An exceptionally ordinary experience !
Rating – 2/5
On our way back on a fine rainy day from Lonavala and having read a bit about “Babbi Da Dhaba” on a Pune based foodie group on facebook and otherwise we decided to have our lunch here.
The setting is pretty ordinary (which I don’t mind as long as food is good) with a logically separated section where folks can have their drinks and smoke (which will eventually find its course to your table too. I hate passive smoking around my child but then this was a Dhaba, people even don’t care about it in City).
The server had no clue of what is the speciality or what one can order, so walked over till the counter and asked “Butter Chicken Meetha toh nahi hoga?” – question I ask every time I am pondering over the decision of ordering a portion of butter chicken away from North India. The answer thankfully was “Chatpata hoga ji – Delhi/Punjab ke jaise” – which was definitely reassuring !
Ordered for Daal Tadka, Half butter chicken, butter naans.
Service was fairly quick and food arrived in a matter of 10 minutes, however from this point onwards everything went downhill ):
Daal tadka – there was something very sour about the Daal and it didn’t even taste like the Daal tadka we get in Pune, forget about calling it the Daal Tadka we are supposed to get in Dhabas. On bringing this to their notice they quickly changed it and brought another one in 5 minutes which was less sour but then again not good. To add insult to injury the owner – Senior Daarji comes up and tell us they checked the Daal and there’s nothing wrong with it, I couldn’t tell him that we even feared that the preparation might have been stale, didn’t take another bite !
Butter chicken – First things first, this butter chicken wasn’t sweet at all. Infact not even minutely Sweet but it wasn’t a typical Dhaba butter chicken either, no creaminess – just adding a gallop of white butter to a Masala shredded chicken gravy doesn’t make for a typical Punjabi Butter chicken.
This isn’t the first time that my dream of having that perfect Butter Chicken is shattered in and around Pune. However the troubling part is that this was supposed to taste good as I was at a Punjabi Dhaba but I guess that’s what my food destiny had in store for me Today ):
That old Mumbai Pune highway with its string of so called Dhabas continue to disappoint me with their botched up food and serving anything in the name of Dhaba food.
The only slight point I found in favour were the decent pricing compared to the other dhabas on this stretch which will give even some 5 star restaurants a run for their money. Here the overall damages for a decent quantity lunch for two adults and one kid were under 500 bucks.
P.S. – My yardstick of judging this food is of-course the scores of Punjabi/North Indian Dhaba food experiences I have enjoyed over the years in North India (UP/Delhi/Rajasthan/MP).
In case you appreciate the Dhaba food at one of those places then this may not turn out to be your cup of tea.