There has certainly been a lot of hype surrounding Pali Bhavan, touted on the street as ‘the ultimate in Indian fine dining’. Waiting was necessary to gain a table, although done only briefly albeit in a pleasant environment.
The owners have put much thought into the theme and decor of the place, with old pictures of Rajasthani maharajahs adorning the walls, timeless wooden shutters and elegant chandeliers. The effect is breathtaking, with just the right amount of old-world charm.
Surprisingly, it lacked impact; the result of a combination of not enough meat pieces (three shanks are not enough to satisfy one person, let alone two) and the miniscule amount of meat on the bone.
It would have definitely been more satisfying on both tastebuds and wallet had non-local meat been used, or more substantial local mutton sourced. I had to virtually pry the meat off the bone, a warning sign for a dish where the meat is supposed to simply fall off after hours of slow cooking.
The naan was rather small by usual standards. However I was pleased by the willingness of the waiter to cater to my demand of customising it slightly upon ordering (I had requested a garlic cheese naan).
Service in general, was excellent considering the large number of people inside.
The chicken tikka was moist, juicy and a good-sized portion. True to its flaming orange colour, it positively squealed with delight when I bit into it. There was even no need to use the lemon for any added flavour; it packed an authentic, tidy punch.
The galouti kebab was interesting – delicately textured and buttery-rich as required, yet placed on a hard dough base which was for me, difficult and chewy to eat.
Probably the intended effect was to marry the softness of the kebab with the firmness of the dough, however I ended up scraping the meat off and discarding the base.
I was not able to sample enough on the menu to make a well-informed judgement on the overall quality of food at Pali Bhavan, however what I tasted was quite acceptable.
I rate food at 8/10 and ambience 9.5/10.
Pali Bhavan is located at 10 Adarsh Nagar, Pali Nakka, Bandra West, Mumbai.
Photo credits: tripadvisor.in, privilegecard.in