Well, my visit to Garam Dharam – Dhaaba te Theka kept on delaying since its inception in Sept 2015. Hence it was a special occasion when I finally visited the dhabba last week.
The dhaaba was full when we walked into it about 15 minutes before our booking time. It was almost 4:00 in the late afternoon but we found people still waiting outside for their turn. We still were offered a temporary table and a few flavoured lassi to cool us down. We tried Mango and the Water Melon lassi. Both were equally good. Perfectly thick and sweet.
A lot has been said about the quality and goodness of food and drinks served here. But honestly speaking our views are slightly different. Garam Dharam has had mixed opinions about its food, but the interiors have been liked by everybody. The semi-dim lighting and the interesting interiors made me like the decor instantly. It was a typical “desi feel” that I was looking for. The decor was that of a typical roadside dhaaba on national highways and the walls had Dharam Paaji all over them. The dhaaba started by Micky Mehta and Umang Tiwari surely is going to be the talk of the town soon.
The entrance, made up as a bio-scope in the podium form is decorated with posters of Dharam paaji’s films and it gives an idea of whats going to come next as one enters the dhaaba. Divided into two floors, it has a combined area of over 4000 sq ft. Spread out like an open area on a paddy field along a highway – the environs are truly made up like a dhaaba. The DJ Console in form of a highway truck installation, desi (country) liquor bar, quirky dialogues from Dharam paaji’s films on the back of the waiters, bucket lamps, antique spool tape recorder, rugged wood interiors, village styled brick walls add up to the mesmerizing atmosphere. .
The cental point of attraction was the Bullet motorcycle with a side car from the legendary movie Sholay which saw Dharam paaji and Amitabh Bacchan sing the meomorable “Yeh Dosti hum nahi todenge”. Lots of people were seen posing and clicking with the bike to make their visit memorable. The restaurant also has hit dialogues like “Basanti” and others painted on the walls as well as on the staff outfits.
The typical dhaaba style cutlery, glasses and big steel plates made me very happy. But don’t worry they also have the more modernised forks, knifes and spoons to help the more clean variety of people.
The food and drinks menu consist of dhaba style food with a bit of twist. The menu itself is very simple and fun to go through. It has everything that a simple man would like to eat at a dhaaba. Tikkas, kebabas, makhani daal, and a lot of non-vegetarian options along with desi styled drinks.
The desi theka styled quirky bottles (desi pavvas) to serve mocktails were the highlight of our entire meal time and my favorite was Paan Gulabo; a paan and gulkand flavoured drink. Pyaare mohan, Verru ki Ghutti, Chulbula Jugnu, and Kalakhatta flavoured Chuski were some other flavours that we tried.
Next we ordered some starters from the ‘Dharam ji Special’ page from the Menu. We ordered for Soya chaap, Tandoori Paneer Tikka, Dahi ke Kebaba, and Annanans (Pineapple) ki Chaat.
First of all it was the evergreen Tandoori Paneer Tikka. The paneer was soft, was perfectly marinated and tasted awesome. Then came the Garam Dharam Special Soya Chaap, I liked it. It was a regular chaap with a twist. It was batter fried with alu masala stuffing in it and tasted great.
I loved the Annanas ki chaat wich followed and asked for a repeat serving. The Dahi ke kebabs were a real disappointment though. The flavours were missing. I guess they need to work very hard to improve on it by adding more spices and modifications.
I had nothing for my lunch during the day time and I was hungry and wanted the dishes to come quickly on our table, but the service was very very slow. This is one thing that the management has to work on a lot.
We waited for the main course. I had ordered for some authentic Punjabi food, Martaban Dal Makhni, Aloo Gobhi and Tawa Masala Kumbh (Mushrooms). The mushrooms were perfectly done and tasted awesome. I finished up my Kasturi Methi Lachha Paranthas with Mushrooms only, as the Makhani Daal was just okayish, and I left the Gobhi sabji after just one bite.
I really liked the authentic looks of the servings and only wish that the management pasy some attention in improving the tastes of its dishes also – so that it gives a full traditional feel. Also it is worth mentioning here that the food here had less oil and for this the management should be applauded. Less oily means low calories and this shoul go very well with today’s diet consoiuc clients.
Now it was time for my favourite dishes – the desserts. We had Dharam Veer Kesar Kheer, Gajar ka Halwa and Gulab Jamun. Well again lot of work needs to be done to improve the quality and taste of the sweets – Guys (Micky n Umang) that’s the most important part of a meal and if you mess it up then obviously one has to leave with a sour and spicy taste in his mouth. Please take care of this and your Dhaaaba will and will certainly pull me back…..
Décor : 4.5/5 Ambiance : 4.5/5 Food : 4/5 Service : 3.5/5
Location: M-16, Ground Floor, Outer Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi
A meal for two would cost Rs.800 to Rs.1000
We were invited by the management for a review. The pictures are of actual size servings and no monetary returns were received by us. The views expressed areentirely based on our experience on a particular day and it may vary with one’s own likings and also the time of his visit.