Review: How Bengal Dhaba is bringing dhaba culture into contemporary fun-dining
The newest gastro joint you need to explore in the city is a very well-curated medley of a good ol’ dhaba and a modern fine diner; Bengal Dhaba is the month-old eatery which has been designed to serve as the ideal binging spot. Not only does the Ultadanga diner stay open till 3:30 am but it’s also a great place to get some down-time with your squad, considering it’s a little removed from the busy traffic.
“Bengal Dhaba was conceived as a fusion between the cultures of Bengal and Punjab, we have tried to feature the best of both, like an assemblance of their best culinary features. The idea was to create a fine dining modern dhaba, which is not something we see a lot in the city. We have zeroed in on the aesthetic and the interiors along the same lines, there are some quirky details, like how we serve our bills on these miniature ceramic versions of yellow taxis,” says Samudra Bose, one of the directors of the joint.
The 6,000 square feet space of the diner has been sectioned into several distinct set-ups to break the monotony of design; we found some really interesting and supersized pop art murals, some funky quotes sprawled across the walls; there are some quirky detailing which bring in a sense of edgy homegrown thought into the space. Like the fantastic ambassador couches near the entrance or the swinging seats or the rickshaw wheel table stands; it’s very in sync with the eatery’s intention to bring a millennial spin into the age-old dhaba culture. The menu, too is very representative of this sentiment; the spread balances some familiar hearty picks which you’d expect in a North Indian eatery, some elaborate Bengali fixes and some really exciting fusion numbers.
“The menu, too, is very fusion-inspired, we have some numbers which you can’t find anywhere else. Like, we have Kancha Lanka Mangsho, which features mutton cooked with green chillies and that’s a bengali hit. But then we also have Laal Maas which is a North Indian staple. We have a Lassi Pitcher, like we find in bars!” Bose tells us. We found the menu to be an impressive curation of comfort numbers and some Gen-Z favourites.
The Sriracha Paneer Tikka, for instance, features cottage cheese marinated with zesty hot sauce. One of the in-house signatures is the Sadda Wadda tandoori chicken which is an ethnic spin on a traditional European roast and features a whole skewered chicken with all the fixes. We also samples some Chukandari Anar Murgh and some Panko Crust Prawns. One of your go-to orders should be the Tandoori Bhetki which is a whole-grilled fish served on a platter of salad and crackers. Our recommendations? Definitely the Panko Crust Prawns and the Sriracha Paneer Tikka, along with the whole tandooris. Price for two: Rs 1,000