Posted On Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 03:17:33 AM
The traditional concept of the ‘dhaba’ has unparalleled importance in the life of every trucker — nay, every traveller. It dates back to time the Grand Trunk Road came into existence, as a place where wayfarers would settle for a night’s shelter, piping hot food and a break from exhausting driving.
This same rustic ‘bed and breakfast’ has now evolved, flocked to not just by travellers but also sundry customers. Who wouldn’t like to have a good time lazing around on a charpai, gulping down beer or lassi and enjoying roasted, deliciously-charred, juicy red tandoori chicken? The dhaba-themed restaurant Tim Luck Luck is strategically located in the city’s IT hub, close to the main highway.
A massive open space, its exteriors are full of props — from mini trucks to walls painted with whacky one-liners from the bumpers of our nation’s trucks. An AC section, a machaan and seating huts add to the ambience.
Plentiful options on the food menu contribute to their tagline — ‘Happy restaurant for happy people’. The cuisine is predominantly Punjabi, but there are variations like Jalepeno-Mint Paneer Tikka, Kukkad Tipsy (chicken sautéed in tequila), Achaari Lobster and Brownie Malai Maarke.
I settled for their Gulchan Galouti (Rs 180), Bhatti da Murgh (Rs 230), Rang de Paneer (Rs 220) and TLL Rasse Wala Meat (Rs 250) for the night. The Gulchan Galouti is definitely a treat for vegetarians — a blend of chickpeas and an enticing masalas. The mushy texture gives it a galouti-type taste and woody-sweet nutmeg and delicate mace powder add freshness.
The Bhatti da Murgh was surprisingly cooked in foil and served on a sizzler plate — a bit of a disappointment. The portrait and description on the menu didn’t match expectations and the boneless chicken’s marinade was sour and spicy.
Amchur powder or chaat masala added pungency, and the chicken was too chewy. Their Rang De Paneer is a combination of three gravies — chutney, achari masala and red chilly masala, with typical restaurant-Punjabi flavours. If one has a craving for something succulent go for their TLL Rasse Wala Meat.
There’s no thick gravy, or exorbitant overdose of whole spices but a real rassewali gravy. The lamb was juicy, with bone, and every morsel of the tomato-onion curry was mildly spiced. The Lachcha paratha (Rs 35) and Jeera Chawal (Rs 130) are not really worth more than a mention.
There is definitely a snag in service here that needs immediate attention. In spite of being technically equipped to take down orders, mismanagement is evident, with only a selected few staff actually doing the rounds.
I was looking for real dhaba food with rustic, homely preparations, but something was missing. Ambience and atmosphere took over over taste at some point. English sound tracks played between bhangra tracks, sure signs of a compromise — as I see it.
Cosmetic efforts put in to make a luxury dhaba do attract customers and time spent here is memorable and happy. But from a food critic’s point of view, the innocence of an authentic dhaba, and its real taste lie on the highway.
Tim Luck Luck
Happy Thoughts Road, Opposite Akashganga Society, Pimple Saudagar, Near Wakad 020-27206800