Southern Avenue gets another good eatery serving quite a wide variety of dishes and cuisines! Though it is just six months old but it has already started building the goodwill which is vital for any restaurant (or any business) to do well in the long run.
The Palms offers some good food with amazing ambiance at reasonable prices which is quite a deadly combination for sure. And definitely the service is equally good with attentive and helpful servers right there at your service.
Last Saturday I was invited to this place for a food tasting event and had the opportunity to taste a huge variety of dishes that truly helped me to evaluate this newly opened restaurant. I had some suggestions and I hope those will be taken care of in near future; but otherwise it was a lovely evening and a scrumptious dinner for sure with North Indian, Awadhi, Chinese and Thai cuisines fighting among themselves on my table! Let us delve deep into a bit details to get a hang of the food quality and other paraphernalia related to this place.
Location – – – – – This place is placed very close to Kalighat Metro Station (Gate no. 3) and it is a two minutes walk from there towards the Southern Avenue, it is there just beside the CCD outlet. There used to be Funjabi Tadka at this place. You can park your car on the main road. And if you are at this place after sunset, you can surely spot it more easily with the blue LED lights that write the name of the restaurant on the name-board.
Ambiance – – – – – The entrance is bit small but when you walk inside you will find that the place is quite spacious. As you walk in you will find several stairs which you need to climb to reach the restaurant that opens up into a large hall which is very well lit. Also as you step inside the restaurant you will find a beautiful pristine water fountain right there in front of you against a dark rocky wall, the incessant sound of flowing water calms you down and enriches your entire dining experience even without your knowledge. But I would suggest the management to play some soothing Indian classical instrumentals in the background and to stay away from playing Bollywood numbers that might ruin the classy ambiance and overall mood of the diner, also the volume of the background music should always be kept a bit low. But I would anyway like to appreciate the interior décor which is so perfect for this place. The furniture and the wall textures are amazing and very urbane. The seating arrangements are so comfortable and you can sit, dine and have a great conversation there for hours maybe. Also as said earlier the place is very spacious and the seating arrangements are very well planned, which is a huge plus point. The place has got a capacity of accommodating total 70 guests, and you get several tables here for large groups, which is again a plus point. I even loved the classy false ceiling décor and everything about the warm romantic ambiance and lovely interior décor of this place! Hope this will be well maintained and if the place starts providing free wifi to the guests then it’ll be an added advantage for sure. Now, coming to the cutleries, I have got no complains with that, they are pristine white and very classy, just perfect for this place.
Food – – – – We decided to taste some mocktails followed by the North Indian, Awadhi and then the oriental dishes. So it was a huge spread and we managed to finish things off well and on-time 🙂 So, here are all the items we had ordered:
a) Pink Island – I will avoid this mocktail on any given day! It tasted very syrupy and was tad too sweet for my liking, it was dark pink in color and we could not finish it in the end.
b) Heaven’s Calling – This was just opposite the last one, this was the best mocktail I have tried at this place. It was light green in color and had a lovely refreshing taste which was bit sour and sweet, just a perfect blend. Must try!
c) Deep Sea – It was a nice jal-jeera based mocktail, kinda aam panna flavor with that deep green color and served in a nawabi glass that added more glam quotient to it 🙂
d) Virgin Blue Lagoon – At other places I have tasted very bad Blue Lagoon mocktails, but this one at Palms was a better one and I quite liked its taste which had a nice balance of flavors in it.
e) Cinderella – It was again on the sweeter side but was nice and refreshing. But importantly it looked great with a dark orangish base and a light colored top!
a) Seafood Clear Soup with Prawn Dumplings – It was the best soup that I had at this place. It was very soothing and the mild aroma was so satisfying. The prawn dumplings were beautifully made, and the greens were put in right proportions. Must try!
b) Murg Yakni Shorba – Not that great, mainly because of the chewy chicken pieces which were in there, the flavor was okayish but not really worth the penny.
c) Tom Yum Noodle Soup with prawn – It was really good and loaded with ingredients like shrimps, zucchini, red chilies, mushrooms, noodles, etc. Bit spicy as expected and very flavorful, but it could have been a bit thicker in density.
a) Prawn Tempura – It was an amazing dish and the prawn in there was very fresh. The coating could have been a bit crispier but anyway I liked it the way it was. Dip it in the sweet red chili sauce and enjoy! Worth a try!
b) Khumb Galawati Kebabs – This was another amazing dish. The mushrooms have been pasted into flat round balls and you call it the mushroom galawati kebabs which are dipped in garlic and ghee, it is so smooth in texture that you need not chew it, it’ll just melt in your mouth!
c) Sultani Irani – This was a tandoor-ed mutton boti starter with jafran and yogurt, it was devoid of any spices so tasted a bit unusual, it was tad too sour for that yogurt and I felt as if some other spices could’ve made the thing taste better. It tasted different for sure and the mutton in there was fresh, but I may not have this again.
d) Makhani Karahi – This one was very good, it was tandoored soft, juicy boneless chicken in sweet and sour red sauce. Worth a try!
e) Stir Fried water-chestnut – Nice and innovative dish for sure. We Bengalis normally have water-chestnut raw as a fruit, but here it tasted amazing in this spicy and tangy gravy with black pepper, asparagus and sugar snap. Worth a try!
f) Stir Fried Pak Choi in White garlic Sauce – This was the star dish for sure. It had a very simple presentation and tasted just amazing! You get a choice of sauces here and I went in for the white garlic sauce which I guess was the correct one. The Pak Choi leaves were sautéed in that white garlic sauce and that produced some lovely mild aroma and intense inimitable flavors. Must try!
a) Chicken Thai green curry with steamed rice – One of the most common Thai dishes available around the globe. The ingredients used were all perfect like lemongrass, galangal, kaafir lime, sweet basil, coriander, etc but one thing went wrong – it was tad too sweet which was a let down. But anyway the sweetness was eclipsed by all those great ingredients, the refreshing aroma and the juicy chicken pieces in there. Just ask them not to make it sweet. Worth a try!
b) Spicy Lan Ching Chicken – It was one lovely spicy side dish with hint of soya sauce and the chicken had a nice texture with some skin on it, the diced exotic veggies used made the dish even more flavorful.
c) Fish Hyderabadi – This dish is generally prepared with Bhetki but it was prepared with Pomfret for this event. The fish was fresh but I personally didn’t like the preparation, it was bit watery and the gravy did not seem to be coconut gravy, as the dish claims!
d) Keema Naan – This was really amazing. Soft naan stuffed with keema. Really one great find. Must try!
e) Sea food Fried Rice – Again a star dish! Though it was not having the squid in it but still it tasted very sea-food-ish and the intense flavors blew me away in the very first bite! Nice aromatic dish with loads of fish and shrimp bits. Must try!
f) Steamed Fillet in black bean sauce – Oh boy this looked so awesome! The presentation was really nice and it tasted equally good. The Bhetki fish was really fresh and tasted great with the black bean sauce.
a) Gajar ka Halwa – I am not a fan of Gajar Halwa but I must say I loved it here. It was so light, mild and absolutely not overtly sweet. Worth a try!
b) Sesame tossed honey noodle with vanilla ice cream – It was an innovative dessert and it looked amazing, and tasted equally good. The flat sesame seed tossed fried noodles had a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top and it was a joy to have this after the heavy meal. A perfect ending! I am happy that orthodox vanilla icecream with darshan was not served and there is a touch of innovation here, which is appreciable. Must try!
Service – – – – – The place is very new so the training of the servers are yet not over. But I found some of them are working extremely hard to make things work, they are sincere, helpful and courteous and I guess with time the will serve us even better.
Summary – – – – – Here are my granular ratings:
Food quantity: 4/5
Food quality: 3.7/5
Food presentation: 3.8/5
Value for money: 3.7/5
My overall rating comes to 3.8 out of 5, which will be rounded off to 4 out of 5 Zomato rating. So this was one remarkable gastronomical discovery for me and I am sure I have marked the star dishes for which I’ll be back. Overall I felt the oriental dishes are better at this place though they stress more on their Mughlai or Awadhi departments. Hope they will work on the couple of suggestions provided above in this review and I wish them all the best for the coming days. I would just like them to stress a bit more on publicity so that people are aware of this new place, till then the word of mouth publicity would do the trick. If you are reading this post and are already planning to visit this place then I would suggest you to please go ahead, bring in your loved ones and you will love the overall experience!