Dhaba by Claridges
Claridges has always exuded an old world charm being one of pioneers of hospitality in Delhi so we were slightly surprised when were given the new address of Dhaba, the Indian Restaurant, situated away from lush Lutyens residence.
Quirky, funky, hip and all adjectives far away from classic charm, are what best describe the revamped Dhaba at DLF Place Saket. Dhaba is a fun take on the much loved desi diners, this avatar appeals to a much younger crowd with some stunning installations that include a full and functional truck with a working a engine (they’ve taken out the front wheels though!), nalka shaped lights, a metal hanging of those tiny bird motifs that are an intrinsic part of truck art. Everywhere you look, you’ll be amazed by what you find be it the railing made from charpai legs or the coolie arm bands worn by the waiters; even the washroom will keep you occupied long after you’re done. It’s a fun puzzle you break down sipping some interesting mocktails like the desi Virgin Mary rechristened ‘Junglee Cooler,’ the popular ‘Aam Panna’ or ‘Hadippa,’ an interesting concoction of bananas. However, the big question – does the food match up to its surroundings? But having dined at Sevilla, Claridges’ Mediterranean offering we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed. The menu is as familiar as the decore with staples of an Indian cuisine restaurant. For starters we had an assortment of items hot off the tandoor; Highway Chicken Tikka, Galouti Kebab and vegetarian versions of Kakori Seekh, Galouti and Bhune Aloo. At the table, in little achaar pots with, were some tasty dips and chatnis to accompany the tandoori items. Take your pick from the yoghurt based ‘Halki’, the fiery ‘Teekhi’ and the much loved ‘Hari’ pudina chutney. The theme extended to the presentation of our main course, the smoky Baingan Bharta served in a kanastar, the signature Balti Meat in a miniature bucket. And of course, how could a meal at a dhaba be complete without Butter Chicken! Along with the Dal Dhaba and an assortment of rotis, it made for the perfect meal to drive away the winter chill. For dessert we had delicious servings of cool Rabdi and warm Badam Halwa. Delicious! In terms of space Dhaba works well for a small dinner with friends as well as a private party in the hood of the truck (How else would you justify hauling a life size truck up two stories in a mall to your boss!). All in all a great place to eat, relax and maybe even join the staff in their periodic flash mobs!
After placing your order, take a walk around the place and view all the art installations and design elements. The beauty of this decore is truly in its painstaking details.
The Wall recommends:
Missing out on the desserts would be a crime especially in this weather. Cut down on a starter or two if you must!