The weather was very pleasant today. Cool but not cold – the sun had sweetened the chill and we wanted to live up to the occasion by satisfying our sweet tooth. Dhaba Estd 1986, the erstwhile Dhaba by Claridges, has launched a new winter menu. Desserts are integral to winter so we were excited to try this section.
The outdoor seating area at the Dhaba was empty. There were torches blazing and we sat outside near a torch. The pleasant weather, fortified by the heat of the flame, made the place nice. We screened the winter menu and found 2 desserts – annanas aloo (pineapple – sweet potato) halwa and gajrela (carrot halwa). Sadly the annanas aloo was unavailable so we only had gajar halwa here. We resorted to the original menu and ordered badam (almond) halwa from here. We were also expecting chai given that this was a dhaba and were disappointed that they don’t serve tea. Quite not our notion of dhaba. We wanted something to drink anyway so it was cold coffee.
The cold coffee came first. It was basic and like what your grandmother would shakeup in a jar when the kitchen mixie stops working. But we wonder whether we would like to pay for it outside. The badam halwa was tasty but had an inch thick ghee floating on it. Desi ghee completely overshadowed the taste of almonds and that’s a big minus for Badam Halwa. The hero of the dish should be almonds not desi ghee.
The gajar halwa was also loaded with ghee, but was more balanced than the badam halwa. The mild sweetness of this dish is something that we like in any dessert. That said, we have had much tastier gajar halwa at home or at the local sweet shop. Moreover, the desserts touching Rs. 350 per serving and also the cold coffee – are expensive man!
In any case the sweets at Dhaba Estd 1986 sweetened our evening… at a price for sure.