One of my fondest memories from my time in India is travelling state to state on busses. Those journies did take time, but I got to witness different cultures. The best thing about those visits was that I got to try different types of food. Of all the food I tried, the best was prepared at the local Punjabi dhabas on the highways of northern India.
Dining with bus/truck drivers while listening to their stories is an experience I will always cherish. What I liked the most about these people was that they knew where to eat. While the bus stopped at a restaurant on the highway, the driver used to walk further down and eat at a dhaba. The reason: the food prepared there were far more delicious than in the restaurants.
So when I found out that there was a dhaba run by a Punjabi here in Kathmandu, I pouncd at the chance to go and dine there. Mittraan Da Dhaba been serving authentic Punjabi food to its patrons since 2016. Set in an alley near the Sajha petrol pump, the restaurant has a rustic feel to it. It doesn’t resemble a typical dhaba from the highways in India, but it does have the same feel to it.
Kathmandu does have its fair share of Indian restaurants, but most of them lack that traditional taste. This is a reason why the owner Ravi Singh has worked hard to make sure this place stands out. His knowledge of Punjabi food is second to none and that can be seen in the extensive menu he and his chef have prepared.
After a brief talk with the manager, we order our food. To start with, we ordered the Gilauti Kebab which was a mutton kebab marinated overnight with herbs and spices. The dish had the perfect blend of spices and was full of flavours. The kebab was nicely roasted and had that ‘melt in the mouth’ cooked texture and a smoky taste.
As we finished the delicious kebab, our main course arrived. The chef recommended that we try one of their specials, the Malkan Masoor. The dish was prepared with red lentil marinated in garlic and cooked slow. To go with that, we asked for some garlic naan. The Malkan Masoor was extremely delicious. It was extremely creamy in taste with a nice flavourful aroma and taste of the blend of the spices used. That it was cooked over a slow flame gave it a nice creamy texture that was complemented by the spices. The naan was soft and went well with the dish.
The thing I liked the most about the place, along with the food, was their hospitality. The place has a wide range of food items to chose from and has plenty of vegetarian and meat items. The vegetable curries are just as good as the non-vegetable curries and from what I’ve heard from other visitors there, the rice dishes are just as good.
Overall, the quality of food is on a par with some of Nepal’s finest five-star hotels which serve north Indian cuisine. But that its moderately priced is a reason for people who enjoy north Indian to give the restaurant a try.