I had a long day ahead of me today starting at 6.30 A.M with my swimming class and continuing with the day's chores. For lunch, my friend recommended the Punjabi Dhaba next to the now extinct Anand theatre. I had noticed the Dhaba almost a decade ago when I was a college goer, but never thought about grabbing a bite there. So it was with great excitement that I stepped in to their Chennai Dhaba. On an earlier occasion I had the opportunity to dine at their Vellore restaurant as well. The place was packed and we had to wait a bit. It was all well worth it.
For the main course, we ordered a missi roti, tandoor and plan roti without ghee along with Alu masala and Palak Kofta. The missi roti was a little chewy, but the palak kofta raised the bar to a completely new level. It was one of the best koftes I have ever had, soft, tender, and melts like chocolate. I am a palak lover, so I go goo gaas over any version. The Alu Masala was alright, a little spicy for me but well done. We also had a plain pappad with mint-yogurt chutney which was flavorful. To combat the heat from the spices, I ordered a tall glass of cold buttermilk, served with crushed cumin. It is excellent for digestion. The portions were more than enough and made for a lovely Punjabi feel.
I had to have the dessert after all that spice. So I convinced my friend to split a Rabdi with me, again excellent and done to perfection. B had a sweet lassi, which was a little heavy for my palate. The Rabdi was a perfect finish to the meal, creamy on the top and garnished with a lovely sprinkle of pistachios.
The bill for two was an economical INR 562, which was really unheard of these days. For a cup of coffee and a plain dosa for breakfast, I had to part with INR 75 this morning and yesterday, breakfast for two at New Woodlands cost us INR 300, all for two cups of coffee along with two plates of idli-vadai. I was honestly dreading the bill, but was pleasantly surprised. The service was quick inspite of the rush. Needless to say, the portions and flavour of all the courses were more than satisfactory. The Sardar uncle at the counter was so hospitable that he made me feel I was dining at his house!
This is a great place for authentic Punjabi food. Keep in mind that portions are more than a bite size and the meals are calorific, but the price is a stealer.