Restaurant Review: The Palms, Southern Avenue, Kolkata

I think some of the best meals in life happen unplanned; spur of the moment decisions on a grey-coloured afternoon lead us through the doors of an old joint, once Funjabi Tadka, now revamped and renamed The Palms, on Southern Avenue. The place is hard to miss; take a right from Mudiali and find on your left this humongous Café Coffee Day outlet, with this cosy little place tucked away in a corner.

Well, the decision was not wholly spur-of-the-moment. Doc had this saved as one-of-the highly-rated-placed-we-gotta-try list on Zomato. And luck had it that they were running Indian, i.e., North Indian Lunch Combos from 12 noon – 5 pm, Veg combo at 349/- plus taxes and Non-veg combo at 420/- plus taxes. (Valid on all days except Thursday, Saturday and Sunday). We tried different combinations of the Indian Non-veg combo so we could try a bit of almost all that was on the menu.

Long story short, we walked into The Palms with very little expectations and waltzed out with a bellyful of happiness.

The menu comprised of a 3 course meal (1 starter + 1 rice + 1 side dish + 1 dessert). Since we were two of us, we ordered 2 out of the 3 kebabs starters: Makhani Karahi and Murgh Banjara, and left out Mahi Ajwaini (none of us were in the mood for fish. The kebab pieces were succulent and juicy, well marinated to the core.

For the main course, we ordered Veg Pulao and Jeera Rice, along with Murgh Hara Pyaaz and Murgh Gautie which read “Murgh Garlic” in the temporary menu (a “minor” typo as pointed out by the waiter). We decided to leave out Peas Pulao and Chicken Handi, both of which sounded awfully plain and boring.

Murgh Gautie was a browned onions and mint-based chicken curry, which was mildly spicy and went well with the mixed vegetables and paneer pulao. But I was most excited to try the Murgh Hara Pyaaz, chicken curry in a thick spring onion sauce, which to my surprise, was quite refreshing on my palate. I think I’ll try to get this recipe off of the internet and try my hands on this delectable dish. Seems it will be a great accompaniment to soft butter and sesame naans. The chicken pieces in both the curries were a bit dry and chewy but I chose to forgive as the sauce was super tasty.

Dessert was a conservative favourite: good ole Vanilla Ice-cream with a drizzling of chocolate sauce. No complaints there and nothing out of the usual. Sugar-loaded hot Gulab Jamuns after a North Indian meal is just an invitation for acidity and trips to the you-know-where. We decided to spare our digestive systems the horror.

I was especially pleased with the service. We were waited upon most patiently. I don’t believe they changed the ambience, which is quite cosy, despite the change of names (also probably ownership).

I just checked the detailed reviews of this place and I have made up my mind—I will go back, probably twice, to check out the rest of the Awadhi and Mughlai cuisine, and their Oriental menu. I came across Pork Ribs topped with Snow Peas and a frozen Litchi dessert and trust me, I’m sold.

P.S.: The 3-Course Lunch Meal offer is still on-going in case you want to check it out!

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