2013 has so far turned into the year of weddings and thirtieths. Some people want big parties, others want smaller more intimate affairs. It was with a small 30th get together in mind that we headed en masse to Indie Dhaba. Indie Dhaba is not your usual run of the mill Indian restaurant but instead has decided to shake the food scene up by offering Indian tapas. Now to be honest we were a little bit sceptical at the beginning - Indian tapas we exclaimed, they won’t fill us up and it will work out really expensive too as a group! Turns out we were wrong, oh so wrong.
Indie Dhaba is situated on St. Anne Street in what used to be Venu. It is a big space and on the afternoon we were there only about four other tables were filled. This didn’t matter to us as we were a group of eight girls who could probably fill the place with enough chatter to make up for the lack in atmosphere. The menu is lengthy with choices of small plates, large plates, dhaba plates and Old Favourites among others. Our waiter explained to us the concept behind Indie Dhaba and some of the dishes on the menu. Being old pros at eating out in groups we co-ordinated our tapas so that we could have a bit of everything! We each choose two small plates and a main thinking that if we were still hungry we could always order more.
So to make life a bit easier as there were so many dishes, here are a selection of what we ordered (I think I have all the names right!).
PAPPADUM BRUSCHETTA: Mini Pappadums and Fryums topped with Indian Vegetable Ratatouille
CHATPATEE CHUTNEY MEZZE: Roasted red-bell pepper, aubergine, chickpeas and cumin, spicy olive, mathari sticks
NANOZZA: Indian Fenugreek dough, makhni sauce basting, vegetables, fondue of buffalo mozzarella, a.k.a. Jasuben’s Gujarati Naan-Pizza
BAGDA CHINGRI: Tiger prawn with Philadelphia Cheese, carom seed, toasted yellow peas flour
PALAK-MISSI TOAST: Sautéed spinach and mushroom, Indian spices, garlic, maize and chickpea flour tortilla
TANGRA CHILI CHICKEN: Indo-Chinese stir fried chicken, Calcutta Chinatown style
TIWARI JI KI RAJ KACHORI: Giant Flaky-Dough hollow shell dolma, ragout of sprouted Green Mung-bean, baby gem, red kidney bean, natural yoghurt baratte and Tamarind chutney
BANGLA CRAB CHOP: Pacific crabmeat and crayfish with spiced beetroot, house-made tomato and plum chutney
We also ordered fig and goats cheese naan (one of the best naans I have ever had!) and garlic, onion & coriander naan and some Basmati rice for the table. The great thing about all the small plates were that they came out divided into four so they were perfect for sharing. One thing we did notice was that there wasn’t much size difference between the large and small plates but the large plates are where you will find the more expensive options of meat and fish. The flavours of the food were amazing and so different to what we are normally used to when we think of tapas. The food was vibrant, intense, fun and was a joy to eat.
The only dish I was slightly disappointed with was the Bangla Crab Chop as it was just a bit bland and didn’t live up to the experience created by the other dishes. Another plus was that our meal cost us around €20 each. That was for 2 small plates and a large plate X8 so yes it did feel like plate after plate was arriving at the table. For me this meal was one of the standouts of the year so far. I love the concept behind it and the creativity in the dishes. It also won’t break the bank, is great for groups and they also have Darren, an award winning mixologist, working in house who makes Dublin’s best cocktails (well I think so anyway!). So all in all Indie Dhaba was the perfect choice for a small 30th – it was good food and good cocktails all at an affordable price. Could we really ask for anything more!