Imagine sitting in an open place, under the night sky dotted with abundant stars as the Punjabi beat or a melodic Hindustani piece plays in the background as you’re accompanied with a huge plate of tandoori chicken or paneer tikka and some garlic butter naan. This is the paradisiacal ambience you can find in a Dhaba. Sadly, these authentic, rustic dhabas can only be found in their places of origin and towards the northern parts of India. Dhabas in the north can be found on highways, hilltops and are generally packed with truck drivers who are majorly of Punjabi descent.
One must visit a Dhaba once in their lifetime as it is an experience on its own. Wooden chairs, tough cots, small tables where one can find a bowl of baby onions soused in chilly vinegar and a cup of fresh green chillies. The ambience buzzes with life and energy with an undying constant activity taking place from sunrise till the moon takes its time to settle in the night sky. People keep coming in and going out, the cook just doesn’t stop cooking and the waiter is constantly serving naans and rotis, paying heed to every table and attending to every customer’s needs, making sure their experience at the Dhaba is a memorable one.
Unfortunately, such Dhabas do not exist in the city of Chennai. But fortunately enough, the city provides us with a handful of themed restaurants to give us a little experience about the ambience and the food found in a Punjabi Dhaba where you can dig into their rustic cuisine and delicious array of Punjabi dishes and experience the ambience of a Dhaba to a certain extent.
An ideal choice if you wish to experience the ambience and the cuisine of the state of Punjab with your friends or family. The ambience gives us a little Punjabi vibe and the food matches the standard of the northern Dhabas.
Where: 9, Cenotaph Road, Teynampet, Chennai
Sachin Ka Dhaba
To all you vegetarians who wish to try out the authentic vegetarian Punjabi dishes, this is the place. Although it doesn’t give away the Dhaba environment, the food will make you forget about that.
Where: 5, Hotel Park View Inn, Vepery Church Road, Vepery, Chennai
Babal Da Punjabi Dhaba
Come here for the extraordinary array of Dhaba dishes and pocket friendly prices. Ambience doesn’t give away much, but you will not regret coming here after tasting the dishes. Must try: Tandoori Chicken.
Where: 114/9, Poonamallee High Road, Opposite Hotel Abu Palace, Egmore, Chennai
Icarus Punjabi Dhaba
If you are a person whose last concern is about the ambience of the place but will do anything for exquisite food with reasonable prices, then Icarus is the place for you.
Where: 60, 2nd Floor, Pantheon Road, Opposite Museum, Egmore, Chennai
A decent place where you can indulge in some good vegetarian Dhaba dishes with fair prices.
Where: 30/48, Venkatnarayana Road, Near Balaji Temple, T. Nagar, Chennai