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#1 Daniel

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 02:00 PM

DHABA
108 Lexington (27th & 28th)
212 679 1284
www.highwaydhaba.com

We had a wonderful meal here last night.. I must say, it has been some time since I have been excited about a restaurant.. This place is exciting.. It's refreshingly new, unique, and just plain fun..

The menu is pretty expansive.. I am no Indian Food expert and will not claim to know authenticy however, I know what I like.. And I really, really like this place..

The four of us started with this dish MIRCH PAKORA.. It was wonderful.. If ever there was a stoner Indian dish, this is the one.. It's essentially a chile relleno wrapped around a sweet fried donut, served with this sweet tamarind sauce and some herb sauce.. It was spicy, sweet, and really interesting.. I would highly recommend this..

The next dish that came out was BATATA SEV PURI.. This was puri covered in a yogurt mint sauce with chickpeas, potato, mint and a tamarind sauce.. It was a nice side to have next to the spicy "Pepper wrapped donut" The yogurt was really tangy and refreshing.. Thicker and more tasty than I have had.. Not a thin water sauce I often expect.

We then moved onto GALOUTI KABOB.. Lamb patties served with a some onion and lemon.. The patties were spiced well and not dry..

We then moved on to mains.. ACHARI GOSHT This is decribed as "Curried lamb, pickling spices and fresh coriander" Served in a really pretty pot, this curry was one of the better curries I have had in recent memory.. The lamb was cooked perfectly, there was a nice portion that was easily divided and not finished among four people.

Finally we ordered SARSONWALI MACHI. Fried fish served over spinach and mustard greens.. Just a few fried fish filets but, the spinach and greens were really nice.

Naan reminded me of levened matzah.

20 oz King Fisher beers for 6 bucks..

I am looking forward to going back and trying more of the menu.. As I don't think we even put a dent in the things to try.

Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#2 TaliesinNYC

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 04:00 PM

Hm, sounds like a plan.

#3 djk

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 04:25 PM

this to rival the recent acclaim over southern spice in flushing? i'm excited since i live in the nabe.

#4 TaliesinNYC

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 04:52 PM

I keep meaning to visit Saravaanas (yes I know they're primarily vegetarian/South Indian but the restaurant is in the same neighborhood) so maybe sometime in the next couple of weeks when the weather is not as wet, I'll get to it.

I see that Dhaba's menu contains some standbys from Chola so I'm wondering how much of a difference there is between the two. When I lived in the east 50s, I went to Chola all the time. Just thinking out loud here.

#5 Lex

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 02:22 PM

As promised, Deb and I dropped in to Dhaba on Saturday night. The restaurant is on Opentable, a civilzed touch, and I used them to make a reservation. New York restaurants have trained me well - I dutifully called them Saturday afternoon to confirm the reservation, something I never would have done 10 years ago. The man who answered the phone sounded nonplussed. I had the feeling he was thinking "why is this silly man bothering me?" You get that type of reaction when you make reservations at places that really don't require it.

When we arrived at 7:00 this feeling was confirmed. The place was no more than 20% full. But that changed. Within 30 minutes a large group arrived that took up multiple tables and other groups of 2 and 4 arrived to take up the entire room. The place was jumping.

Dhaba is a pretty place. It's not that they've spent bags of money on decor but the room appeals to the eye. What was even more pleasing was the food. This is some of the best Indian food I've eaten in New York.





We started with galouti kabab - minced lamb patties, garlic, cardamom and mace. This was very nice at first bite and the flavors became more complex and appealing throughout the dish. I shared it wih Deb and as I was eating it the thought occured to me that I wished I had kept it all for myself. I am bad.



Deb ordered the murgh shikanja kabab, roasted chicken drumsticks with yogurt, black pepper and green chilies. Again, this was a nicely balanced dish, the heat of the chilis was offset by the cool of the yoghurt. It arrived on a sizzling platter which was a touch I could have done without. We had to wait for the fireworks to finish before we could serve ourselves.



We also ordered the batata sev puri - puri bread, potato, chickpeas, yogurt, mint and tamarind chutneys. This was a pleasant dish which served to balance out the heat of most of the other dishes. Deb like this more than I did although I'd happily order it again.



The mains were achari gosht, lamb cooked in a sauce of ginger, garlic, chilies, mustard seeds. Is it possible to take an appealing picture of a dish like this? I couldn't. What really counts, of course, is the taste and this dish was a winner. (This picture was taken after we had eaten 2/3 of the serving.)



I ordered the chili chicken - batter fried chicken, onion, green chilies. (Sorry - no picture.) This was specifically billed as spicy on the menu. Take them at their word - they aren't kidding. This dish was just within the upper limits of my spice tolerance but the heat was welcome. Sometimes high levels of heat interfere with your ability to fully taste a dish but this wasn't the case with the chicken. I enjoyed it very much.

We made two mistakes. We ordered the chili onion naan which had a real kick to it. That would have been fine but with all the other heat on that table it really would have been smarter to order a regular bread. We also didn't order rice because of the quantity of food we were ordering. Again, it would have been nice to have as a way of balancing out the other dishes.

The beer at Dhaba is relatively cheap but the wine list is a bit precious in view of the prices on the rest of the menu. They sell prosecco by the glass and we talked them into selling us a bottle for $38. It worked well with all the spicy food we ordered.

$108 $119 with tax and tip, a tremendous bargain for food this good.
"I don't understand what's wrong with thinking of correlation as a pricing convention the way one thinks of Black-Scholes vol. I mean, vol curves aren't "real" anyway, but nobody uses local vol models to price vanilla options." - Taion
 
"But this is blatant ultracrepidarianism on my part." - Taion

I have a dream of a multiplicity of pastramis.

"once the penis came out, there was discussions as to why we didn't order the testicles" - Daniel describing a meal in China

#6 Daniel

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 03:17 PM

I just got so hungry reading this.. It's me and Miss K for the next couple of days so, I dont think she would be to into this place.. Glad you enjoyed it..
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#7 porkwah

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 04:25 PM

i'm excited to go.

man, i need a headache


#8 ghostrider

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 04:37 PM

QUOTE(porkwah @ Jun 8 2009, 12:25 PM)  
i'm excited to go.

Word. Some interesting choices on their menu.

At the bottom of their website they have links to 6 other places. This seems to be part of a small empire of Indian restaurants.
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#9 SurLie

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 04:45 PM

I've really enjoyed lunch here recently. In addition to the buffet, which had been expanded to include a chaat, and a basket of naan, they also brought us another chaat, a pav bhaji (a griddled bun with a spiced potato mixture) and walked around with platters of tandoori chicken. The buffet itself is well above average, although not very spicy, as you might expect.



#10 Deb Van D

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 04:46 PM

QUOTE(Lex @ Jun 8 2009, 10:22 AM)  
We also ordered the batata sev puri - puri bread, potato, chickpeas, yogurt, mint and tamarind chutneys. This was a pleasant dish which served to balance out the heat of most of the other dishes. Deb like this more than I did although I'd happily order it again.



I think I liked this way more than you did, because I thought it was outstanding rather than "pleasant." It is a cool dish with so many things going on, flavors, textures, sweet and tart, I just loved it, loved the tamarind chutney. It reminded me of a wonderful dish at the late, lamented Mirchi that I thought was lost to me, the potato samosa chaat. It just popped with flavor.

Even when the room was bouncing the noise level was reasonable. I liked it a lot.
Using salt and pepper is a good, inexpensive way to put flavor in your food. Sandra Lee

#11 Sneakeater

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 04:46 PM

I really like Chola, FWIW.
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#12 Daniel

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 04:50 PM

What did you guys think of the stoner pepper donut? I think those two dishes together makes a great combo.
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#13 Deb Van D

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 04:52 PM

We didn't try it; gave it a thought, but we were already ordering more food than we needed. I like the counterpoint of sweet and savory, find it interesting. So we'll just have to go back.

Using salt and pepper is a good, inexpensive way to put flavor in your food. Sandra Lee

#14 Orik

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 02:46 AM

QUOTE(ghostrider @ Jun 8 2009, 12:37 PM)  
QUOTE(porkwah @ Jun 8 2009, 12:25 PM)  
i'm excited to go.

Word. Some interesting choices on their menu.

At the bottom of their website they have links to 6 other places. This seems to be part of a small empire of Indian restaurants.


Ah, Chola (one of the 58th st places that seems to be part of this empire) isn't half bad, but was never quite as good as Bukhara Grill.
sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#15 Rich

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 11:19 AM

My wife and I had an excellent meal last night. We ordered six apps - onion & garlic Naan, minced lamb patty, chick pea fritters, cauliflower, spiced cashews and spiced chicken wings. All terrific.

We shared the fried milk balls, but not overly impressive. Tasted liked soggy zepole, but the cardomon flavor saved it somewhat.

We couldn't finish everything, so some came home. A nice bottle of Malbec worked well with the food and the bill was $91 with tax and a 25% tip.