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Dheere se khana khatiyan mein: Dara da Dhaba Saturday, 18 April, 2009

Posted by ~uh~™ in F&B ( Dawa-Daru), India, Mumbai, Videos.
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Punjabi is cool
If I were asked to categorize things in Punjabi, I would try this way-

(A) Punjabi Food: Sarso da saag, Makke di roti, Chikken- Shikken, Dal tadka, Charpai (integral part of Punjabi food), Lassi-pissi (not the MS member), anything Makkhan marke.

(B) Punjabi Music: Daler Mehendi, Dhol, Balle Balle! Bhangra, Sukhbir, Mika, Chak de Phatte, Daru-sharu (again, part of music)

(C) Punjabi Intelligence: Manmohan Singh, Siddhu, Khushwant Singh, Amrita Singh, soni- kudi (who says beauty and brain can’t co-exist?)

In Daras Dhaba I found A and B in abundance.

Since leaving Delhi, we missed the authentic dhaba food. We used to frequent Rajinder da Dhaba, which I believe is extinct now. Alternnative was Kake da Hotel. Then there’s the ubiquitous Sher-e-Punjab in Kolkata suburbs- where we get Bengali-Punjabi fusion foods.

In Mumbai there’s Dara da Dhaba- on W E highway it’s on the LHS, a km after Dahisar check naka. A colorful place to hang out with family and friends!

Ki gal Hai, Koi nahin

There was ample parking space available as we reached the place fore-noon. Am sure there would be mara-mari for parking in the evenings. The theme of the entrance gate is like a Lorry with a “PB” number plate fixed atop the huge Iron Gate.

Immediately after the entrance there’s a well-equipped tarot card reader with his maina and all, eagerly waiting to tell out future. I wanted to have some fun with my future, but my children did not allow me. Next was a pan shop. A large welcome sign, “Take care of your belongings, management is not responsible” greeted us to a large lounge separating the eating area with potted plants and shrubs.

As it was in the month of March it was not so hot and we decided to settle on the semi-indoor area.  It is basically a factory shed with a very very high ceiling (but lower than Hard Rock Café). There’s an indoor AC restaurant as well, which probably is more popular in summer heat.

The seating is dhaba style with tables, charpois on either side with takias. The aish in takia was as good as Ayesha Takia ! However I believe the management uses my theory of ” comparative cleanliness” for the takia covers. So, we used ignorance as out takia-kalam! There’s hookka, lantern’s hanging from the ceiling, staff wearing turban and lungi making it look like a mini-punjab !

Daras Dhaba explained in one Mumbaiya word is Bindaas. No hang ups, no rules, no table manners. Simply good food with good music. Everything else to be chak de phatte.

Oye Pappe, khana shana laga de yaar !

They have an interesting looking menu card with loads of choices from juice-shuice, starter-warter, roti-shoti, kabab-shabab (alas, there was no shabab, only sharab), curry-shurry, desert-wesert. In short there’s a huge list to choose from. Interesting pictures of sardar’s in various cooking activities increased our appetite.

Reshmi kebab and Fish Finger as starters with beer, mocktails Jungle cooler (I dunno what it meant) and Pu8sy foot (huh ! MS doe’snt even allow to name mocktails, these days) ordered to start with.

There was a swing and few sliders, rockers placed in a kids play area to take care of the perpetual Brownian motion of the kids. I listened to the music played while waiting for the beer. Beer came after a number of  songs. They mostly play Hindi and Punjabi songs from films and Indi-pop of Sukhbir, Daler, Mika genre.

After around a dozen songs, I realized the people who are serving us can’t be termed as waiters. In reality we were the waiters. We listened to the songs, slept on Ayesha Takiya, played with kids, drank beer, played again, yawned, drank beer…..and waited !

When they were playing ” O kake, maine pyar karke pashtaya” the starters arrived. I had gulped three beers by that time and was planning to take a sweet nap on the charpoi.

Roti’s does not take much time and actually one can monitor the progress as the roti’s are prepared openly in a kiosk in the same area. It’s the dishes those can make Rip Van Winkle blush in shyness.

We were scared that the main food might reach us by evening and desert by dinnertime. So we quickly settled for Murg makkhan wala, some more kebabs with some naan-shaan and Rabdi (deviless).

The associated ghas-phus items like salad, nimbu, chutney, achar and other paraphernalia were served on the house.

Ki fark painda?
Tasting the food made us forgot the time we spent on waiting. Its real-time Punjabi from all sense. I had never tasted so good Punjabi dish after Rajinder da dhaba.

In Delhi people used to tell me butter chicken is the national bird of Punjab. The murg makhkhanwala was so delicious that I am forced to dedicate the video to it.

Balle Balle !
So people who are bored with the strict mannerism of fine diners, love Punjabi food, have kids, plenty of time to kill for a meal in extremely leisurely manner, Dara’s Dhaba is the place. Khao, piyo, aish karo- bindaas !

I have heard the place throngs with people in the evenings and the waiting time is more than 45 mins during weekends. I am not sure whether thares ant place equivalent to this in Mumbai in terms of ambience, food quality and kid friendliness. The good thing is its near to my place and good food make us happy!

Caution
1. I have no idea how the veg food taste there. So ghas-phus people venture at your own risk. But those mocktails were too good, that much I can say!

2. The flavored hookka, Ayesha takia in charpoi after few beers can make you feel like a King. What the heck, it’s good to be a King (as sung by Tom Petty), once in a while. So be ready to pay like a King too.

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Comments»

1. eye-in-sty-in - Sunday, 19 April, 2009

Pretty cool place. The veg food is nice too. Urs truly has validated that 😀
~uh~: that’s great !

2. Vee - Monday, 20 April, 2009

When it comes to Punjab(i), it’s either over-the-top or downright humility. Nothing in between… whichever but lovely people they are and they in a movie rock like their food and music in general, not to forget the intelligence.

~uh~: Punjabi is cool. Try Dara’s, next time you come to Mumbai.

3. Abha - Tuesday, 21 April, 2009

😀

video-shedio bhi hai! :p

have been there once me thinks! and yeah it was quite nice!

cheers!

~uh~: I tried my hand in ‘film-making’ you see….:)

4. ambuj - Wednesday, 22 April, 2009

oye tusi to kamal kar ditta – itta achha description of punjabi dhabba…. 🙂
~uh~: oye !

5. Rofl Indian - Thursday, 23 April, 2009

In Daras Dhaba I found A and B in abundance.

Do I understand that there was a lot to be desired on the C front?

~uh~: It was rather C through :-s

6. Lynn - Monday, 29 June, 2009

simply awesome post. thoroughly enjoyed this.
…….
~uh~: Thanks, will do more video review of restaurants.

7. Spouse Grouse « AEIOU ¿ ® - Friday, 11 September, 2009

[…] AEIOU ¿ ® reads- When Men Think Hard to Decide and  two more posts which mentions Ayesha Takia. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Britain […]

8. Dara's Dhaba - Tuesday, 31 May, 2011

Hey it’s really nice to know that you loved Dara’s Dhaba and the food serverd there. If you have loved the place you will also love to be in touch with it. This is why we are now on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/darasdhaba so that we can be in touch with our customers so that they can tell us how we can serve them better.

9. love shyness - Tuesday, 2 August, 2011

Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

10. Dara's Dhaba - Monday, 8 August, 2011

Hey Thanks for such a Lovely post you created for us, we do appreciate the time you’ve taken to put this huge blog together.

Do connect with us on http://www.facebook.com/darasdhaba

Thanks,

Dara’s


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