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Culinary Voyage Hospitality

Exploring Dhaba 1986 : A Culinary Adventure in Delhi.


Food Review: Dhaba 1986, Aero City, Delhi


A Journey of North Indian Flavors

Dhaba, a renowned name in Delhi celebrated for its North Indian delicacies and tantalizing Tandoori offerings, surprised us in an unexpected locale—the bustling Aero City near Worldmark. Intrigued by its reputation, my family and I eagerly stepped inside, only to stumble upon a unique summer food promotion that added an exhilarating twist to our visit.

The moment we entered, the ambiance enveloped us in a lively fusion of peppy Bollywood beats and quirky desi slogans that adorned the walls. It felt like stepping into a Bollywood blockbuster with a culinary twist.

Art adorned the walls, featuring a charismatic depiction of Bhaijaan Salman Khan donning a turban with Sardaarjee flair, which added a playful touch to the entire dining experience. This artistic homage to Bollywood icons further heightened the unmistakable Dhaba vibes—a perfect blend of cultural homage and gastronomic delight.

The rhythm of Bollywood beats infused our meal with an infectious energy, turning our dining experience into a spontaneous desi dance-off. It was as if every dish was accompanied by its own soundtrack, adding a lively tempo to our culinary journey.

As we settled comfortably, the eclectic menu beckoned with promises of a culinary adventure, and it certainly delivered. From traditional favorites to innovative twists, each dish showcased the culinary mastery that defines Dhaba.

Our experience at Dhaba was truly unforgettable, a gastronomic journey that seamlessly blended cozy familiarity with vibrant energy. It transported us from the hustle and bustle of Aero City to the spirited atmosphere reminiscent of highway-side Dhabas—a perfect ode to India’s culinary diversity and rich cultural heritage.

Venturing into Dhaba during the scorching Delhi summer, we were greeted by a vibrant menu boasting an array of refreshing drinks, each promising a unique burst of flavor. Curious to beat the heat, we decided to dive into their summer specialties.

First on our list was Banta in Kokum and Imly, a playful twist on the traditional Banta. As we sipped, the tangy kokum and imly (tamarind) danced on our tongues, creating a refreshing blend of sweet and sour that instantly refreshed our palates. It was like a cool breeze on a hot summer day—unexpectedly delightful and utterly refreshing.




























Next, we sampled Meerut ki Shikanji, a timeless North Indian lemonade known for its bold citrusy kick. With each sip, the zesty lemon flavors exploded, perfectly balanced with just the right amount of sweetness. It was like sunshine in a glass, rejuvenating and uplifting.

Moving on to Rajdhani Jal Jeera, we were intrigued by its reputation as a chilled, tangy concoction infused with cumin and fresh mint leaves. The first sip delivered a burst of flavors—earthy cumin intertwined with cool mint, creating a harmonious blend that awakened our senses. It was a flavor journey from the streets of Delhi to the heart of India’s culinary traditions.

Finally, we indulged in Aam Panna, a Dhaba-style rendition of the beloved raw mango drink. With its cooling properties and complex spice profile, it captured the essence of summer in every sip. The tangy raw mangoes were expertly balanced with spices, offering a refreshing and revitalizing experience that left us craving more.

We couldn’t resist trying the Masala Chaach, a refreshing and savory delight that captured the essence of Indian comfort drinks.

The Masala Chaach greeted us with its enticing aroma of roasted cumin seeds and mustard seeds, infused into a base prepared with kala namak and kadi pata. The addition of red chilli tadka leaf added a subtle kick that balanced perfectly with the cooling effect of the chaach. Each sip was a symphony of flavors—earthy from the cumin and mustard seeds, tangy from the kala namak, and aromatic from the kadi patta. It was a perfect blend of spices that awakened the palate and refreshed the senses.

In conclusion, our experience at Dhaba near Worldmark was not just about beating the heat but also about savoring the rich flavors of India’s culinary heritage. Each beverage on their summer menu was a testament to the artistry and creativity of Dhaba’s culinary team, ensuring every sip was an adventure in taste. Whether you’re a local or a visitor looking to explore Delhi’s vibrant food scene, these summer coolers are a must-try for anyone seeking a refreshing twist on traditional flavors.

Embarking on our culinary journey at Dhaba near Worldmark, we began with the Non-Veg Platter—a tantalizing assortment featuring Galouti Kebab, Mutton Seekh, Murgh Malai Tikka, Highway Chicken Tikka, and Fish Tikka. Each dish promised a distinct flavor profile enhanced by aromatic spices and expert grilling techniques.

Turning to the Veg delicacies, we savored Dahi ke Kebab, crumb-fried hung curd cheese patties served with a zesty green chili relish. The creamy interior balanced by the crisp exterior was complemented by the sharpness of the green chili, creating a harmonious burst of flavors.

One of the highlights of our culinary exploration at Dhaba near Worldmark was the Mushroom Tikka—a vegetarian delight that showcased the richness of North Indian flavors. This dish, marinated and grilled to perfection, offered a symphony of tastes heightened by a blend of aromatic spices.

The Mushroom Tikka enticed us with its smoky aroma and tender texture, achieved through a meticulous grilling process. The marinade, featuring roasted cumin and garam masala, elevated the mushrooms’ natural essence, infusing each bite with a savory depth. The earthy flavors of the mushrooms harmonized beautifully with the warm spices, creating a delightful contrast that lingered on the palate.

Dhaba Paneer Tikka delighted with its tender chunks of cottage cheese marinated in saffron-infused yogurt. The mild spiciness and smoky aroma from the grill complemented the creamy texture of the paneer, making it a delectable vegetarian choice.

Moving on to the other tikkas, we immersed ourselves in a sensory journey of meaty delights:

he Galouti Kebab greeted us with its velvety texture and rich blend of minced meat and spices. Infused with saffron and aromatic herbs, it melted in our mouths, leaving a lingering warmth that invited us to savor every bite.

Next, the Mutton Seekh captivated us with its robust flavors and tender texture. The smoky aroma and perfectly balanced spices made it a standout on the platter, showcasing the mastery of traditional grilling techniques.

Murgh Malai Tikka offered a creamy indulgence, with tender chicken marinated in a luscious mix of cream, yogurt, and spices. The subtle notes of cardamom and nutmeg complemented the charred edges, creating a delightful contrast of textures and flavors.

Highway Chicken Tikka impressed with its bold seasoning and char-grilled perfection. The blend of Kashmiri chili, cumin, and coriander seeds added a fiery kick that elevated the succulent chicken to new heights of flavor.

The Fish Tikka surprised us with its delicate seasoning and fresh, flaky texture. Marinated in a tangy blend of yogurt, lime juice, and spices, it offered a delightful taste of coastal flavors amidst the robust North Indian offerings.

So, if you’re in search of an authentic culinary experience in Delhi, Dhaba promises not just a meal but a celebration of flavors that will leave a lasting impression. So Our journey through the flavors of Dhaba near Worldmark continued with a delightful selection of main course dishes that celebrated the essence of North Indian cuisine.

Kanastari Baigan Bharta stole the show with its unique presentation in a tiny copper peepa. This signature preparation featured eggplants roasted in the tandoor, mashed, and finished with royal cumin, tomato, ginger, onion, and green chilies. Served in a canister, the dish exuded a smoky aroma and a harmonious blend of spices that made each bite a true delight. The texture was silky smooth, with a hint of earthiness from the roasted eggplants perfectly complemented by the freshness of the tomatoes and the warmth of the spices.

Accompanying the bharta, Dal Dhaba stood out with its rich flavors and creamy texture. Prepared with black lentils soaked overnight and slow-cooked with homemade spices, butter, and cream, this dal was a comforting indulgence. The overnight cooking process allowed the flavors to meld beautifully, resulting in a dish that was hearty yet balanced, with a subtle smokiness that lingered on the palate.

For our non-vegetarian main course, we savored Butter Chicken 1986, a timeless favorite that lived up to its reputation. Boneless chicken tikka morsels simmered and finished in a creamy tomato gravy, this dish was a symphony of flavors. The tender chicken absorbed the richness of the gravy, enhanced by a blend of spices that added depth without overwhelming the palate. It was a comforting and indulgent dish that paired perfectly with the simple tandoori roti we chose.

Another highlight was Rarha Gosht, featuring joints of mutton and minced mutton cooked with onion, tomato, and home-ground spices. The robust flavors of the mutton were complemented by the aromatic spices, creating a dish that was bold yet balanced. The tender meat melted in the mouth, leaving a satisfying warmth that spoke of hours spent perfecting the cooking process.

To accompany our meal, we enjoyed Masala Papad, a delightful accompaniment that added a crunchy contrast to the rich gravies and dal. The crispy papad was topped with a tangy masala mix that awakened the taste buds and refreshed the palate between bites.

Sous chef ( unit chef) Kundan Singh

Sous chef (Unit chef) Kundan Singh

To conclude our culinary journey at Dhaba , we indulged in a delightful array of desserts that captured the essence of traditional Indian sweets.

First on our list was the Summer Special Faluda Kulfi, a refreshing treat that epitomized the flavors of the season. This condensed milk frozen dessert was served with faluda—a traditional vermicelli sweetened with rose syrup—and topped with delicate rose petals. The kulfi was creamy and rich, with a hint of cardamom that added a delightful aromatic touch. The faluda provided a contrasting texture, making each spoonful a delightful blend of creamy, sweet, and floral notes. It was a perfect finale to our meal, offering a cool respite from the summer heat.

Following the kulfi, we savored Thanda and Meetha Paan, a traditional Indian after-meal treat filled with gulkand (rose petal jam), fennel seeds, and a variety of sweet and savory ingredients. The paan burst with flavors—sweet from the gulkand, refreshing from the fennel, and subtly spicy from the betel leaf. It served as a palate cleanser, soothing and aromatic, leaving a lingering freshness that completed our dining experience.

Our visit to Dhaba was nothing short of exceptional. The staff demonstrated outstanding hospitality, and the chef’s personal attention added an extra layer of warmth to our dining experience. His genuine interest in our satisfaction underscored what true hospitality should be about—caring not just for the food, but for the guests’ enjoyment of flavors and textures.

Throughout our meal, the staff’s attentiveness ensured that we felt welcomed and attended to without intrusion, allowing us to savor each dish at our own pace. The chef’s visit to our table to inquire about our food preferences and the flavors we enjoyed exemplified a commitment to ensuring every diner’s experience was memorable and personalized.

Regional Brand Chef, Bhaskar Joshi

Regional Brand Chef, Bhaskar Joshi

Overall, our time at Dhaba near Worldmark was marked by exceptional service and culinary excellence. The staff’s genuine hospitality and the chef’s dedication to his craft made our visit not only a meal but an unforgettable dining journey. It’s this attention to detail and customer satisfaction that sets Dhaba apart as a destination where food meets heartfelt hospitality.

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She has been there and done that. After graduating from Delhi University, she completed her diploma in Journalism from Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, Delhi. Down the line, she completed her internship with National Herald Newspaper successfully,, and went on to Join Mainline Business daily, Business Standard. She also dabbled in image management and brand consultancy. She is a prolific writer on lifestyle entertainment, branding, lifestyle, travel, and politics.
Contact her at [email protected]

Barkha Arora

She has been there and done that. After graduating from Delhi University, she completed her diploma in Journalism from Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, Delhi. Down the line, she completed her internship with National Herald Newspaper successfully,, and went on to Join Mainline Business daily, Business Standard. She also dabbled in image management and brand consultancy. She is a prolific writer on lifestyle entertainment, branding, lifestyle, travel, and politics. Contact her at [email protected]

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