If you’d like to treat your taste buds to delicious burgers, rolls and sandwiches and a few Lebanese and East Indian options as well, Ben’s Cafe in Dahisar will not disappoint on most counts. Be wary of their lazy home-delivery service, however
Located at the New Link Cross Road in Kanderpada, Dahisar (W), Ben’s Cafe is easy to miss. This can be a huge disadvantage for any new eatery in this area, especially with heavyweights like West Coast, Tendulkar’s Kitchen and Masterchef for company. Yet, this quaint joint, with its limited seating and basic setup, has gained a foothold; this, despite their slow delivery service.
For just Rs 250, Big Ben’s Fried Chicken is more than you could ask for
Ben’s Cafe is an affiliate of the mobile food ordering app, TinyOwl, so ordering food was a breeze. Select your items from the list; choose your payment options and you’re set for the treat. Our order included the eatery’s popular snack options — Big Ben Chicken Burger (Rs 150) with Tarter Sauce (Rs 30), Cowboy Sandwich (Rs 150), Chicken Mayo Roll (Rs 80), Chicken Shawarma (Rs 100) and the Ben’s Fried Chicken (Rs 50); our mains were Hummus with Arabic Chicken and Pita Bread (Rs 150), Veg Corn Fungi Risotto (Rs 200), and Chicken Hyderabadi Pulao (Rs 180) while the Non Veg Caesar Salad (Rs 150) was our side dish and Red Velvet with Cream Cheese (Rs 70) for dessert.
The Hummus with Arabic Chicken and Pita Bread is a great option for those looking to try some Lebanese food. Pics/Hassan M Kamal
Typically, this would have cost a bomb, but the total bill was just Rs 1,510! The app informed that delivery would take 30 minutes; unfortunately, Ben’s Cafe took nearly 90 minutes to arrive. But our annoyance disappeared as soon as we answered the door, only to be greeted with the aroma of fresh food. The order had a long way to go still, as we had to lug it to our office via a rough train commute. By the time we were ready to tuck in — after a long photo shoot — another three hours had passed.
What we liked
Ben’s Cafe promises good food, and that’s what we got after an arduous wait. Our top pick, Ben’s Fried Chicken, wowed us with its taste and portion size. The crust was crunchy with the right mix of spices; the chicken was juicy and retained its texture even three hours later. You’ll relish it more with their Tartar Sauce (available as a side for Rs 30).
The Cowboy Sandwich
Even the still-crisp Cowboy Sandwich had survived the commute. The highlight of this layered sandwich was its chicken filling. Mildly spiced, flavourful and grilled to perfection, the superbly marinated chicken was wolfed down in minutes.
Big Ben Chicken Burger that included an Indianised (spicy) minced patty, got a team thumbs up; the burger will have many home bakers give their versions a re-look. The mayo/coleslaw didn’t overpower the palate in both the sandwich and the burger. The Chicken Shawarma was equally delicious. We also liked the Chicken Mayonnaise, which surprisingly, didn’t taste too sweet, a common occurrence in most Chicken Mayonnaise Rolls.
The salad, despite not being the healthiest (mayonnaise overkill) tasted yum. It was refreshing with boiled chicken, potato chunks, lettuce and olive with tangy cherry tomatoes. The Hummus with Arabic Chicken was another winner. Perhaps it was the combination of hummus with Arabic Chicken, or perhaps that the chef could have used roasted chicken commonly used to prepare chicken shwarmas, did the trick. The accompanying Pita Bread was very dry, however.
What we didn’t like
Of the mains, both rice items fell below expectations. The rice in the Hyderbadai Pulao was a tad sticky (strict no-no for pulao) and tasted like a poor version of the popular dish. The Veg Corn Fungi Risotto, the sole vegetarian dish, was a downer too. Despite sufficient portion, the dish was bland, as the creamy base for the risotto rice lacked a strong flavour to hold fort. Our lone dessert, the Red Velvet Cream Cheese was average.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t try their famed Goan delicacies or popular breakfast egg options. So, the next time you’re in the area, step in for these goodies.
At: Ben’s Cafe, Shop 4, Rock Garden, Off New Link Road, Dahisar (W)
Time: 10 am to 11 pm
(You can also order via the app, TinyOwl)
Ben’s Cafe didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals
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