Lohri Food Festival at the Taj Wellington Mews

Venue: Weli Deli, Taj Wellington Mews, 33, Nathalal Parikh Marg, Cusrow Baug Colony, Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai
Dates: 10th January onwards
Price: INR 1200 plus taxes

Authentic Punjabi flavours have found their way to Weli Deli at the Taj Wellington Mews, as Executive Chef Shrutika Kohli conjures a decadent menu to celebrate the festival of LohriChef Kohli allows you to traverse through the festive lanes of Punjab with scintillating flavours of dishes such as Paneer Butter Masala, her signature Dal Makhini, Punjabi Samosas, and the quintessential Sarson Ka Saag with Makke Di Roti. 

The festival of Lohri which falls on the 13th of January every year is celebrated popularly to mark the end of winter. However traditionally, it is associated with the harvesting of rabi (grain) crop, therefore making it a harvest festival. Punjabi farmers are known to view the day after Lohri as the beginning of a new financial year. The festival is celebrated in full fervour with a bonfire and traditional food items such as Makke Di Roti and Sarson Ka Saag along with sweets like Gajak.


The Taj Wellington Mews brings to Mumbai the Lohri Food Festival for the entire month of January. We were invited to a lip-smacking preview a couple of days ago. Since we eat Indian food almost everyday at home, we don’t usually opt to go out for the same. Chances of eating authentic Punjabi food are even lesser, therefore we weren’t going to miss out on this dinner!

We were as always, greeted with warm Taj hospitality by Mr. Shibu Nair (Director of Sales & Marketing) and the lovely Ms. Kaizeen Davierwalla (Asst. Sales Manager). The weather Gods were favouring us that evening with a cool, crisp air, allowing us to sit out on the deck which undeniably added to the charm of the evening.

Conversations revolving around food started flowing and I forgot how famished I was. I remembered only when the gorgeous thali came out filled with several traditional dishes. The thali comprised of Punjabi samosa, paneer butter masala, sarson ka saag, makke di roti, paratha, jeera rice, dal makhini, gajar ka halwa and raita along with sweet lassi.

My favourite dish was undoubtedly the saag with the makki roti. This was only the second time that I’d ate traditional saag and it just seemed to warm my soul. The fact that it was so beautifully cooked with all the right flavours, allowed to it melt in my mouth. The roti too was perfectly crispy. I am not a fan of paneer butter masala either because most restaurants get this wrong by either serving rubbery paneer or with a mix of too many spices making it pungent, or both. This dish had just the right amount of butter, not too rich, blended with just enough masala. The paneer however was a tad rubbery but considering the masala was so delicious, it could be ignored. The dal makhani was as always decadent and coated the jeera rice perfectly. Radish had been added to the paratha to give it an unusual texture and mava to the gajar ka halwa. I find that most places tend to over sweeten the halwa, which is not how it should be enjoyed. Chef Kohli got it just right, making me a very happy taster! 😀 Oh and of course, the sweet raita, to cool down the stomach after such a heavy meal!

I recommend you, fellow Mumbaikars, to have this experience especially since we are having a somewhat blessed ‘winter’ with cool evening almost every night. Chef Kohli’s thali will certainly warm your soul and leave you wanting more!

Book your table today at 022 66 574 331. You will thank me 🙂


Restaurant Review: Punjab Grill, Andheri

Address: Ground Floor, Morya Landmark – II, Opposite Infinity Mall, Off Andheri New Link Road, Andheri West, Mumbai
Telephone: +91 9920302139
Reservation: Recommended
Price: Approximately Rs. 2500 for 2 people including alcohol
Timings: 11 a.m to 11 p.m


Being an active member of the Food Bloggers Association of India (FBAI) comes with quite a few perks, I must say. Sameer Malkani, head of the FBAI has been extremely generous in inviting me to some great evenings with scrumptious food at restaurants par excellence and lovely company with my FBAI crew. The latest event that I was invited to was the launch of the summer menu at Punjab Grill. Started by the famed restaurateur Jiggs Kalra, Lite Bite foods is at the helm of affairs at Punjab Grill. Under the leadership of Mr. Amit Burman (Vice Chairman, Dabur India) and Mr. Rohit Agarwal (Director, Lite Bite) and the talent that is Chef Gurpreet Singh, this fine dining restaurant has found its place in my top go-to restaurants in Mumbai. This was not my first visit here, technically speaking. I’ve been to the one at Lower Parel, albeit 3 years ago and it wasn’t exactly the nicest experience. However, with this new menu, Chef Gurpreet brings to us an eclectic selection of delectable Punjabi dishes. Take a look at what we had:


We were given the warmest welcome with a little band of ‘gajra’ (jasmine flowers) to wear around our wrists and escorted to the bar area where a lovely set up awaited us.


Loved the sweet smell floating around the room 🙂

Dinner began with a portion of pickled olive bhel, jaljeera granita mixed lettuce salad with a burani raita dressing and a tall glass of Jamun Ice Tea. The bhel helped kill my hunger pangs, but unfortunately the jamun cooler didn’t do much for me. It was too thick in consistency and since they tried keeping it natural, lacked sweetness. It also did not seem to blend with the food. All praises for the salad though that came next. I wouldn’t have imagined a burani raita dressing, but the chef got it just right. It was light, fresh and played beautifully with my palate. This is a must have. Starters included tandoori paneer, beetroot tikki and dahi ke kebab. The paneer was kind of plain jane and thankfully the texture wasn’t rubbery. The beetroot tikki, deep fried obviously, was outstanding. The crisp tikki on the outside and the soft beetroot on the inside with a little bit of fresh cream was worth the guilt I felt eating fried food. The dahi ke kebab was too sweet so this was a no-no.

By this time I was already full since Punjabi food can get a little heavy but to ensure I did justice to my review, I had a spoonful of the mains. The palak makkai was your usual spinach and corn, nothing to rave about. Since the menu has better options, you can sit this one out. Now comes the hero of the evening – the paneer malai pede. This dish has literally, melted in my mouth, slid down my throat and into my stomach and then taken me to heaven. I urge you to try this dish. The texture of the paneer was nothing short of silk and it was served as tiny ‘pedas’ in a tomato malai gravy. In spite of being so full, I did talk myself into a second serving. The tava asparagus was another brilliant dish. Something as simple as just crunchy asparagus and capsicum, but full of so much flavour and so succulent, my fellow vegetarians will love this. Plus psychologically this dish led me to believe that I ate a tad bit healthy that night.. tee hee 😉 The daal panjratni was extremely homely and felt almost as good as comfort food. Just when I thought I couldn’t eat a morsel more, they whipped out the bahurangi biryani. Full of flavour and an intoxicating aroma that wafted through the area, two spoons were more than enough to let me know that I will be ordering this the next time I go back. By this time I was sure I’d explode if any more food was brought to the table.

However, the chef himself came out to introduce the speciality of the evening – the Summer Dessert Platter. This was a mix of the most interesting and not to forget delicious goodies – jalebi churros with rabri, mulberry sorbet, mango lassi, litchi, fresh slices of mango and diced fruits. It was undoubtedly the best way to end the meal because even with so many items in the platter, this did not feel heavy at all. Every item had the perfect balance of sweetness and the most perfect taste. An evening at Punjab Grill does not of course end without a shot of “paan” to cleanse your palette and that’s exactly how this evening of excellent company and food and service both par excellence came to an end.

I would also like to make a special mention here about the service. Every server was well informed, well mannered and had a smile on his face. What I appreciated the most was that not once was I offered to try a non-vegetarian dish by mistake. Most places that I have been to never seem to care about how important this can be for a pure vegetarian, so much appreciation for that. If I had to rate my evening, this is what it would be: Food – 9.3/10 Taste – 9/10 Quality – 10/10 Presentation – 8/10 Drinks – 8/10 Ambience – 10/10 Service – 10/10