The Dhabba Experience


I hadn’t heard of this restaurant before my team mates told me we were going here for a team treat.

A bit of digging told me there were 10 of the same restaurants and that they serve good seafood. A lover of prawns, I set my mind.

Even as we got in to the cab, I could feel my insides expanding with excitement. I was a little ashamed too, it was just food after all. But again, it’s food!

I was all ready; my phone was fully charged and so was I. As we got down from the cab, I started clicking pictures of the surrounding. I was going to write an impressive review- complete with photos and all.

It was a large extravagant area – for a restaurant. Felt like walking into a huge holiday resort in the making. There was a big play area for kids and even a separate section of the restaurant for pure vegetarians. Sadly though, it was too hot for a soul to enjoy the slides and rides.

We walked inside and my excitement settled a little – we were finally there. It was now all about food.

We took our seats – three tables of it and I began looking around. It is a Punjabi restaurant and to reinforce the mood were paintings of Punjabis – beautiful work by the way. The ambiance within the restaurant was perfect – almost empty. Which is unsurprising considering it’s somewhere in the middle of nowhere – on the highway. There were a couple of small groups, and they were quiet too. The lighting was mild – not that it needed much, it was in the middle of the day. And being so, it was so hot outside but so cool inside. The tables were of stone and with the air-conditioning set at 18 degrees, the atmosphere was welcoming.

The service people were a little less welcoming though. Can’t blame them too, they were probably shocked to see a group of 15 people thronging into their restaurant with no regard for, well, anything.

Anyway, without much ado, we ordered.

We began with hot and sour soup. I’m not much of a soup person, but I loved it.

They didn’t have many of what we hoped to have – like the tandoori momos for instance. I was looking too forward to tasting that. We ordered prawns salt and pepper, fish fingers, mutton something and a couple of chicken somethings for starters.

The starters

None of them was spicy enough for me, but the taste was good. Prawns salt and pepper was a bit too salty with too little pepper, but I’d surely recommend this place anytime.

Moving on to main course, the biriyani was dry, I heard. I didn’t try the biriyani but the taste was good – judging from the way my team mates devoured. Another friend mentioned that the fried rice was great too, but I’d vouch for something else. My love for the greens tempted me to order pudhina (mint) paratha, and it surprised me, as always. But thankfully, it did not disappoint. It didn’t look too appealing; my team mates’ eyes widened at the sight of it – not to mention that my jaw dropped. I recovered soon enough though.

pudhina paratha
Pudhina paratha

It tasted good – the pudhina powder added a little bitterness, just the way I like it. To accompany the paratha, I had ordered prawns chettinad masala and a chicken dish – I forgot the exact name.

The menu was so extensive and the names of the dishes were difficult to remember. The best thing though was that the taste was worth remembering.

At the end of it all, I decided to top it up with lime soda. Because I suddenly remembered that I had been suffering from an upset stomach for a couple of days. Just the day before I survived on liquid salts.

Coming back to the lime soda, it was too salty for me – pungent. But it did do its duty; I digested it all without much trouble.

Anyway, my colleagues ordered a variety of ice cream, gulab jamun, milk shakes and funnily enough – carrot halwa.

Ha, that carrot halwa! Not to taste; reminded me of sweet paan.

With an unmistakable burp, our treat ended and we walked out, satisfied and satiated.

After a few minutes of idling and selfie taking, we re-boarded our cab and came back to office – only to look forward to going home.

Click to add a blog post for Dhabba Express on Zomato

P.S: My very first restaurant review. Any thoughts, folks?

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