If you could combine the happiness that you get from really delicious food and that feeling of satisfaction after bargaining down prices on the streets of Chinatown (like yes! instead of paying $5, I paid $4.95!) the lunch buffet at Dhaba would be it. I seriously couldn’t believe that including tip and all, we paid $12 each for a SATURDAY lunch buffett.
Yep, that’s all of us. I’d like to take this time to apologize to everyone except for JLee and Brian for being late.
Despite it being 2pm and all, the place was still somewhat filled and the trays full of food. There were a good 10 dishes out:
There were a good 10 dishes:
- Chicken Makhani
- Madrasi Chicken
- Saag Paneer (cottage cheese with spinach)
- Aloo Matar (spiced potatoes)
- Baigan da Bharta (eggplant)
- Jeera rice with little spices and peas
- Lamb Biryani (Lamb with Rice!)
- Gulab Jamun (Balls of sweet, sweet dessert)
- Raita (yogurt w/ onions)
After you get your plateful from the buffet table, they bring out Papri Chaat, an appetizer. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what it tastes like because… I somehow forgot to try it?!
Compare my plate arrangement with Suzie’s. What a fail.
That little ball down there- that’s the dessert. The description next to that dish, however, said “fried cheeseball.” It definitely was not a cheeseball. What a disappointment.
The rest of the food was delicious though. While every single dish was still warm, only the potatoes were cold which is so disappointing because I especially love aloo. In fact, I totally forgot I had the potatoes until I realized, oh, it was that cold lump of starch.
My favorite was dipping the naan into the Saag Paneer. It’s basically just cubes of cottage cheese mixed with a thick spinach sort of mixture. I’m not sure how healthy it can possibly be but it’s so satisfying!
The Lamb Biryani was another favorite. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’d equate Briyani to the Chinese and their fried rice. Of course, there’s no egg and the rice is mostly flavored with spices and sometimes even saffron!, but… you get the point.
Just when you think that you’re almost full, they bring out the Chicken Tandoori and individually serve it to you, drumstick by drumstick. While it was good, I preferred the Chicken Makhani, which is served in this thick orange sauce.
Dhaba serves North Indian food, which I prefer because it’s usually more oily and fulfilling. The dishes incorporate more dairy, making them higher in fat content. It makes sense since it can get pretty cold up there and I know that I definitely appreciate comfort/greasy food alot more during the winter.
The service was impeccable. They literally wait on the side for you to get up so that they can take away your old plates and fill up your water. They also gave us a friendly warning 10 minutes and 5 minutes before they cleared the buffet (it ends at 3pm). I’d definitely consider coming back.
Overall, one of the best bang for your buck places for Indian food in NYC. That’s difficult to find. Have you ever seen the menus along curry lane? They’re not cheap!