An ode to a charming dhaba

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This iconic eatery at Kodigehalli junction, Sanjay Punjabi Dhaba, as it is called has withstood the onslaught of development and more importantly maintained its excellent dhaba quality food for almost three decades.

Sanjay dhaba helped spread the dhaba culture in the early nineties and when many shut shop to give way for spanking glass and brick edifices, this joint which gets clients from other parts of Bangalore city, has retained its charm as a family restaurant.

The survivor

It’s a place that has literally survived all road expansion work, plans to build concrete jungles and changing tastes in people.  Very close to Hebbal flyover, with looks of a typical Dhaba that we find on highways, consistency is its hallmark in both its veg and non-veg fare.

During a conversation with Ajay, one of the two brothers who started it, he says though many small and high investment restaurants opened and closed, with multiple developments around the dhaba, he too is not sure how long the restaurant will remain open.  But until the place is around, they plan to focus on serving good food to every guest.

Ambience

The seating arrangement is very casual. They have a combination of tables and chairs and ‘Khatiya’ or cots replicating a highway dhaba.  Each of the khatiyas has a wooden plank for food to be placed. The décor is minimal and the surroundings are clean and one can see the staff constantly working on the same.

Fixed Menu

This restaurant operates between 11 am & 11pm and has a fixed and time-tested menu offered throughout the day.  It’s the perfect place for anyone to have an early lunch, a late lunch, early dinner winding towards the night or even a quick brunch.  There is a good crowd present always.

Fresh & hot

The best dishes that I have tried at this place include Paneer Butter Masala, Palak Paneer, Dal Makhani and Daal Tadka. Paratha options too are many among the breads and my favourite has remained Aloo Paratha. The aloo stuffing is consistent and goes along well with the pickle and curd that’s served.

My non-veg co-diners prefer to feast on chicken varieties such as Pudina, Ginger and Lemon. The egg masala is also very popular along with a unique masala that is served with the complimentary cucumber, onion and lime. Food is prepared freshly after the order is placed and has an amazing taste and flavour.  I have felt that the taste is consistent every time that I have dined here.

Among the rice items, the Jeera Rice is steadily consistent.  The food is best eaten piping hot and so there are no home deliveries, adds Ajay.

Directions

The restaurant is on Airport road but unless you know it clearly, there is every chance of missing it.  If you are trying to reach the dhaba from the CBD, keep to the left after getting down from the Hebbal flyover.  While driving further ahead, one can find Aster CMI Hospital.  A little further is the Sahakarnagar or Kodigehalli traffic junction.  It’s on the service road on the right bedside the petrol pump. But, it is safer to get to the next junction, take a U-turn onto the service road and come back.

The restaurant has green cover from outside and the board is also slightly covered in greenery.  Two-wheeler parking is available inside the premises.  For 4-wheelers, there is plenty of parking space on the service road.

Final Thoughts

Sanjay Dhaba is one of the best eateries in Bangalore city for its consistency. I love the fact that they have limited dishes instead of having hundreds of them in the menu.  The interiors have a casual seating arrangement that can make anyone feel comfortable while having a good meal.  From the price-point, its very pocket-friendly. I am told that the menu price has not been revised for the last three years. And, that’s what makes this place consistent in every respect.

Nameesh N. Rajamane is a food critic, blogger and our resident expert who suggests curated dining experiences in north Bangalore. Though a tech analyst by training, wafts from the kitchen are where his sensory interests lie.

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