Attention to detail and authenticity are the order of the day at this luxurious North Indian diner in the Merchant City.
The welcome at the Dhabba is as warm as the two-chilli curries marked on the charming newspaper-style menu. Don’t be surprised if descriptions seem a little more poetic than usual (a lamb maas is suitable for “the most ferocious Bengal Lancer” for instance), the writer Jack MacLean had a hand in its compilation. A special section is devoted to the house speciality, dum pukht, a slow-cooked dish sealed in a bread crust. This is just one of several things that mark the Dhabba as a little out of the ordinary – a dahi bhalla starter features fluffy lentil doughballs in a calming yoghurt sauce; breads include a lightly spiced missi roti; puddings, which are more than just an afterthought, include a traditional aromatic chawal ki kheer rice pudding; and special mention is also given to matching wines. The cooking throughout is refreshingly strong on flavour and light on oil. All in all there is fine-dining attention to detail, in a convivial and canteen-like setting that very much evokes the feeling of a traditional Indian street-side dhabba. And with more than 100 covers it would be an ideal works-night-out spot.
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Halal options, Gluten-free options, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Indian pop
- Capacity: 102 (24 outdoors)
- Largest group: 110
- Open since: 2002
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 8
- House wine: £18.95 per bottle
- BYOB: From £2 corkage