Anywhere you go in India, road trips involve multiple stops at road side dhabas. These dhabas offer authentic foods, drinks and local experiences for whatever region you’re in.
Sadly, as our responsibilities grow and our number of holidays reduce, trips are far and few between. However, that doesn’t mean you need to give you your dhaba experience. If you’re in Mumbai, you can head to the newly opened Turban Tales in Powai, which takes inspiration from Punjabi Dhabas.
The Turban Tales Story
Turban Tales is housed above Mini Punjab, a popular, iconic chain of Punjabi Restaurants in the city. Mini Punjab was started by two brothers years ago and quickly went on to become a favourite in the city for delicious Punjabi food. Today, is popular for banquets, catering and – of course – for dining in.
Meanwhile, Turban Tales is venture from Mini Punjab’s younger generation; the brothers’ children. It’s taken the dhaba experience and added a quirky, modern spin to offer customers’ a fun dining experience.
Them quirk factor is clearly seen in Turban Tales’ decor; we stepped into it last week and were delighted by the decor. Low colourful couches and cushions occupy one part, in another area a swing holds court while at another end there’s a mock bumper. Everywhere you look, there’s another element that’s a salute to dhaba decor; the lamps are made of buckets and wheels while the tables have bottles wrapped with hemp carrying paper fans.
No Driving: That Means Booze!
All of these elements work together to create the perfect, upbeat hangout for your next night out with work colleagues or college friends. Since Turban Tales isn’t an aon ctual highway dhaba and there are Ubers, Olas, buses and trains at every turn, you can spend your night drinking, guilt free.
Turban Tales has an extensive alcohol menu with your regular classic cocktails and premium liquors which can be served neat, as well as cocktails inspired by Punjab. There’s Amarsar to Thailand, a rum based drink with sugarcane juice, galangal, kaffir and mint leaves, the Jaljeera Mojetto which is also rum based with jal heera and the Thekke Da Bag with whisky, apricot liquor, pineapple juice and hibiscus syrup.
We called for the Blackbeer and the Tropical Frost. True to its name, the Tropical Frost was a wonderfully cool drink; an ideal way to escape the scorching Mumbai heat. It blended coconut cream with mango (yes, its mango season again), orange juice, gin and strawberry. It was sweet, cool and served in a tall chilled glass – a generous portion which lasted us much of our meal.
Meanwhile, the Blackbeer was made of vodka with mint, black cherry and beer. It was an interesting, complex drink with the tartness of the black cherry and the aftertaste of beer making for a beautiful balance of textures.
On To The Eats
As we sipped on our drinks, we poured over the menu and called for a vast plethora of starters; the Tikka Supreme, the Lamb Galouti, the Reshmi Soy Champ, the Tikka Momos, the Prawn Koliwada and the Pulled Tikka Quesadillas.
Our favourite of the lot was the Tikka Momos; one, because we have a weakness for momos and two because these were like no momos we’ve ever tasted before. They were grilled in a tandoor, giving the wrappers a smoky, doughy taste and the filling a earthy, rich flavour.
The Reshmi Soy Champ were a close second; soft and juicy, they’re a great vegetarian option.
The Tikka Supreme boasted chicken which was similarly succulent and which had velvety, melted cheese at its center. Like the momos, the Pulled Tikka Quesadillas were another interesting fusion; romali rotis were stuffed with smoky chicken tikka and served with a spicy salsa.
For our mains, we called for the Meat Choul, the Mummy di Dal, Butter Chicken and rotis which were served atop an adorable miniature cot.
When you think ‘Mummy di Dal’, you’d think of food prepared by Ma’s hand, and this dish did not dissapoint. It was commfort food at its best with lashings of butter and cream. Meanwhile the Meat Choul was incredibly indulgent; long grained basmati rice which had an earthy meaty flavour bore succulent lamb mince.
Finally, it was time for dessert; Jalebi Rabdi with Atta Biscuits and Pan Ice Cream with Apple Muraba. The Atta biscuits (which are flown in from Delhi) complemented the Jalebi beautifully but we had our hearts captured by the Pan Ice Cream, a refreshing, distinctive flavour.
Look delicious, don’t they? Head to Turban Tales to get a taste for yourself.