Dhaba is an Adelaide institution having been around for over 26 years. Located on Kensington Road, it started off as a shop that sold Indian food, spices and chutneys, and over time, it naturally evolved into a restaurant. Literally translated, it means “casual eating place” and offers traditional Indian dishes and street food.
To celebrate the 2015 Cricket World Cup, the restaurant has been redecorated with all sorts of cricket paraphernalia. The most prominent feature is an indoor cricket pitch in the centre of the dining room complete with nets and stumps.
To start off, we had the Indian Pimms. It was light, fruity and refreshing, and I was surprised I didn’t drink this more often.
The Masala Papadums were topped with hot and sour spices, and drizzled with sweet chutney. The papadums were straight out of the deep fryer and were nice and crunchy. The sweetness of the chutney was well balanced by the subtle heat from the spices.
The Delhi Chat consisted of samosa, dahi wada, aloo tikki, spinach pakora and green and tamarind chutneys. Delightfully presented in the picture form, all the components of the dish are mashed up to create an array of flavours and textures. The sourness of the yoghurt, the crispiness of the pakora, the sweetness of the chutneys and the crunchiness of the samosa pastry, together with the refreshing mint, all blend together to create something sensational.
For those that don’t know what Dosa is, it’s a fermented crepe made from rice batter and black lentils. The Chennai Masala Dosa had a crispy and chewy crepe filled with lightly curried potato filling. The potato was very well seasoned, and soft and delicate. The dish came with two chutneys, but I thought it tasted good on it’s own.
The Vegetable Thali came with an assortment of curries that included chickpeas, lentils and eggplant. All were good with the exception of the eggplant curry which very salty with a spicy after taste.
Compared to all the other dishes we ordered, the portion size of the Butter Chicken was smaller. The chicken thigh pieces were tender and succulent, and had lovely smokey flavours. The sauce was full of flavour and was thick, rich and creamy. There were 3 morsels of chicken in the bowl which wasn’t enough.
The staff were very friendly and the service was good. Our group arrived there at 9pm and we were grateful that we could still have dinner. Drinks arrived promptly and were refilled constantly. Plates were cleared after each course and cleared as we finished.
As far as pricing goes, many of the Cricket World Cup street food dishes were $15 each. I can understand that this is an established restaurant and they can charge a bit more, but I thought some of the dishes were a bit pricey for what you got. Having said, a majority of the dishes were well executed.
If an Indian restaurant has been around for so long, they must be doing something right.
WHERE: 252 Kensington Rd, Marryatville