This would be the second time I visited 25 Degrees North. Although the first time I did, it was a different branch and for their Iftar buffet during Ramadan.
Driving through Bay Square is hard for first timers, so it took quite some time to locate the place. It got even harder as their building (BB07) is situated between buildings and could not be viewed easily from the road. Keeping the tough start aside, we entered a fairly crowded restaurant with royal interiors.
Indian restaurants seem to follow the same thing, they like to play with golden and brown colour palettes. Thankfully, we got to see a different case at 25 Degrees, while also incorporating a little Indian with their beaded curtains.
With soft Hindi music playing in the background, our evening was just about to begin. We started with their palate cleanser (Dahi Vada) that came in shot glasses and Mango Lassi.
For appetizers, we ordered a Palak Patta Chaat (noticed on almost every table, so had to order this!) and a platter that consisted of Chicken Tikka, Chicken Gilafi Sheekh, Jhinga Mehrunnisa and Paneer Makhmali Sheekh Kebab.
My favourite appetizer was the Palak Patta Chaat was absolutely delish! Fried spinach leaves with chutneys and yoghurt, garnished with pomegranate seeds. It’s a simple Indian chaat dish and famous as a street side food in India. Also very simple to make at home (Note to self: Try preparing this once to keep your resolution of spending more time in the kitchen)
From the platter, I loved my Gilafi Sheekh. Grilled minced chicken topped with a layer of cheese and presented wonderfully on skewers. The bell peppers made it look quite colourful too. Sadly, the Paneer Makhmali didn’t suit well with me. There was a sweet flavour in it that wasn’t what I was expecting. I personally feel it did not agree with the cottage cheese (paneer)
For mains, we decided to order small as we were already half full. Chicken Lababdar and Chicken Kolhapuri with Kashmiri Pulao.
Now, since I hail from India, I critique Indian food quite strictly. There were a few things that didn’t work out for me. Take the Chicken Kolhapuri, mentioned as a spicy dish on the menu and not even close. Kashmiri Pulao was another story. The dish is basically rice with nuts and fruits, there were hardly any nuts and the addition of pears wasn’t something that I appreciated.
Chicken Lababdar, on the other hand, saved whatever there was of the day. Creamy and rich gravy with boneless chicken. Unfortunately, we were too full to finish it.
For dessert we tried their Jalebi and Rabdi. Deep fried and crispy, dipped in sugar syrup, the Jalebis were warm and mouth watering. The Rabdi is usually served cold and has a thick consistency, this one was significantly thinner and watery. But it worked. Since the jalebis were heavy with their sugar syrup, the rabdi balanced the whole dish without making us feel giddy.
Lastly, we ended with a Malai Kulfi, cut into pieces (my sister’s strange request). 25 Degrees North has improved in terms of taste, but can do much better. Their service and ambiance of the place is on point, but some tweaking with the dishes can go a long way.