There is something unique about eating the street food on a street side; the satisfaction and contentment that can never come by eating those chaats and other stuff in a restaurant. The ambience plays a vital role, and when I was invited to Nukkadwala, near Vatika City in Gurgaon, this was the primary statement I wanted to put to test.
Nukkadwala at Sohna road, Gurgaon is amongst first of the QSR’s which is being developed by Vatika Hospitality and has some of the known existing brands like Coriander Leaf and Ristorante 56. The seating at Nukkadwala is very informal college-canteen type; it plays songs from the 60’s and 70’s and has no frill décor. Few old Hindi film posters could add more charm to the interiors, but perhaps idea is to keep it simple, that can be easily replicated in other cities.
However, the depth of study Nukkadwala has done to replicate the best street food flavors from across the country can be seen right from the word go. The basic samosa (Rs20) has a crisp pastry with roughly cut potatoes. Many who don’t understand the samosa would use the mashed potatoes. the Keema samosa (Rs 60) is one of the better ones you’ll find anywhere; it is not only moist from inside but it has more of meat than the other ingredients that are usually added to reduce the cost resulting in artificial flavors. The Mumbai bhajiyaas (Rs 80) or pakoras are served in a cone to give that rustic feel, and they go so well with the cutting chai (Rs20) that Nukkadwala serves.
The kuchi dabeli (Rs80) from Kutch is a bit more sour than the Mumbai variant that has a sweet chutney, then Nukkadwala research comes in handy and replicates those sour flavors. I just wish that the Vada is made more crisp and pavs smaller, isn’t that how it is served in streets of Mumbai? But it’s not only the street food that the team has tried to reconstruct in the hygienic surroundings, I love the Bun Anda (Rs 55) they serve with steamed egg, yellow curry, mayo and onion. This nutritious and very pocket friendly dish is an innovative twist. I wonder why McDonald or anyone else did not think about it. It can be a healthy anytime meal for college goers and even people who are trying to lose weight.
The fresh mango lassi is a welcome change from the artificial flavors that we are subjected to. I was happy to see the Konakani Sol Kadi, however I would like it better if the coconut milk did not curdle in it.
The lagan nu custard was over for the day, and I finished my meal with the well made and nicely layered Goan Bebinca. There are many other interesting dishes in the menu which are normally not easy to find in North-India like Panki or Benne Dosa and I will soon revisit Nukkadwala to try the same. Looking at how the detailed research team is doing, I am sure they will soon fix the smaller glitches that I noticed on this visit.
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 3.5 | Ambience: 4.0 | Service: 3.5 | Overall: 3.5
Credit Card: Yes | Wheel Chair Friendly: Yes | Meal for Two: Rs300
Address: Nukkadwala, Ground Floor, Block 3, Vatika Business Park, Sector 49, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122018 | Phone: 4232948
Disclosure: This review was done at the invitation of the restaurant. Readers’ discretion is recommended even though due diligence has been observed in keeping the review as objective as possible.