For close to two decades, we’ve known and loved Punjabi By Nature for its addictive vodka-filled golgappa shots, massive naans and Oh-God-that’s-Heavenly dal makhni. Back in 1988, the restaurant quickly notched up its place among Delhi’s favourite North West Frontier dining places. And we absolutely loved the name, which captured the very soul of food-loving Delhi!
Decades have gone by, and while some of its rivals have Indianised their look even more, Punjabi By Nature has gone ahead and modernised itself. For us traditionalists, the idea was a tad hard to digest, but then we walked into the new-look outlet in Ambience Mall, Gurugram, and the doubts dissolved faster than the clouds emanating from their pink cosmo cocktail.
The decor is different from the understated elegance of yore. This is a more in-your-face, look-we’re-changing look. But the intentional makeover worked for us because we were led to a cosy window-side corner that tossed up a nice, wide view of the space. And happily, their breads are still large enough for two to share. We couldn’t wait to dig into those impossibly puffy bhaturas that come with Delhi’s most divine chholey. To our great satisfaction, all the other old favourites are there too: the delicious kebabs and chicken and mutton preparations.
A word about the drinks: They’ve worked hard on the presentation, but the betel leaf and imli flavoured cocktails did little for our taste buds, tasting too much like paan and chaat. That aside, chill out with their excellent beer, brewed in-house. We gulped down many a different shot, and found it hard to pick a favourite!
And if you’d rather pair your jaljeera with burger, ye lo ji!
When pizza is reborn @ Punjabi By Nature, it’s called naanza. A crispy, spicy must-try, best paired with full-bodied ale.
Verdict: It might look like a cross between a chic pub and a traditional Punjabi eatery, but Punjabi By Nature has lost none of its culinary appeal. While it seduces a newer kind of crowd, old schoolers like us can continue to enjoy it as before.
Reviewed by: Alishaa Khurana & Shubhra Krishan