The Dhabba celebrates 15 years
Tracey McCallum discovers why exactly an institution is an institution at The Dhabba...
High up on my list of loves are birthdays and curries. As luck would have it, The Dhabba in Merchant City recently celebrated its 15th birthday and the launch of a new menu so I had more than one good reason to venture out on a cold winter’s night.
Despite the weather, the place was bustling and the warm welcome was a sign of good things to come.
The menu, laid out newspaper style, offers authentic North Indian dishes and a selection of street food. Far removed from the popular curry dishes that have become a Friday night takeaway staple, The Dhabba isn’t afraid to shake up our idea of what constitutes Indian cuisine and offers diners a whole different experience.
Here, exciting, edgy and never tried before dishes are served with a smile and a full explanation and description of ingredients by the waiting staff. (Ours even brought spices from the kitchen to help in our decision-making process).
Far removed from the popular curry dishes that have become a Friday night takeaway staple, The Dhabba isn’t afraid to shake up our idea of what constitutes Indian cuisine
My chum and I started proceedings with a Gol Gappa, £4.95, and a Tawa Macchi, £7.95. Gol Gappa is Indian street food; essentially a crispy shell filled with spiced potato, chickpeas and cumin – topped up with a cold spiced water. As weird as it may sound, it’s a taste sensation - warmth from the spices, cold from the tangy water and crispy too.
Tawa Macchi is a melt-in-the-mouth pan fried fillet of sea bass, accompanied by a little bit of dressing we couldn’t get enough of.
Despite all the tasty sounding mains on offer, Nick and I were seduced by the Tandoori oven and our waiter suggested the Tandoori Sangam, £29.95, a sharing platter for two consisting of tandoori monkfish, chicken and lamb, which we dutifully ordered along with sides; Masaledar – tomato, onion and chilli sauce, £4.25 , Ubla Chawat – steamed basmati rice, £3.35, and Pilee Daal Tadka – yellow lentils with garlic, tomatoes and coriander.
Oh my. Without a doubt the best Indian food both of us had ever tasted. It’s easy to see why this little piece of loveliness is celebrating 15 years. Happy Birthday The Dhabba, and may you celebrate many more.
The Dhabba, 44 Candleriggs, G1 1LE, thedhabba.com