4 January 2017

The Droolworthy Winter Menu at Dhaba by Claridges

Dhaba by Claridges is one of those few names that come to your mind when you think of dining out for Indian food. It has created an unparalleled name for itself and the food does the talking. With multiple outlets spread across Delhi NCR now, you have typical Punjabi food made very accessible, and in a setting that's uver attractive and vibrant! Dhaba by Claridges has come out with their winter menu, and the comfort food that instantly warms your heart is simply to die for!

The winter menu is complete with appetizers, main course, breads and dessert- so they've covered every element of the meal here. No prizes for guessing the bread! (scroll down to find the answer)

Kathal ki Chaap was a pan fried appetizer made of minced kathal (jackfruit) into a cutlet shape. Too too irresistable! Please leave your inhibitions aside about jackfruit and do give this one a try. Jackfruit is the new vegetarian favourite for restaurants and chefs now, and Dhaba by Claridges does a fantastic job at it! Non vegetarian appetizer saw Tandoori Pomfret for me. The marination on the pomfret and the softness of it was par excellence, but I hate having fish with bones! And no, I'm not skilled at taking out the bones like a pro. Tried the Tandoori Murgh Roast from the usual menu and it was nothing I wasn't expecting- super delicious juicy chicken, with a lovely marination made just right!

Main course was even better than appetizers, and that is what the real winter menu is- comfort food made of desi ghee, each dish with a different tadka, too rich in its contents and so damn flavourful! Sarson Ka Saag- they couldn't have done a better job at it. The saag wasn't very finely chopped and ground, and that's what made it even better. Thick in texture, with a laal mirch tadka- comfort food at its best! Devoured this with a makki ki roti (that's the bread they have as a special in the winter menu). Came with gur and white butter. Something similar to the Saag was Saag Gosht. The flavour was a little different because of the juices of the mutton infusing into the saag, and oh my, was it mind-blowing or what! This menu tells us how you should move beyond butter chicken, even if it's a cult dish, and give a chance to other preparations, because you don't know how good they are till you don't taste them. Methi Murgh was one such dish. Methi mixed with a thick gravy made of onions, tomatoes, ghee, green chillies, and with big pieces of chicken in it. The dish was rich like you can't even imagine, but it screamed flavour! I'm short of words in describing how good all the main course dishes were. But my favourite one is yet to come- Kadhi Chicken. The gravy was kadhi, but not the kind of kadhi you have at home or in restaurants too. It was sour, with a pickle-like taste in it, thicker in consistency than the usual kadhi, with a laal mirch ka tadka. No matter what else you order here, you have to have to order the Kadhi! And imagine kadhi with chicken!! It does not get better than this!! Excellent is a word that does no justice to the Kadhi Chicken. Had the main course with Dhaba Roti, which is roti made of fermented dough, very very soft in texture. Steer clear of the naans and try this roti. Plus no meal is complete without a Dal Makhni, so had to order that. The problem with the Dal Makhni was it was too creamy in taste, and it was served lukewarm, not hot. Had to send it back and get it reheated. If only the taste was a little less creamier. The chef made us try a new meat they were looking to add in the usual menu- Achari Meat, and I went gaga over it! Mutton breaking so beautifully, tossed in a curry which was literally achaari in the true sense. To give you a feel of the dish, they even served it in a martbaan used for storing pickles- how cute is that!

Desserts in the winter menu are (no prizes for guessing, again)- Gajar ka Halwa and Moong Dal Halwa. The Gajar Ka Halwa tasted homemade but with richness. The khoya did wonders to the halwa, and the pistachio was just the cherry on top. One of the best gajar ka halwa you will find outside of your home in Delhi! Not too sweet, doesn't taste synthetic, not full of ghee. It was just perfect! The Moong Dal Halwa was brilliant too, but the gajar ka halwa takes the cake away for me.

Dhaba does cocktails that are visually superb, and once you taste them you have the exact same emotion about the taste too. Somras was an aam panna vodka based drink with a lot of spices- going completely in sync with the theme of the restaurant. Also tried Toofan which was a vodka based guava juice drink. If you're a paan lover, you must try their Paan Mojito. It's literally like drinking a chilled paan with your poison!!

Brilliant brilliant food as a part of their winter menu! There isn't one thing that didn't impress me no bounds. The food was rich, droolworthy, and totally made for the winter season. Must try this menu while it lasts!!

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Disclaimer: The review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. All views expressed are unbiased in nature but readers are advised to exercise their own discretion.