I’m extremely glad that 25 degrees North invited me to come sample their menu at their new Business Bay branch, for I have discovered my new favorite spot for North Indian cuisine.
I love discovering hidden gems of restaurants in otherwise quiet locations, and 25 Degrees North certainly makes the cut.
M and I found our way there last Saturday, for lunch. The ambiance was very post-colonial but the serveware quite modern. We were warmly welcomed and offered Mango Lassi. A disappointing start, as frozen mango puree was being used in this Lassi instead of fresh mangos.
The warm and crispy complimentary papad accompanied by 3 house special Chutneys and an Achaar were on point though, and thankfully it was all uphill from there.
First off, we received an Amuse Bouche of Dahi Bhalay. I absolutely loved the Urad Daal fritter and the crunch of the pomegranate on top, but found the yogurt to be a little too sweet for my liking. M loved it in all it’s entirety though.
Next up, we received the following appetizers
- Paalak Patta Chaat : This was one of my favorite dishes of the day. A very simple idea, but executed to perfection. Individual leaves of spinach, dipped in very thin batter and then deep fried to a crisp, and then topped with yogurt, gram flour crispies, spices, and pomegranate. A beautiful melange of bold flavors that pop in your mouth with a burst of freshness. This was right up my alley.
Paalak Patta Chaat
- Dahi ke Kabab: This was basically a mixture of yogurt and cream cheese, rolled in bread and then deep fried. It wasn’t bad, but with so many better (veg and non-veg options), this probably wouldn’t make the cut in my list of “Things To Order”, when I go back.
Dahi Ke Kebab
- Mutton Seekh Kebab: Served under a butter, cream and cheese sauce; these were spicy with bold and mouthwatering flavors and were amongst the best mutton seekh kebabs I’ve ever had.
- Shahi Mushroom: Button mushrooms marinated in Achaar, garlic, and turmeric. Delicious use of mushrooms and a great option for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, the mushroom junkie in me will definitely be ordering this again. A simple ingredient transformed uniquely.
- Tandoori chicken: Well seasoned, succulent, juicy and cooked to perfection. What really swept me off my feet was the presentation though. The cooked chicken, atop a slab exhibiting the raw spices that went into the marinade, was placed alongside a burning coal for added smoke. This was a very sophisticated yet simplistic presentation and I was impressed.
- Kakori Kabab: According to the manager, these Kabab’s are native to a city in India and can be found over there only, but they reminded me very much of the Pakistani Shami kebab. (Fellow foodies, can anyone tell me if it’s the same thing?) It was a very soft, melt-in-your-mouth round Kebab made of lamb that was first boiled with All Spice and then turned to a paste. It was placed atop what we were told was a tiny paratha. What it really was, in fact, was a regular paratha cut into tiny discs. The paratha was dry and hard and while the kabab was delicious, the paratha was anything but.
Now, what’s funny is that this whole time we didn’t realize that we are still on the appetizers, for the main courses arrived next. In between the appitizer course and the main course, we received a palate cleanser of Jal Jeera shots.
Jal Jeera Shots
- Pomfret Curry: The name is pretty self explanatory. Served with plain white basmati rice, it’s exactly what you’d expect a North Indian fish curry to taste like.
- Dhal Tarka: Yellow lentils, sizzled with clarified butter, cumin, bay leaves, garlic and mustard seeds. Absolutely scrumptious.
- Dhal Makhni: Black lentils cooked with cream. Too sweet for my liking, I’ve had better.
- Sarson Ka Saag (Mustard Greens), with Makki Ki Roti (Corn Chapati): Having Punjabi roots, this dish excited me A LOT. Was it the best Sarson Ka Saag and Makki Ki Roti I’ve ever had? No. Was it good? Yes. This dish need to be eaten a certain way to be properly enjoyed. You mix butter in with the greens. Then you scoop some up with your corn chapati, put it in your mouth, and take a bite of the Jaigri (it’s like a rock of brown sugar). Sounds like an odd combo but trust me, it works. It really works.
For dessert, we had:
Jalebi with Rabri: This was SO. GOOD. Warm crispy Jalebis served with a cool Rabri dip….Oh. My. GOD. A very pleasant end to a delicious meal, and had we not been so stuffed and had our ever expanding waistlines allowed us the liberty to do so, we would most certainly have requested seconds.
Jalebi with Rabri dip
I was also told that soon they’ll be introducing a “Paan shot” at the end of every meal. That sounds very, very interesting and I’d really love to try this.
Our overall experience was very–for lack of a better word– interesting. The food was EXCELLENT. The menu we sampled was chosen entirely by the manager, with the exception of the Paalak Patta Chaat which I requested– and boy oh boy, am I glad I did! The service…..well, let’s just say the staff was very, VERY attentive. A little too much so, haha. M and I couldn’t really converse, due to the constant attention from and the close proximity of the staff that seemed to be trying a little too hard. Don’t get me wrong, they were very, VERY nice, but I really don’t want to be asked after every bite how I liked the food. I don’t think that any non-blogging customers need to be worried though. This food needs to be eaten. Do try it out, whoever is reading this. I can vouch for it.
Please note that the serving sizes photographed were sample sizes made especially for us. A regular customer can expect a bigger helping of most items.
Mouth freshner at the