FOOD Sit on a jute cot and enjoy delicacies that come to your plate straight from the tandoor
“D o roti makhan marke jaldi,” orders a man sitting on a cot under a tree. The waiter who was busy watching an old Madhuri Dixit video on a small TV placed high up on the wall springs to action. The drone of a truck that has just pulled into the driveway drowns the shrill sound of the TV. The man operating the tandoor claps away making rotis and parathas.
City Punjab Dhaba located on National Highway No: 5 near the airport effortlessly does what city hotels try to recreate when organizing Punjabi food festivals. The ambience makes you want to sit outside on a jute cot although the option of dining in their air-conditioned room is also available. A tall glass of lassi is recommended to start off your meal with. It is thick and sweet, cooling the body instantly. The dhaba offers vegetarian and non-vegetarian Punjabi fare with a choice of assorted rotis and stuffed parathas. On Sunday they offer kadi chawal and right through the winter sarson da saag and makki di roti is their speciality. The service is quick and the person manning the tandoor is able to keep up with the stream of orders. There is a section in the menu that offers biryani and fried rice as well which is there so that locals unwilling to experiment do not go away disappointed. Egg bhurji and black dal tadka, two dishes synonymous with dhabas across the north, is a must have at City Punjab as well. The food is rich and every dish comes with a generous helping of butter on top.
The owner says the dhaba is popular with the north Indian crowd that is posted in the city. Naval officers and those working in the various public sector units located close by frequent it. As the dhaba has a strict no-alcohol policy it is a nice place for the entire family to dine at. This is a pleasant change as most of the restaurants located on the highway have bars attached and are swarming with inebriated men. Visit late in the evening when a cool breeze blows across and you are in the mood for a no-frills dining experience.
Meal for two will cost Rs. 200- 300.
JAIDEEP DEO BHANJ