Go by the name, look at the name or glance through the menu, all the elements speak out loud, that heads behind this place have travelled to a lot of dhabas across Indian states that are famous for Dhaba food and have brought together these aspects beautifully – the décor elements, the menu selection and yes, they serve Dhaba Style Chai, that is the most ordered item at any dhaba.
They also served Mukke Wala Pyaaz, a very well-known way of having onion with food at dhabas around Haryana and Punjab, they have taken it a notch fancier by making a wooden mukka that is brought to the table and pyaaz is sort of hammered with it.
The Food Prowl Team was invited for a food tasting. The owners - Sunil Chandani and Gautam Moudgill have been friends for long and Good News Dhaba is a culmination of their food experiences while traveling. As we grabbed our seats admiring the various articles on display that have been handpicked from Punjab and other places to add to the décor, we were given a DIY Chatni Platter. It had a marble hand grindstone with number of ingredients to make an interesting chatni yourself, the very traditional way, it was an exciting thing to do till the food arrived.
I also liked their mocktails a lot as they have same or contrasting flavor ice popsicle in it, so the drink didn’t water down and retained its flavor concentration. The mint cooler that I had kala khatta popsicle.
The meal started with Karak Roomali Roti Masala Maar Ke, that tempting crisped roomali roti has been making inroads at number of restaurants, a real Dhaba dish or not its really good thing to munch on, and here they served it with a pyaaz tamatar kachumbar on the side to add more vibrancy to its flavor.
Of the many starters we tasted my favorite were Gosht ki Burri, a thick masaledar preparation of shredded meat served with roasted papad, this is a perfect Chakhna dish to go with that strong Sweet peg of old monk.
High Speed Ghee Roast Chicken was also a highly impressive preparation, a typical kerala style ghee roast spiced with black pepper, curry leaves and green chillies, very full and robust flavors.
Break Fail Murg Kebab that had smoky flavor with a hint of whiskey tempering.
Kasoori Methi Aloo Matar Tikki was liked the most, the maturity of flavor from methi contrasting with mild sweetness from peas made it a very good delicate tikki.
We also had Mutton Seekh Kebab, Dahi ke Kabab, which while good were very similar to the ones being served at most other places.
Galawati Kabab and Paneer ke Sholay could have been better. Galawati were right in texture but missed the flavor point and were tad higher on salt.
Paneer ke Sholay could do with more stuffing that the bread coating.
Then came Tamatar Tusli Shorba a very humble sounding tomato soup, but this one was different, it was full of freshness from tomato and it had hint of tulsi to complement the flavor. Murg Galliana Shorba was a peppery chicken broth soup, decent enough.
Mains was full of rich curries and Langar Dal loaded with Ghee, this Dal is a mixed one and a good break from all the Dal tadka and Dal Makhni out there.
Of all the curries, the Pehlgami Machi Curry was the best, a tangy gravy with fennel flavors. Changezi Chicken was also good, but not at par with one that you get in Delhi. Paneer Lababdar was also good.
While Martaban ka Gosht looked very tempting from the color of gravy, the mutton was cooked perfectly it went flat on taste, it was to have pickled flavors but that punch didn’t land right.
Sarson ka Saag, the texture worked perfectly but it tasted too gingery and less of Saag with bathua and methi.
Coming to the desserts, I was just blown away by the Rabdi, one of the best in Pune hands down. Then the Matka Paan Kulfi was also very good with extra gulukand on top. While Phirni missed the mark and was very dry.
So to sum it up lot of food was good, some things missed the mark but overall the place has very fresh vibe and Ishanya is becoming the latest party hub we have seen all the places full even on weekends, so do visit Good News Dhaba for feel good factor and enjoy food and drinks.
Special Thanks to Sasha Anand - Pomelo Social for inviting us for the food tasting.
Good News Dhaba, Ishanya Mall, Pune | Food Prowl - The Hunger Stories