Pehelwan ka Dhaba, Majlis Park – A Quintessential Dhaba experience

Even though Delhi is a city of Dhabas, however there aren’t many that come to my mind when I set my mind out in search of a good old school Dhaba. There can be a thousand reasons for the same however lets leave that for some other time. Why did I start this post with those lines? Just to show how desperate me other food lovers like me are for decent Dhaba food in Delhi. And when Pehelwan started to find mention on Eatlo, it did manage to excite the mind and taste-buds of food lovers all over the city, specially our vegetarian brethren. 
Food Lovers from all over Delhi / NCR
A visit to them, an Eatlo Eatup as it is called was on cards for long time and thankfully we managed to pull one of this week. Around 20-25 of food lovers from all over Delhi and NCR descended in the bylanes of Outer Delhi (OK, North Delhi if you insist) to find this Pehelwan and his Dhaba. And yours truly was one of them mongers of good food.

Shahi Paneer
Being served
Chana Masala

The place was not as difficult to find as it seemed, I mean what place these days is not on google maps? This one is not. If you search for its name, you will land up its name sake dhabas all over the place, however not this one. To locate this Dhaba the simplest GPS coordinate : Reach Adarsh Nagar Metro Station, ask any rickshaw puller for directions. Simple? 😛

Its a large hall kind of a structure with huge Pateelas, tandoor and other kitchen in general taking the front part and then there around 8-10 tables for mortals like us to sit and dine on. Nothing fancy, but the modern standards not even basic, but still functional setup. That said, classical Dhaba in every sense of the word.

Dal Makhani
Paneer Naan

Now other food lovers had been recommending their boiled dal (I am assuming yellow) however we were also told that they run out of it very early in the evenings. A day before out scheduled visit we also called and request them for the dal to saved for dinner time, however on the d-day the owner simple said that dal is not to be kept side but to be sold. I was like Yes Boss. Talking more about the owner, he seems to be a character in himself, however lets not talk about him and when you go their for eating business, I am sure your interaction to him would only be limited to paying the bill. 

Coming to food, taking the liberty of numbers we decided to test out everything on the menu, let me list down what we had and what I thought about it.
  • Shahi Paneer – Avoid. 
  • Malai Kofta – Same gravy as Shahi Paneer. Avoid.
  • Dal Makhani – ummm, some of us loved it, for me it was 3/5 kind of affair. 
  • Aloo Kofta – I thought it would be a kofta made of aloo, however it was a kofta and aloo in the same curry. It was fun to mash the kofta in the gravy and then eating it. Enjoyed eating it.
  • Mutter Paneer – Fried Paneer Dunked in tomato based gravy which has peas in it. Indifferent.
  • Aloo Gobhi – Very simple, bit on the wet side, had the punch of spices. 
  • Chana Masala – Enjoyed eating them a lot. Very basic and simple, very homelike but with a stronger kick. Loved them.
  • Palak Paneer – Just the way I like it. On the darker side not loaded with Cream and Butter, for me highlight of the place and most of my compatriots did agree with me. 
  • Boondi Raita – Not too thick, not too thin, Very chilled, very refreshing. Ate 2-3 of them. 
  • Kheer – Very basic, nothing fancy. I enjoyed it for its simplicity, for some it might be a waste of money. 
Palak Paneer 
Aloo Kofta

We tried a variety of breads, generally speaking on special orders they do make your roti crispy however given the pressure we put on the kitchen they did falter badly. That said, I enjoyed eating the Lachha Paranthas, plus their stuffed naans and paranthas also had simplicity around it which did manage to entice me. 

On the day we were their the service faltered badly, they have no idea on what was happening, probably not used to catering to so many gluttonous eaters at the same time, however with experience I have a feeling that they would be able to handle a lesser crowd very well. 
The nearest comparison that comes to my mind are the Dhabas of CP – Kake Bhape, National and the likes, in style of serving, attitude of owner and general ambiance. Nothing exceptional about the place, however if a simple kadak roti and palak paneer to chana is on your mind, do visit this place. You will not regret it. And yeah, I am going back, atleast to try that famed boiled dal.

PS : They use Nutralite Margarine instead of Butter.

Author: Shashank

CFE – Cheap Food Enthusiast Entrepreneur by birth, hippie by heart he is here just because he loves to eat. This adventurous biker is constantly looking for new avenues to satisfy his insatiable hunger for food & life. Though he loves sugar dense food, there is nothing sugar coated about him- brutally honest with his words, he often ruffles feathers with his stark naked opinions about food, fancy restaurants & orthodox ideas.

One thought on “Pehelwan ka Dhaba, Majlis Park – A Quintessential Dhaba experience”

  1. The boiled dal is the dal we ate i.e. Daal Makhani without tadka and cream and for me it is a lot tastier than the regular dal. Some of group did like Shahi Paneer, in fact some got it packed. Gobhi was a big spoiler. On my earlier visit 1 month ago, service was very efficient by the same guys, but I don't know what happened on the day of our visit. I think, the waiters got some cue from the owner. I do agree with the rest of your review.

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