Cyber hub at Gurgaon is buzzing with action. All prominent chains have already taken a space here and DLF has meticulously done the detailing so that no similar concept restaurants or cuisines compete with each other. Perhaps North Indian being the most preferred cuisine for most people in north, they made an exception and housed Made in Punjab and Dhaba, which is a 40 year old concept by Claridges hotel. Made in Punjab has already won lot of accolades and I was eager to see if Dhaba also leaves its mark.
The attention to detailing at this 96-seater Dhaba is remarkable. From glass chandelier to a desi theka look of the bar, posters with catchy slogans and tyres on the walls, and food kept in huge patilas in the show kitchen, everything leaves a positive impression. It is a modern day dhaba sans the missing charpoys. Old and latest Punjabi and Hindi music gives the requisite effect and staff breaks into a lovely jig every few hours for the delight of the diners.
Starting with a simple yet lovely bun-omlette (145) served with thick and hand ground mint chutney, we couldn’t help ignore the small and traditional barni it is served in. Three beautiful dips aptly names Teekhi, Hari and Halki, denoting chilly paste, mint chutney and light yogurt and pickle based dip. The baby grilled chicken called dhaba murgh roast (325) retains all juices and rubbed with house marinade comes out as a winner. It is neither sprinkled with chaat masala nor needs any dips to go along.
Bhuna aloo (195) is Dhaba’s version of tikki but with much lesser oil. Par-boiled potatoes are grilled in tandoor before shallow frying and served with chopped onion, tomato, coriander and saunth chutney. For a vegetarian I will prefer it to the veg galouti (195). Made without rajma or mushroom, it uses veggies and little chana powder for binding. Goes well with the ulte tawe ka parantha on which it is served that should have been a little crisp for my liking to complement the soft galouti.
The bar menu is equally interesting with names like Toofan, Gulabo, Lal Pari, Santari etc. Served in a tharra (local alcohol) style bottle, I enjoyed Gulaabo which is Dhaba’s version of LIIT using kala khatta while missing the whiskey based cocktails which is the base spirit for most Punjabi’s. At Rs199 a cocktail, Dhaba is amongst the most competitive places. However I would like the alcohol to be 60ml instead of the 45ml that they currently use.
Do not miss the tawa mutton (425) which is mouthful of marinated chunk of lamb mixed with tomatoes, onions and green chillies. In the main course my favorites are Dal Dhaba (275) and baingan bharta (325) (smoky flavoured, served in small canister). Dal is simple divine and undoubtedly amongst the better ones I have had. I have heard so much about their balti meat (425) that the expectations far exceeded the actual product. It is nice with excellent cooked mutton but the gravy fails to leave the impression which should be more ‘lipta hua’. I am a bit disappointed with brain masala as the brain is completely mixed with the masala and fails to leave its buttery flavor.
Bailey’s kulfi (295) is a great way to end the meal. Unlike few I have tasted at other places, this definitely smells and tastes of the real thing. Khoya filled gajar halwa (175) is equally interesting.
The prices at the stand alone Dhabas are almost 50% cheaper than the old one residing at a star hotel at Claridges with the same quality. Customer is surely the king!
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 4.0 | Ambience: 4.5 | Service: 2.5 | Overall: 3.5
Meal for Two: 1500 (without alcohol) | Credit Card: Yes | Alcohol: Yes | Timings:12 Noon – 11.30pm
Address: Dhaba by Claridges, Ist Floor, DLF Cyber Hub, Gurgaon | Phone: 0124-4900155