Ever since watching Gaggan Anand elevate Indian cuisine to new heights on Chef's Table, I've been on the search for upscale, inventive and new Indian food. Paowalla caught my attention after hearing multiple restaurant goers say it is different from other traditional Indian restaurants.
And to answer your question of whether or not it is different I can conclude that yes, it is different. But am I a fan of the differences? I'm not so sure. Though there were a couple of stand out dishes at Paowalla, I feel there is still a lot of work to be done. For one, a restaurant that's name literally is a devotion to bread should excel in breadmaking. The naan could have been fluffier, more moist in the middle while maintaining its crispy edge and the dips that come with the naan should be complimentary. The burrata daal was a great play on the traditional paneer daal. The burrata was seasoned with chilies and the daal was luxurious and rich though it would be even better if it the daal was warmer. I would have loved to see the burrata melt in the dish. The tapioca pilaf with peanuts is a departure from the biriyani or lemon rice we normally eat with curries but I don't think it delivered on the satisfaction that only something as hearty as grains can offer.
1. Burrata daal- I loved the seasoning of the burrata and the daal. Though I think the challenge of mixing the two harmoniously still remains.
2. Black pepper shrimp- The shrimp is smoky, flavorful and spicy. It pays a rightful homage to Indian spices without drowning in coconut milk or any other sort of curry broth.
3. Beef short rib- I'm a sucker for fatty meats in a thick broth which is exactly what this dish offers. Although this dish is very American and I was surprised to see it in on an Indian menu, I can't complain because it was quite tasty.