Restaurant Review:
Peppermill

DFC
​Dubai

The sprawling, new section of the Dubai Festival City Mall currently plays host to a variety of fresh shops and restaurants and we’ve been having a gala time making our way through the new food stops on offer. A recent invite took us to Peppermill in the mall, an extensive, tastefully decorated space that has been divided into airy, elegant units resembling rooms in a palatial Indian household, beginning with the Darbar and culminating with the Veranda, in this case the outdoor seating section that looks out into the fountains. There are also a set of private dining rooms named after cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and more! You can also keep your eyes on the colorful bar or the goings on in the kitchen as you wait for the culinary treats to make their way to your table. On arrival we were greeted by the affable Kiran who along with esteemed Chef Dilip Johri, ensured our tasting was a very pleasant experience. Here’s everything we had:

Salad
  • FATTOUSH ALA INDIE: Mixed lettuce, cucumber ribbons, red-radish, tomato, char grilled peppers, house-pickled beetroot, pao crisps and feta. Sumac and honey balsamic dressing

This interesting salad draws on influences from both Middle Eastern and Indian cooking and we were told that it has been inspired by the cooking of Arabian travelers journeying in India. Fresh and full of flavor, the highlight of this salad for us were the Pao Crisps in lieu of Pita chips, the feta and the tanginess of the dressing. An absolute winner!

Soup
  • TOMATO SHORBA: Fresh tomato and coriander soup, butter poached vegetable and raisin ratatouille, pao crisps
  • CHICKEN AND SAFFRON (NV): Chicken and almond soup, saffron cream and crispy chicken pops

Both soups were great but the tomato shorba with its buttery taste and texture and the pao crisps again emerged triumphant in this competition! Another thing that had us squealing in delight were the masala Khari puffs that accompanied the soups.

Starters
  • THE NEST (NV):  Masala pea crusted chicken dumplings, BBQ tamarind and yogurt
  • ALOO TIKKI: Crisp fried, sago crusted spiced potato cakes, lentil and mint filling, chutney drizzle
  • PUNJABI CHOLE BHATOORA:  Slow cooked chickpeas with amritsari spice mix, deep fried bhatoora bread
  • PEPPERMILL “GYMKHANA” SELECTION: Malai tikka, chicken tikka, korma chaap, seekh kebab, Ajwaini fish, jhinga balai, grilled potato

Loved the presentation of the Nest which stayed true to its name and resembled a messy, colorful nest in all its glory. The Kataifi and masala pea crusts added to the authenticity and with respect to the taste, it was a cool combination of cheese, chicken and other zests. The Aloo Tikki fell short of expectations especially because of the Sago that completely overpowered the dish. When Chef Dilip found out that we’re from Delhi, he immediately whipped up a plate of Chole Bhatoore and we have to admit that it was quite reminiscent of the kind made at home. The Peppermill Gymkhana selection was a pretty platter filled with goodies and our favorites from the lot were the Korma Chaap, Seekh Kebab and Jhinga Balai.

Mains
  • GORKHA CHICKEN: Nepalese style stir-fry chicken with spring onions, coriander and black pepper
  • NALLI ROGANJOSH: Braised baby lamb shanks curry from Kashmir, fennel, Kashmiri chili and yogurt stew
  • FIRST CLASS RAILWAY OFFICER’S MUTTON CURRY: Lamb and potato stew with turmeric, cinnamon and tomatoes, finished in coconut milk
  • PINDI CHANNA
  • CHICKEN BIRYANI
  • BREAD BASKET

Mutton fans, the Nalli Roganjosh is for you! One half of us adores mutton dishes and couldn’t get enough of this one. The other half of Stamps and Stubs swore by the Gorkha Chicken, especially because we’ve visited Nepal previously and loved the food there! So, this dish brought back memories of the food from the country. We also highly recommend that you make sure the Onion Parmesan Kulcha is present in your bread basket because it is one that is not to be missed. Overall, the mains were brilliant and by the end of it, we wished we had more than one stomach supporting us.

Dessert
  • THE SWEET SHOP: Selection of Peppermill desserts for the table including Gulab Jamun, Kesari Rasmalai and Coconut cream and pepper corn panna cotta.

Speaking of extra stomachs, as the meal concluded, our dessert stomachs opened up and wholeheartedly welcomed the beautiful set of goodies in front of us. Ranking in order of favorites, we will have to give top honors to the Gulab Jamun (what a dulcet delight), the creamy Panna cotta comes next and the Ras Malai secures last place (this one was slightly disappointing in our opinions).

To conclude, the beautifully laid out Peppermill is the perfect place for an occasion or a leisurely afternoon filled with great food and company!
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