Just when you think you have had enough Indian cuisine, you just happen to find a place that makes you want to rekindle your relationship all over again. Actually Peppermill is Indian turned on its side. The atmosphere and price point say casual, (it is in Wahda Mall) but the food is classy and inventive. Peppermill makes Indian cuisine creative and interesting while showing off those standby traditional Indian cooking techniques.
I started with a homey tomato soup. A large bowl is served to you with roasted vegetables, swirls of cream, and fresh herbs delicately resting inside. The server pours over the steaming tomato soup and you watch as all the ingredients combine. The addition of a flaky puff pastry for dipping is genius. Next up, the crispy Kataifi Prawns. They are super tender with crispy light pastry wrapped around. The kebabs are an excellent showing of Chef Aron's skills with the tandoor oven. Meat, veg, soy or potato. In fact, the Portuguese Grilled Potatoes are char grilled in masala and then smashed, serving up a crispy spicy exterior and moist starchy interior with a side of coriander chutney. If you like spicy, they are happy to turn up the heat with some punch-packing smokey chili peppers.
The main courses that I tried were more traditional but fantastically flavorful without being too rich. I loved the modern simple presentation and the usage of serving dishes that are colorful but earthy. The Aloo Gobi was perfectly tender without being mushy, and I could actually taste the cauliflower and potato, rather than have them hidden underneath the sauce. Biryani is served steaming hot to the table, so that you can watch as you server removes the baked lid. The fluffy jasmine rice is mixed with saffron rice and there are large chunks of veg/meat scatted throughout. A side of refreshing yogurt sauce is the perfect match. I have had Biryani many times, but the smoothly melded flavors of this one are addicting. Finally, I folded a piece of soft warm garlic naan, and dipped it into the slow-cooked buttery black lentils. Why I don't eat this more often?
If you are not a sweets person you have to at least try the Kulfi Lassi, or the Shahi Tudka dessert. Kulfi is a famous ice made from condensing milk until it is thick caramelly sweetness. Then nuts or other flavors are added...like pistachio and rose water. The Kulfi at Peppermill has lots of crunchy pistachios. The Shahi Tudka dessert is three large scoops of nutty Kulfi ice cream between two layers of caramelized brioche, with just a dab of cinnamon-maple jus. I think I cried when I was too full to finish it.
Peppermill has a huge menu and I need to go back for another meal if only just to verify that my delicious experience was not just luck. And, Chef Aron personally recommend the seafood curry, so that is on my "to do" list.
Level 2, Al Wahda Mall Extension, Al Wahda, Abu Dhabi
Open 11am to 11:30pm everyday