We (me, Ankita, Ankur, Abhishek, Parijat, Baibhav) were all at Kala Mandir since afternoon. It was the first performance of Baibhav on stage and incidentally he had been going to the same kindergarten chain where Ankita is the teacher. By the time everything wrapped up, it was late in the evening at around 8:30pm.
No one was in a mood to go back home and unanimously we decided to have dinner outside in some restaurant. The decision was to go to a restaurant which was close to our home so that we can easily reach home even if it is a bit late. Together, we chose Rang De Basanti Dhaba which was located at Tagore Park on E.M.Bypass (just opposite to Fortis Hospital).
We reached there at around 9:00pm, went in and settled down. The restaurant has a large floor area and is very spacious. Seats and tables are made of wood, posters all around the walls, lanterns hanging overhead and acting as electric light bulb holders, all would give you a dhaba kind of feel. They even have a large sized tractor placed right in the middle of the restaurant. The kids were delighted and jumped onto the tractor playing along. Light music was being played in the background. Full marks to ambiance and décor.
As we took our seat, the waiter approached. He was polite, informative and courteous. While we were placing the order, the waiter had been giving us inputs and we completed placing the order in 10-15 minutes. This is what we ordered:
- Drinks and starters
- 1) Narangi Soda – Rs 90/- [This was good and we enjoyed it]
- 2) Soda Sikanj (suggested by the waiter) – Rs 90/- [Did not like the taste]
- 3) Lassi (sweet) – Rs 90/- [Standard taste. The same as you would get in other dhabas]
- RDBD Fried Chicken – Rs 280/- [This was tasty and is recommended]
- Fish Tikka – Rs 350/- [Very average in taste. Nothing special]
- Masala Papad – Rs 45/- [In a good restaurant, normally you would get this as complimentary]
- Main course
- Butter Naan – Rs 50/- [Not very soft and even a bit rubbery]
- Masala Kulcha – Rs 60/- [I have tried masala kulcha at several other places and this can be categorized as ordinary]
- Kolkata Mutton Biriyani – Rs 220/- [This biriyani did not have an egg and since we wanted to include an egg for Vaibhab, we had to pay an additional Rs 15/-. When the biriyani was served at the table, I was surprised by the quantity! The quantity was so small that even my 7 year old kid can gobble it all up. At this price tag, this is absolutely not recommended]
- Dilli Ka Butter Chicken (recommended by the waiter) – Rs 455/- [This was very good in taste and had decent pieces of chicken in gravy with lavish amounts of butter. Highly recommended]
- Utterly Butterly Chicken (This was a combo of chicken side dish with 2 pieces of rumali roti) – Rs 315/- [A complete disaster. I had ordered this for myself and what arrived were small pieces of chicken soaked in greenish gravy. First bite and I had to put it down as the chicken side dish had too much salt. I told this to the waiter who promptly removed the rest of the chicken pieces which were still there in the serving dish and promised to serve it afresh. My expectation was that the dish would be prepared once again and served. What came back after 5 minutes had 4 additional pieces of chicken and you can make out that there was an attempt to make up and reduce the salt in the dish. Very unprofessional…]
At the end of the dinner, we walked out of the restaurant not feeling satisfied. Looking at the Left-Hand side and Right-Hand side of the bill, there was an immediate feeling that this was nowhere close to “Value-For-Money”. I had visited the Salt Lake unit of this restaurant a few years back and did not have a good impression. With this new unit being opened, I was expecting better experience but was completely disappointed.