Highway Dhaba Food Festival at First Innings, The Stadel, Salt Lake, Kolkata

I am always a happy puppy around Dhabas and long road trips, so when M called me over to sample the numerous charms of the Highway Dhaba Food Festival at First Innings, the multi-cuisine restaurant at The Stadel, I went ahead willingly. Mercifully close to my home, The Stadel is the only restaurant in Yuba Bharati Krirangan, and a good place of choice for those who want to eat out in Salt Lake region.

Executive Sous Chef Raju Roy, The Stadel

A conversation with the chef revealed his choices. Most of the food were based on Punjabi home cooking, but one or two dishes were supposed to be different, so that those who would like to eat something different would get a choice too. I surveyed the menu briefly to see some old favorites.

The Stadel has priced its meals reasonably, with the weekday buffet at 599/- plus tax, and 750/- INR plus tax on weekends. The dishes featured in the menu were also a part of the special a-la-carte, which can be ordered on the side too. I was happy to see Keema Tadka and Sarson Ka Saag on the menu.

Sarson da Saag

For me, Sarson ka Saag is sheer comfort food, and the version made here was pretty good – silky greens interlaced with little shreds of ginger, and a little hit of the chillies – I heaped a bit of ghee on top of my Makki Roti to go with it.

Kukkad Kalmi Kabab

The Kukkad Kalmi Kabab was spicy and tasted better with a squirt of lime. I added a couple of chillies, and munched them as we talked and laughed, with glasses of cold spiced buttermilk accompanying our meal.

Punjabi Kadhi

However, to me, the Panjabi Kadhi unexpectedly stole the show. The kadhi featured luscious, melt-in-your-mouth balls of gram flour, and was spiked with red chillies, which lent a beautiful aroma. I was at this point feeling slightly full, but could not pass up a nice bowl of Rajma Chawal because I like my beans.

Tamatar Masala Vich Machhi

The fish came with a tangy tomato sauce, and was flaky, albeit slightly overcooked, and with plenty of gravy to soak up with rice. It was one of those things which would always taste better with rice, so I didn’t even attempt to add another roti to my plate.

Ludhiana da Dahi Chicken

The Dahi Chicken was a very mild affair with hints of fresh cilantro and chilli flakes in a yogurt-based gravy, and I should have had it before the fish to enjoy it more, but well, at this point, my tummy was begging for mercy, so I skipped the kheer for dessert which V reported was pretty good.

The spread at First Innings, Stadel

The Stadel has a number of restaurants which offers a choice of a-la-carte and buffet options, and they hold food festivals and special offers from time to time, which is always a good thing. Although this buffet is probably no longer available, they have a few fun activities coming soon.

Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee was invited to the Highway Dhaba Food Festival at The Stadel by the management.

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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