– By Soul Sword-
Dhaba Estd 1986 Delhi is a restaurant in Ispahani Centre, Nungambakkam, serving Punjabi cuisine. They have a total of 6 outlets throughout India.
I heard that the restaurant is usually packed in the evenings, so I made the reservations (a table for four) beforehand. As it is located in the shopping centre, there is ample car parking available.
The restaurant gives a Desi (Indian) feel upon entering. We were greeted by courteous staffs, who showed us to our table. The ambience was warm and cultural with charpai woven chairs adorning the ceiling that was dominated by colourful glass chandeliers . The setting was true to its name with heavy steel cutlery, Bollywood posters adorning the wall accompanied by the music playing in the background, Kansas (traditional tall Lassi glass); giving the restaurant a rustic look.
The menu had a lot of variety to choose from. The price of the appetisers was priced around Rs 250 while the mains started from Rs 300 onwards. The four of us decided to share the dishes among ourselves as the portion of serving was quite large. The food served was at the right temperature and the taste suited the Indian palette.
For the appetiser, we ordered Paneer Tak a Tak and Dhaba Paneer Tikka. The paneer was mildly spicy, creamy in texture and melted in our mouth.
We also asked for the lassi which was served in the traditional Kansa and it was refreshing. For the main course, we ordered Amritsari Kukkad, Chitti Aloo Gobi, Rumali Roti, Laccha Paratha and Butter Naan. The presentation of the food was more on the rustic side. The Amritsari Kukkad turned out to be my favourite dish of the day. The dish was a dry roast made of chicken infused with Indian spices and it tasted spicy, just as I like. The meat was tender and juicy and the flavour worked well when I had it with Rumali Roti.
The Aloo Chitti Gobi, on the other hand, was a yoghurt based gravy with mild spices, which we had along with the Laccha Paratha. As for the flatbreads, I would say that they were sub-par when compared to the other restaurants in terms of softness and texture. We finished off with Gulab Jamun (Cottage Cheese dumplings deep fried in sugar syrup)for the dessert, which was priced at Rs 150. Here again, we get 2 gulab jamuns per serving, floating in thick sugar syrup. It was soft, sweet and gooey in texture, just how it’s supposed to be.
The staff were polite and attentive as they were swift in taking orders, refilling our glasses and clearing our tables after each course. They were also knowledgeable about the dishes served there. The restaurant was filled with families enjoying their dinner over loud conversations while the skilled chef visited each table, pleasantly enquiring about the food and their experience at Dhaba Estd 1986 Delhi. The cherry on the top was when the staff danced to “Badtameez Dil” while we were having our meal. We were told that they do this every day as it goes with the theme of the restaurant.
The restaurant also gives take away and also accepts orders online. You can order from them using this link.
Taking into account the taste of food, pricing, service and ambience, I would rate Dhaba Estd 1986 Delhi at 4/5.