistency in the flavour and hospitality, we have even brought the staff from Delhi,” explains Anshul.

True to Punjabi hospitality, you are wooed not just by the staff but also by the food and its presentation. Chef Abhishek Singh, the brain behind every dish created here, takes you on a wonderful journey of Punjabi cuisine.

He makes it a point to interact with every customer personally before he recommends a dish or creates something “with a slight twist.

Today the trend is to blend every thing. Even classical dance has a touch of modernity and is called contemporary. That’s exactly what I try to do in my kitchen. My aim to cook traditional Punjabi cuisine with a touch of modernity in it,” smiles the chef as he serves you.

“We source our paneer and spices from Delhi as the quality and the taste is very different here. We also bring in all our spices from the north for we do not want to compromise on our quality,” adds Anshul.

So we start by digging in to mushroom kurkure (melt-in-the-mouth mushrooms filled with cheese and khoya), paneer tikka (with soft and creamy paneer), dahi ke kebab (three varieties of hung curd kebabs, wrapped in thin layer of crisp bread, are a must try), makki de kebab, ajwani fish tikka (with a lovely flavour of mustard paste) and mutton sheekh kebab. None of the kebabs were oily. “That is because we use tempura for the kebabs, which makes it light on the stomach. Why should our customers compromise on their taste if they are weight conscious?” asks chef Abhishek.

The kebabs are served with the green mint chutney and an innovative pineapple sweet and sour chutney that adds a tang to every bite. By now our tummies are loaded so the chef promises to serve us something light.

And the main is a crisp dry fruit and garlic stuffed paratha cooked in a tandoor that is eaten with kadai paneer, dhaba meat (a typical dhaba style mutton gravy), and dhaniya murg curry.

None of the curries were spicy. By now we are bursting on our sides. But our Punjabi hosts will not let us go till we taste their hot gulab jamun, jalebi and thandi kheer! We are so stuffed now that it is difficult to even burp! But if you love Punjabi cuisine and hospitality, now you know where to go. As you step out again into the mall culture of noise, technology and shoppers, you take back with you the peppy bhangra music and the memories of a rustic ambience.

Pind Balluchi is open from 11.30 a.m. to 11.30 p.m. every day and can be contacted on 41153761/60.