Dhaba by Claridges finally opened a branch in Bengaluru on 4th February 2017 and I was able to visit them in their first month of operations.
I have heard about the famous Dhaba By Claridges but did not know the whole story till my visit here.
Dhaba by Claridges was originally a Dhaba style restaurant located inside Claridges and after 29 years of existence they decided to open up their stand alone restaurants across the country to provide a fun and lighter ambience to cater to the younger generation.
Currently there are six restaurants in Delhi (2), Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Chennai and their most recent one in Bengaluru.
Dhaba food is more popular in North India and hence Dhaba food is synonymous with Punjabi food. Initially started with the intention of serving hungry and weary truck drivers between their stops their version of food has become very popular and I have personally been to many such Dhaba style restaurants over the years.
Their ambience may not have the usual charpai (cots) and open air setting, but they have done up their decor with comfortable seating, rustic interiors with quirky and interesting dhaba english one liners.
Their menu is divided into three parts with special dishes created from the Tawa, Tandoor, Patila.
Like in regular Dhaba’s they have also their version of Tharra Theka signature cocktails indianised to give a desi twist. Not to forget the Pauva bottles in which they were served.
GULABO: This drink was a suggestion by one of the Managers and I must say it was excellent. This cocktail is the Indianised version of a LIIT made with Kala Khatta.
PAAN MOJITO : I did mention desi cocktails in the beginning of this post and one of the cocktails served to taste was a mojito served with paan flavour. If you love paan, then this is a must try.
SOMRAS : Vodka infused with fresh coriander,mint, ginger and aam paana mix. It sounds so desi yet the fusion of the flavours is wonderful.
BASANTI : For a change we had a taste of gin cocktail made with fresh cucumber and basil. This cocktail was quite refreshing thanks to the latter two ingredients but with a kick!
TOOFAN – Another vodka cocktail this time with spices, coriander and guava juice.
My friends tried a few mocktails – Ganne Ka Sa ras, Rangeela and Shikanji. Among these, the Ganne Ka Sa Ras was the crowd favourite and was reordered by some.
Non Veg Starters:
GALOUTI KEBAB : Every food lover knows a gelouti kebab and the minced lamb kebab served here was mouth melting.
DHABA PRAWNS: A recommendation from their manager which I willingly accepted as I love prawns. The prawns served here are huge and grilled to perfection making it the perfect starter with my drink Gulabo.
AMRITSARI FISH: Another recommendation from the staff which turned out to be excellent. Fish gram flour coated and fried with a definite flavour of ajwain.
HIGHWAY CHICKEN TIKKA: Soft succulent and boneless pieces of chicken well marinated and grilled to perfection and peppered with chilli flakes.
RAAN: The raan served here was soft and the meat literally falling off the bone but what impressed me here was the amount of thick masala served with lamb. If you felt that was not enough the dish is served with a bowl of similar gravy.
MUTTON SEEKH: Another dish available in most Punjabi restaurants but the Chef special touches are quite visible with the use of some special homemade spices.
VEG GALOUTI: After tasting their non veg galouti, I almost skipped this dish till the server insisted I try a piece. Their veg version of the famous galouti is pretty good especially the use of cinnamon and cardamom.
DHABA PANEER TIKKA: Soft pieces of lightly marinated cottage cheese grilled and flavoured with saffron. This was my best veg starter of the meal.
TANDOORI BHUNE ALOO: Tandoor roasted potatoes shallow fried and tossed with onions. Another great starter for the vegetarians.
PALAK PANEER KI SEEKH: I love the way the Chef has used Palak Paneer to make a seekh.
Non Veg Gravies:
TIFFIN CHICKEN: The idea of tiffin chicken itself is quite different and to see it served in a two tiered tiffin makes it too interesting to miss. The Chef’s idea of a homemade style chicken was a surefire hit and it was well enjoyed by the group. Ideally to be had with Ajwaini paratha.
BALTI MEAT: I was told this dish is one of the speciality dishes served in all their restaurants. This is supposedly very similar to the lamb gravy sold on the highways. A gravy with loads of flavour perfect to be had with their Dhaba di Roti.
CHITTA BUTTER CHICKEN: A very different looking butter chicken made with hung curd and yoghurt turned out to be one of the better butter chicken gravies I have tasted. A must try here!
AMRITSARI KUKKAD: Chicken cooked in onion and tomato gravy. The only main course dish which was semi gravy and spicy.
Veg Gravies: For the vegetarians, the dishes served were Kaanastari Baingan Bartha and Dal Dhaba. Both dishes were delicious and well liked by the hard core non vegetarians like me.
They serve a variety of breads such as Dhabe Di Roti, Amritsari Kulcha, Garlic Naan, Missi Tandoori Paratha to name a few.
One thing I have realised in a place like this is to be sure to leave room for desserts and I kind of learnt that lesson the hard way during this dinner. I was so stuffed that I lovingly looked at the dessert spread and managed only a spoon of each to my dismay.
We were served Rasmalai, Badam Halwa, Baileys Kulfi, Phirni, Gulab Jamun and Tilla Kufi. Among the desserts, the Baileys Kulfi was superb and I understand that particular dessert was the brainchild of the managers. Kudos to the idea and I look forward to trying more such ideas on my next visit.
I definitely recommend a visit here to experience the magic of highway dhaba decor,food, and music.
Address : 618, 2nd Floor, Above Chicco, 12th Main, Indiranagar, Bangalore.
Contact: 080 49652541
Website : Dhaba by Claridges
Ambiance – 4/5
Service – 4.5/5
Food Taste – 4.5/5
Alcoholic beverages – 4.5/5
Quantity/Quality – 4.5/5
Value for Money – 4/5