Peppermill is an acclaimed restaurant for it Magical dishes by the culinary artists of colonial India. Going back to history when the British Raj was in awe of the amazing Spices that India had to offer. The crown of the spice family was the Pepper! The Pepper has discovered 4,000 years ago and was considered the “master spice,” which elements on the Malabar coast. During the various invasions of India, with each new ruler and with each new invader, Indian Cuisine evolved. And this evolution is trended till date in the very own kitchen of Peppermill under Chef Dilip Johri’s command where he is inventing wonderful recipes with yet very real spices and is reinventing the Pepper art.
This indeed is a new avatar of Peppermill for what we have experienced and reviewed back in Peppermill Abu Dhabi – Eastern Mangroves. The first impression was very welcoming, Abhishek Shukla has warmly greeted us and took us through a long passage onlooking the glass counters of their huge kitchen. While being escorted to the spacious and large dining areas with beautiful views of the creek we walk pass the colorful themed chambers which are again inspired by colonial influences and are named after the cities with a similar historical background, e.g., Mumbai, Kolkatta, etc.
While Chef Dilip Johri was all set to pamper our taste buds, we took a moment to admire the ambiance of the restaurant which was excellent and well emerged in different auras to suit the need as well as the mood of the diners. The Majlis setup was kind of chic though still keeping it substantial with book shelves and all. I was already in love with the idea behind uniquely naming the sitting chambers.
The Hot Steaming food was a WOW factor of any experience and Kudos to the entire team of Peppermill DFC making sure that the food been curated by Executive Chef reach right onto diners table in its owing way. This place has very attentive, helpful, professional & welcoming staff; they do go an extra mile to elaborate the stories behind the dishes inspiration upon enquiring. We would love to visit another time and try other varieties too from, their extensive detailed menu. I had food haul the just right in front of us on the table plus they been tremendously generous to host my parents who were visiting the country as well. The quantity for each order is also just perfect for sharing in general.
Coming to the food rundown which was tremendously fabulous. We started off with Soup that is served with masala khari puff and lemon, made it even more enjoyable and to indulge on the opener of the show. It carried on with Tomato Shorba Prepared With Fresh tomato and coriander, poached butter vegetable and raisin ratatouille. Pao crisps served on side again made it unusually glamorous and delicious at the same time. Up next was another kind of soup i-e The Peppermill Lentil Broth. This Yellow lentil soup with steamed mini rice cakes inside was a bit tricky in narration. However, a lot of thought went behind all the recipe building. I love the crispy lentils and fresh coriander zest.
Another unlike combo in soups was presented in the form on Chicken and Saffron with almond soup. It was like saffron cream and crispy chicken pops. While taking initial sips, the saffron was over empowering, however, crispy chicken pops and balanced off that element constantly evolving combination was far-fetched. Prawn shorba was my personal favorite with chowder style prawn bisque with poached prawns. It was very well oriented and by far the best-conceptualized soup I had at any Indian restaurant. Oh and not to forget the coconut and curry foam. The salad has significant fusion and innovation, for a while I wandered from and an idea of being sitting in Indian culinary house. The Fattoush ala Indie a unique with mixed lettuce, cucumber ribbons, red-radish, tomato, char grilled peppers, house-pickled beetroot, pao crisps, and feta. Sumac and the honey balsamic dressing were an addictive combo.
Chick and Spinach Salad was another class of its own with Chicken, chickpeas, avocado and spinach salad plus mandarins quirkiness and “tadka” dressing indie element. It was appetizing. Then came the series of SMALL PLATES what they refer as at Peppermill. First up was THE NEST having Masala pea crusted chicken dumplings with BBQ tamarind and yogurt, a bit bald in taste but good presentation. KALIMPONG CHICKEN SHUIJAO arrived second and had opened all our culinary senses with its presentaion and pastry taste. Served with boiled chicken dumplings on burnt chili and celery sauce- from the China- Sikkim borders this dish stole our hearts.
Kataifi Prawns was a good projection of sweet & sour with Crisp fried, pastry wrapped prawns served with mango chili salsa, and salad. Nawabi Paneer Tikka was average but again full of surprise in the form of stuffed pickle inside the center. It was traditionally tandoor grilled with the yellow chili and yogurt marinade. The Chaat Platter was not just an eye-treat for a foodie but also consist of traditional Indian street food bites i-e chaat., samosa etc.
From Peppermill selection we had “GYMKHANA” as tasting platter having a selection of Malai tikka, chicken tikka, korma chaanp, seekh kebab, Ajwaini Fish, jhinga balai, grilled potato. It was hard to decide over which kind of meat is prepared with more perfection over the other. Nepalese style stir-fry of Gorkha chicken was another tastefully stylish peppery treat with spring onions, coriander, and black pepper. Nalli Rogan josh though was not the best one I had so far but did keep us engage in trying few bites with fresh naan due to its moderate spice level. My mother really enjoyed this braised baby lamb shanks curry from Kashmir made up of fennel, Kashmiri chili, and yogurt stew.
Pondicherry Seafood Curry is a dish they proudly present having Pan fried gulf shrimps and fish fillet. Raw mango, fresh coconut milk, and madras curry spice mix brought this coastal magic taking you down the memory lane consuming food in quintessentially India way. Peppermill’s take on the classic matar paneer has it’s own class if you are a veg lover. Baked pea twist with paneer tikka surprise in lababdar gravy is unbeatable. Mutton biryani was kids favorite.
Dessert was grand as it was the entire Sweet Shop with;
- GULAB JAMUN with apricot and prune confit and mandarin rabadi
- COCONUT CREAM AND PEPPERCORN PANACOTTA – Strawberry granita, fennel, thandai milk crumble, star anise flavored apricot compote
- KESARI RASMALAI – Sugar poached ricotta galletes, saffron Rabadi and pistachio cardamom shrikhand
- LEMON GHEWAR TART – Fried milk lattice topped with lemon custard, rose and black pepper kulfi
The food was ample, tasty, good to share with family hence the price mentioned in menu is all worth it. The mix grills were juicy. We also devoured a selection of Mocktails offered;
- Strawberry Basil Mojito
- Coconut Curry leave Mojito – My favourite
- Kiwi Mint Mojito
- Mango Lassi – My dad loved it.
- Kiwi Margarita
The meal ended with a selection of tea and Madras Kappi i-e coffee and I couldn’t have asked for better with a great view of the Dancing fountain as the Digital effect show had already started by that time, and the staff has already opened the floor to ceiling massive sliding doors.
Peppermill is a casual dining restaurant presenting Indian cuisine with imaginative recipes and appealing zest to excite the palate and enchant the senses. Many element of culinary offerings at Peppermill did upturned the conventional prospect for us as diners. Venue along with menu resonates the idea of being constantly evolve and adapt. Overall Chef Dilip Johri and his dedicated team created dishes and menu combining Indian ingredients with local and international produce and Indian cooking techniques with a colonial design template, which provides a distinctive layering of flavors.
This elegant restaurant is ideal for intimate events and large corporate functions with luxurious seating and private dining facilities. We loved our visit to Peppermill and being pampered with the magic of the past and flavors of the present. We had a glimpse of some classic regional dishes that were adored by the whole family equally.
Level 1, Water Front,
Dubai Festival City Mall,
Festival City, Dubai
T: +9714 288 1587
Special Thanks to Host Abhishek, Chef Dilip Johri and his kitchen team, Kiran and serving staff for the warm hospitality.