I was highly excited when I got an enticing invite to a “Bollywood inspired Saturday Brunch” at Patiala by Celebrity Chef Kunal Kapur. I hadn’t been to Patiala before but had heard rave reviews by word of mouth so decided to attend the brunch launch. Patiala is located in Souk Al Bahar. Restaurants that are located there are mainly known for the view of the fountains or the Burj Khalifa. Sadly Patiala doesn’t have any. To my surprise, there was nothing “Bollywood” inside. The waiters were dressed normal, no Bollywood colors and no photo booth. Only Bollywood songs playing in the background.
The interiors of Patiala are modern and warm with dim lights and dark brown furniture. But I didn’t quite like the structure of this restaurant. It’s like a long alley and the tables are kept close to each other like you’re sitting in a canteen with no privacy.
We ordered non alcoholic fruit cocktails The drinks were served in tiny plastic bottles. The quality of plastic bottles was very poor. I didn’t enjoy my drink because firstly it was uncomfortable to drink from this bottle. Secondly my drink didn’t taste fresh. It was giving out a weird odor. We replaced our drinks with Coke which also came in a small glass.
The salads were served on a small salad station along with Roasted Lamb Biryani and a Quesadilla station. The salads were okay. I enjoyed the tangy potato salad.
The desi take on Quesadillas were made in a paratha with vegetables, cheese and Hot dog. It was way too oily for me and didn’t taste that good so I could only manage to eat one bite of it.
The gourmet style pani puri was served in the same bottles as the juices and the pani puri water looked and tasted very similar to the sour juices that were served earlier. The puri had few pomegranate stuffing. I didn’t enjoy this as it didn’t taste authentic.
The Hot dog Seekh Kebab was really good. The succulent kebab was lathered in a tasty sauce and lettuce served in bread rolls.
Then we were served Fried Okra in Emli sauce and Chicken skewers with chutney. Okra is a very tricky vegetable especially if it’s coated and deep fried. My okra was under cooked hence when I took a bite the whole coating came off, but the okra was intact. On the other hand the chicken skewers were cooked to perfection and irresistibly tasty.
The fried Fish tasted fantastic with the Emli sauce. The Dahi kabab was a bite sized vegetarian dish. It was stuffed with cheesy yogurt and I enjoyed it. Again we had to wait for ten more minutes to enjoy another bite of these delicious starters. That just ruined the whole spirit of brunch for me.
Grilled Prawn in white sauce – The prawn was excellent. Succulent and grilled perfectly, drenched with creamy white sauce but again one prawn on a skewer seemed more like a torture to a seafood lover like me and asking for one more seemed very impolite. There should have been at least two pieces in each starter.
The Biryani was served as two different dishes. Biryani Rice and a roasted Mutton leg or Raan in a gravy. It tasted average.
Pav Bhaji – The Pav bhaji was served under main course. It tasted authentic and delectable. The Pavs were not toasted properly. Probably because it was a gourmet style pav bhaji.
We asked the waiter to get 1 Keema Pav, 1 Pav Bhaji & 1 Choley Batoore but instead he only got us 2 Pav Bhaji and missed rest of the dishes. On reminder he got us 2 keema pav whereas we had only ordered 1. When I politely mentioned to the waiter that he had got our order wrong, he innocently replied that this was the nature of his job. We were highly amused by his spontaneous reply.
Haleem Kabab – Haleem patties in a bun with lettuce was served on a platter. However, Haleem with a bun is a big no no for me.
Gulab Jamun – Enjoyed the Gulab Jamun. It was light and not over sweet.
Peach kheer – Mr. A liked this variant of kheer which is traditionally made of milk and rice. The peach addition added a good flavor to it.
Kulfi on a stick – It was not as rich and creamy as it should be. I feel it was below average. Again the size was ridiculously small like a bite-sized kulfi.
Masterchef Kunal Kapoor – I got the chance to meet the man himself. It was a pleasure meeting such a great personality and I really respect him for making a huge name for himself at such a young age. He is a very down to earth guy and explained to us that he wanted to introduce an Indian style Brunch in this part of Dubai. He did admit that the dishes were very few and that he would definitely add more dishes in the brunch in future.
The main problem we had in Patiala wasn’t the food but mainly the service. We were served by 5 different waiters and all of them seemed to be lost. All the starters and desserts were bite sized. That might have been perfect for an afternoon teatime setup but not for brunch. Moreover we had to wait for at least 10 mins, every time they went to get another bite sized starter.
The waiters misunderstood our orders and even missed serving us a dish (for unknown reasons) called chana bhatoora that we were very eager to try. By my experience I can tell they are either new or untrained and unfamiliar with the dishes. Another factor in poor service might be that we were seated far away from the kitchen hence the different waiter each time.
We all know how extravagant brunches across U.A.E are. We have been to quite a few ourselves too, where they fill up the table with mouth watering dishes and the service doesn’t stop. Patiala might be good as an A la carte or set menu but for me it fails as a weekend brunch.