Thursday, January 1, 2009

Delhi Dhaba, ECR, Chennai

Delhi Dhaba, on the ECR close to the toll gate (just before, if travelling from thiruvanmiyur) and is part of the same group that runs Amaravathi and Savera Hotels in Chennai. We had been here before, but the last time we ate at Malgudi, which was the same food (taste and concept) as the Malgudi inside the Savera Hotel. The Delhi Dhaba is the north-indian (read punjabi) version of food.

The restaurant is inside a nice complex, that includes Malgudi and a chinese restaurant, a shop selling some 'desi' stuff etc. We had stopped at Malgudi here previously after visiting the ISKCON temple still being constructed off the ECR. Lot of space, made parking a breeze, but it shouldnt have been a concern, because they also had a valet service. The decision was made to eat biryani etc., so the choice became Delhi Dhaba. We were quickly disappointed, by a very nonchalant host, or should i say ghost, who was more interested in staring at space. This ghost clearly couldnt see people, even though his curse and black coat, allowed him to be clearly visible to everyone. After a little thought, we helped ourselves to a table available in the closed room (airconditioned), even though the weather was perfect to sit out.

We sat and waited for what seemed a good ten minutes before patience ran out, and we attempted to seek attention to our table. The waiter (i am not sure what the professional terms used), soon arrived with 1 menu for the entire table. Meanwhile, the ghost, actually managed to collect a lot of menus lying on a table nearby, and calmly walked out. I think i am certain, he couldnt have seen us, sitting almost right in front of him. I wonder if the table was in different position, if he would walked thru' to get to the door.

The order placed, included murgh and panneer kabob, chicken biriyani, veg pulao, makki roti, sarson ka saag and some raitha and pappad. The waiter after his initial embarassment was quick on his feet and turned very helpful and fast. We were hungry and he indicated he can deliver everything (or anything) we order fast enough (we of course didnt quite ask him how fast is fast). But true to his statement, the kabobs reached our table in about 5 minutes. And it turned out to be good. I dont know, i guess the expectation were low, so we were amazed at the quality. But that didnt last long.

The biriyani and chicken were just about average. The veg pulao was very mediocre. But the makki roti and saag were really good. Well, i enjoyed them. It had been a while since i had treated to myself to these, and so comparision to original or regional preparation aside, i think it tasted good, just as it melted in the mouth.  The food service was quite fast. But i think we paid a price for speed, in terms of quality of food. They also seemed to be stingy in dishing out portions, because they hardly filled the vessels they were served in. All of this also, came at a nice price ( a tad bit expenisve total i thought).

A mixed experience, in all. I think i will visit Malgudi again, but not this Dhaba. And on ECR, i think there are a lot of choices, for me to pick Malgudi, specially thinking we may have to see the ghost again. Altho' i must say the hosts at Malgudi (previously) were quite friendly. And oh ya, only one other reason to choose this clump of restaurants is the killi jyotsyam and kai jyotsyam offered at the location.


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