Despite its hole-in-the-wall appearance, the Khar-based 52 Patiala Chowk packs in quite a punch with some delectable North Indian fare. Plus, it doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket
52 Patiala Chowk
Think Patiala and you’re mentally transported to golden-hued cornfields, where you can munch on coal fire-stoked Makki Ki Roti and Sarson Da Saag while sitting around a bonfire, and later enjoy some Bhangra with Patiala pegs. The one-month-old 52 Patiala Chowk attempts to recreate this ambiance sans alcohol or the luxury of space.
The Chicken Patiala was satiating. Pics/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Stacked between two shops on the bustling Khar Station Road, we missed the eatery at the first go but found it, post a call to the restaurant for directions. The tiny space included five seating tables, kitschy paper fans adorning a wall and lamp shades with images of India Gate and Bhangra performances lighting up the area. Sparse, but effective.
The eatery offers a wide variety of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare (as separate dishes and combo meals) in North Indian and Chinese cuisines. Apprehensive about ordering Oriental cuisine at a restaurant that has Patiala in its name, we stuck to North Indian fare.
Prawn Curry with Chawal made for good comfort food
From the limited beverages menu, we chose the Masala Chaas (Rs 40) and Aachari Aaloo (Rs 110) from the vegetarian starters section. The owner, who was busy jotting down other home delivery orders (they deliver between Khar and Santacruz), noted our order too. Within minutes, the food arrived. With hints of rock salt, cumin and red chillies, the Masala Chaas was a bit too sour for our liking. Lacking the tandoor flavour, the Aachari Aaloo, tinged with the pickle marinade, was quite average.
Hoping that the main course would offer a better deal, we ordered two vegetables — Paneer Kucharan (Rs 250) and Chicken Patiala (Rs 240), mentioned as the house speciality in the menu. Lacha Paratha (Rs 30) and Garlic and Cheese Naan (Rs 60) were our choices from their section titled Patiala Chowk Ki Roti. As we patiently waited for the food to arrive, we fiddled with a pretty bird-cage candle-stand holder, placed on each table to add to the ambiance.
The interiors of 52 Patiala Chowk
As the dishes arrived, we couldn’t help but stare at the portions. The Chicken Patiala could easily serve three! As we tried spoonfuls of the dish, our smiles widened. Coated with eggs, the tender chicken was cooked to perfection in traditional spice-rich red gravy. The eggs added a nice touch to this flavourful dish.
With soft chunks of paneer cooked in onion gravy with hints of cardamom, Paneer Kucharan tasted delicious as well. Among the Indian breads, we preferred the soft naan — thankfully, without an overdose of cheese or garlic — over the paratha that tasted a tad undercooked.
While we were recommended the Chicken Tikka Biryani, we tried the Prawn Curry with Chawal (Rs 200) served as a single portion. Tempered with red chillies and mustard, the tangy curry was quite like its Goan counterpart and made for comfort food with steamed rice.
A complete value-for-money option, 52 Patiala Chowk scores due to the rich flavours it packs in each dish. While we’d like them to expand their beverage menu and add a dessert section, we’d be willing to do an encore soon.
Time: 11.30 am to 11.30 pm
At: 52 Patiala Chowk, Municipal Market, Khar Station Road, Khar (W).
52 Patiala Chowk didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.
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