Last weekend, I had the pleasure to taste food at a fairly new Indian Restaurant called Chawlas2 (Chawlas Square) that has opened doors in JLT, Dubai. It hails from Ludhiana, Punjab, in India with over 100 outlets all over India, Canada, US, Australia and now Dubai.
Known for its epic ‘Cream Chicken’ being its signature dish, Chawlas is now rebranded to Chawlas Square. The taste has remained unchanged as its extremely cherished by everyone who is a die hard fan of their ‘Cream Chicken’ and other dishes on the menu. Chawlas2 is very different from any other North Indian restaurant as it serves food that is authentic Punjabi with no hint of Mughlai in its dishes. The food for the most part tastes the same across all its branches worldwide.
The restaurant is a long narrow stretch with seating on their sides of the aisle. The decor is basic, yet has a minimal touch of the Indian artifacts that add that character to the interiors. I would say its a great blend of rustic, authentic and contemporary.
As you enter, on the right is the reception and the kitchen where you can peep through and see the chefs at work as they prepare the meals wholeheartedly.
It also has a spacious terrace space outside overlooking the lake, which is great during the cooler months in Dubai. The view is spectacular during the night as your dining admist a jungle of skyscrapers.
For the starters, first up was – Fish Irani. The name is quite unusual while dining in an Indian restaurant. Although, the recipe would have been passed on by the Iranis who settled in India back in the day. The fish was succulent in texture and taste, perfectly cooked and had a burst of flavours as it had a coating of cashew nuts and yogurt.
Next up was the – Paneer Tikka. For me this was my favourite amongst the starters I tasted. I love paneer and it really can be in any form. The paneer tikka tasted soft, flavourful with right blend of tomato and spices and was served with green peppers. In most places, paneer is taken on a different level and in the process of cooking or grilling the consistency gets quite hard and it looses its real taste. At Chawlas2, the paneer seemed to be cooked very carefully and the taste was on point!
Last but not the least, I tasted the – Tangdi Kebab. This was basically, chicken leg pieces that were stuffed with minced meat. Quite an innovative dish and a must try for all you chicken/meat lovers. It tasted great with some mint sauce and ring onions. If you are a North Indian, then you know what I’am talking about :)!
The main course was shortly served and it included Mutton Rara, Dal makhni and their signature dish – Cream Chicken. By the looks of it, Cream Chicken might resemble to a mushroom soup but it totally does not taste like it. I would say, don’t go by the looks and dive straight in to tasting the delicacy. If you are someone who loves cream and black pepper then this dish will be right up your alley! Creamy and peppery in every bite and that is what Cream Chicken is all about. The Indian flatbread called Rumali Roti, compliments this dish very well.
I also tried Mutton Rara, and was it one of my favourites. The taste was rich but quite flavourful. It consisted of miced meat, tomato and onion gravy that was cooked to perfection. I enjoy a bit of tanginess or for the most part tomato based curries and this one hits the spot pretty much.
Dal makhni – a mix of black beans and black lentils that are cooked for a few hours with spices and butter in order to get the right taste and consistency. The best dal makhni will not be too watery or too thick. It will be just about medium thick and its perfect comfort food that transports you to food heaven. Butter naan totally compliments this lentil dish.
Overall the portions are pretty generous for the amount you pay and the taste is something you can’t go wrong with, at Chawalas!
The bread basket included 5 assorted breads from butter naan, missi roti, tandoori roti, laccha parantha and pudina parantha. My fav was the pudina parantha and the portion of the bread basket was quite big as well.
To end it with a sweet note, I indulged in having Gulab Jamun(sweet deep-fried dumplings) that were OH-SO-GOOD!!! They were made to perfection and tasted heavenly. This makes me want to have one right now!!!
The afternoon at Chawlas2 was a trip to Punjab and diving into all the delicacies brought back fond memories of the restaurant back in India. Unmatched taste and true authenticity of Punjabi cuisine, that is what Chawlas2 is all about.
If your on the hunt for some comfort Punjabi food then this is where you head to. Located in Lakefront Icon Building 1, Cluster M, Below Zoom supermarket. For more details contact: 04 514 9271 or 050 850 2483