We had our pre New Years’ eve gathering at the newly opened Marathahalli outlet of Dhaba Estd 1986 Delhi last week. The place was done up with bright interiors, very peppy and true to it’s theme. We were seated across from the very nice looking bar, quite a tantalizing view considering we were saving the actual drinking for the next evening. The menu is segregated into Theka (booze) and Khana (grub). Dhaba also has a promotional #SardiWedsPunjaabiKhana winter special available until end of Feb featuring the some promosing proteins and saag dishes. We wanted to eat everything, but started with the Lassi as we decided.
To be honest, this isn’t the best lassi I have ever had. Having lived with a Punjaban from Gurdaspur right through college, and having more than my fair share of travel, I like my lassi thick, creamy and chilled. This was more of yogurt with sugar, but not bad at that. The Mango and Coconut variants were quite promising. On a mini truck, we also got the Choti Glassiyan – that is several of their other drinks like Kala Khatta, Aam Panna, Shikanji and the works. Very cute.
Our meal started with some nice spicy appetizers – Highway Chicken Tikka, Chicken Tak a tak and Lamb Galouti Kebab. The lamb was very well done, almost the melt in the mouth kind, while the chicken held its own. The Tandoori Dhaba Raan was pretty much a masterpiece – best ordered in a group. The meat is well marinated and absolutely delectable in texture. Definitely recommended.
The mains had all hits, no kidding. Sarson Ka Saag was soulful just tossed in garlic and onion. Good with Makki roti, but otherwise as well. Dilli Ki Nihari was a balanced between a home made goat curry and the classic Nihari – a thin gravy with succulent pieces of the tender meat. But it is probably the Dhabe Da Chilli Chicken that I will go back for. Boneless chicken, soft, served with large chunks of capsicum – great as an appetizer or main, this is a masterpiece! The classic Butter Chicken 1986 was less in no way. The creamy gravy and delicious morsels of chicken tikka were done very well. We were extremely full half way through the mains, but we persevered emerging happy, fed and victorious.
Stopping there was probably wise, but the Rabdi and Rasmalai sounded too tempting to give up. The rasmalai was nice, fresh and soft. Rabdi – I missed the layers of malai and subtlety of saffron. But hey, I am Bengali.
The Last Word
Overall, this was a delightful meal. I would definitely focus on the mains, the variety, quantity – both are good. And the lovely decor of the place makes it apt for a team lunch or meal out with family. This outlet of Dhaba has lunch buffet all week. From Mon – Fri, veg is priced at 599 INR and non veg is 699 INR, while in the weekend, veg is at 699 INR and non veg at 799 INR.