A lovely location, just opposite Garuda Mall on Commissariat Road, The Permit Room looks gorgeous with the complete glass exterior and bright lights. The Friday evening in May when we went there, the place was quite full, not super loud music, spanning several stories, and a beautiful rooftop with views all around. The folks behind Toit bring this swanky new place to this part of town. We were there for a #LoveScotch event in TPR that evening, and then to Arbor, but we decided to come back to The Permit Room for dinner, given the interesting reviews on the food we had heard – modern twists to South Indian classic dishes. The ground floor had some classic paintings with fun twists. So think of Shakuntala painting her nails, or Noorie carrying a beer glass and more!
The menu doesn’t have an overwhelming number of options, and that could be a limitation for regulars. We ordered Highway Pandi Curry, Chicken Nilgiri Korma, Ennai Kathirikai and Mysuru Saru Mutton Curry. The mains had a plate of Kerala Parota accompanying them. Our server informed us that Pandi Curry wasn’t really a curry, but we stuck to it, and I am glad we did. The soft very well cooked pork was served on a bed of upma generously topped with ham slices. Just wow! The Ennai Kathirikai is basically brinjals in tamarind and stuffed with spices – a beautifully prepared dish – deliciously spicy and definitely a must try here. The other two dishes weren’t that enthralling. The Saru curry tasting good, though the mutton could have been cooked a little more. The Nilgiri Chicken, not very distinct in taste, but was alright. The idli soufflé was just average – soft bits of idli with molecular sambar bubbles – didn’t really stand out very well.
The Donne Lamb Biryani brought up the end of the meal and was just brilliant. Flavorful, soft chunks of lamb and spicy with green chilies, with fried onions on the side – a classic Karnataka dish rendered very well. The dessert options aren’t a lot – but a creative line up. The Jil Jil Jigarthanda – a popular dessert drink adapted to The Permit Room way – with rose syrup and kulfi cream. We tried the Filter Coffee Pot De Crème – like a coffee mousse – creamy and packed the punch of coffee, served in a coconut shell, grated coconuts and bites plating this beautifully.
A wonderful new concept place, loved the ambiance, interesting food – will definitely be back! Pricing is competitive, a meal for 4 came up to about 3000 rupees.