When we heard that there is a new restaurant in town named Panki, after a popular but hard-to-obtain Gujarati dish, we assumed they would serve us a wholesome Gujarati meal.
So, we trekked to Juhu and spotted the green sign board of Panki, which was sandwiched between a Cafe Coffee Day and Hawain Shack. Once we settled in our chairs and with our appetites worked up after a hard day's work, we were ready to order.
The menu obviously offered Panki but a little ahead of it was a crazy jumble of different cuisines listed together. So, Veg Patiyala was fighting for space with Veg eclair and Gatte Ki Sabji was listed on the same page as Dragon Paneer Chilly and Yakitori Sizzler. Not to forget a section of alcohol and cocktails and mocktails.
We decided to stick to the eatery's namesake and ordered the Masala Panki (Rs 92). From the cocktails section we opted for their Special Cocktail but were told that we were told about its unavailability, since they were out of watermelon juice. Our attendant suggested we order a Wing Wing instead (which in our bill read as Nipsy Tipsy, priced at Rs 249). Our Masala Panki arrived steaming hot and we eagerly peeled off the leaves to sample the super-thin pancake.
The masala added some much-needed spice and the Panki won our hearts with its lightness and excellent flavour. However, the unpalatable Wing Wing cocktail dampened our spirits. We decided to stick to Gujarati fare and not get too adventurous.
So, we ordered for the Rajbhog Gujarati Thaali. Our thaali experience started with Rajasthani Daal Bati Churma (a three-tier dish comprising of cooked wheat flour chunks, Daal (lentil) and sweetened flour (Churma). The Baati came soaked in ghee and was immediately dunked in the hot and spicy daal and gobbled up. The Churma complemented the dish.
Our thaali arrived even before we finished the Gujarati starter. The thaali was a clash of different tastes with its three vegetables -- Undhyu, Kela bhaaji and the Rajasthani speciality Gatte Ki Sabji. Though they tasted good, the contrasting tastes of sugar, spice and salt might not go down well with all patrons. So Panki should keep a few options in terms of vegetables. The Undhyu tasted great and so did the sweet Kela sabji.
The Gatte Ki Sabji could have been a bit more spicy. The Gujarati Kadhi again got a thumbs up from us and was tangy and sweet in the right amounts. The corn cutlets that accompanied the thaali were not extraordinary.
With our tummies full we thought of taking home some of their other cuisine options but were told that they couldn't offer us parcels as they didn't have containers. Overall, Panki shines in bits but needs to solve it's teething problems.
At: Above Cafe Coffee Day, Gulmohur road, Juhu.
Panki didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals.