Hands down the thing I miss most about Australia food-wise is the availability of real, authentic Asian food. So much so that if you ask me what I want for Christmas, I would probably ask for a fresh bowl of my mum’s Beef Rendang flown straight out of the kitchen. In Australia, I could hop in my car and auto-pilot my way to wholesome and legitimate Asian grub whenever I feel like it but unfortunately Asian food hasn’t fully kicked off in Colombia yet. So when I learnt recently that there is a restaurant offering authentic Indian food in Bogota, my mouth got an immediate rush of saliva as I started fantasising about all possible options on the menu.
Located in the old neighbourhood of Teusaquillo, Dhaba reminds me of all the non pretentious, family style Asian restaurants that I am accustomed to dining at, reaffirming my confidence that the food was going to be legit.
The walls are decorated with posters of Bollywood films, which I’ve never seen before at an Indian restaurant but hey maybe the chef is an ex-Bollywood star hiding out in Colombia.
It’s clear that the owner is not just putting his food out there but also trying to educate his diners on Indian food. For example, the place mat that you get provides an outline on typical spices used in Indian cooking such as curry leaves and chilli. You can pick a spice level between 1-6 (6 being the spiciest) but knowing that generally Colombians don’t like spicy food, level 1-3 is categorised as “Colombian level” and 3-6 being “International”. I love spicy food and I thought 5 was pretty hot but I’ll definitely be ordering a 6 on my next visit.
All mains come with a portion of Jeera rice (rice with cumin seeds) and Chapati bread but you can order sides of Indian classics such as garlic Naan bread and Samosas. There are plenty of options on the menu so I recommend going in a group and that way you can try a bunch of different things.
My eating partner and I started off with some Samosas to wet the appetite. They were cooked to a perfection, crispy on the outside and the inside filled with a tasty spiced tomato and pea mash.
For the mains, we shared a Navratan Korma which is a vegetable curry cooked with homemade cheese and yogurt and Baigan Chicken, a curry made with a base of roasted eggplant.
Both dishes were exquisite and definitely authentic Indian. The only “problem” is that the menu has a large number of options of vegetarian, beef, chicken, pork and lamb dishes as well as traditional desserts and drinks. Check it out for yourself here.
Overall, I give it a two thumbs up.
Dhaba – Indian Cuisine
Av Calle 28, #24-27, Local No.2
Tel. +57 318 669 1167
+57 319 262 0110
Mon, Wed – Sat : 12pm – 3:30pm & 6.00pm-9.00pm
Sundays & Holidays: 12:30pm-4:30pm. Reservations only.
Tuesdays : Closed.
Average price: 17,000 Pesos
* As of April 2015, Dhaba will be relocating to Calle 33A, #19-17, Teusaquillo. Next to the Texaco gas station.