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Eat well and chill out here

Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

Delicious meals topped with excellent hospitality is Dal Chini's speciality.

DAL CHINI stands out in the midst of some 3,000 apartments. A multi-cuisine restaurant started by Jatin Pal Singh and P. Sikdar, it is popular in and around Pai Layout, off Old Madras Road. Jatin explains the nomenclature: "Dal" refers to their Indian cuisine and "Chini" to their Chinese cuisine. Tibetan and Mughlai specialities are also served here.

Jatin and Sikdar shared a common dream — starting a restaurant that would offer good food, bringing customers back for more. So, they teamed up with C. Jayachandran, who also runs the popular Tandoor Wala's in Indiranagar. Jatin says: "We build a one-to-one relationship with the customer, preparing food as he or she likes it. We often recommend a dish that is not on the menu simply because it measures up to a customer's taste buds."

Biriyani (vegetarian, Rs. 30, chicken, Rs. 40, and mutton, Rs. 50) is in big demand here. Momo, a Tibetan favourite, is priced between Rs. 35 and Rs. 40 per serving of eight pieces, depending on the filling. Katti rolls come in different combinations, sizes, and range, priced between Rs. 16 and Rs. 70. Gravies such as handi chicken (Rs. 50) or chicken rana (Rs. 55) can be ordered in full or half portions. "We get customers who are single and a full portion is too much for them," explains Jatin. Maa de dal (Rs. 30), vegetable Hyderabadi (Rs. 38), and navratan korma (Rs. 45) are among vegetarian choices, besides raithas and salads (Rs. 15 to Rs. 30).

Fish and prawn are seasonal, while Mughlai specials — mutton rezala (Rs. 55) and murg masoollum (Rs. 120) are available on weekends. The Indian bread basket overflows with varieties of roti, kulcha, and naan, priced between Rs. 5 and Rs. 15.

From the Chinese kitchen, chow mein (vegetarian, Rs. 35, mixed, Rs. 40) and chopsuey (Rs. 40) are popular, besides gobi manchurian (Rs. 30), ginger chicken (Rs. 40), and Thai chicken. Chicken dragon roll (Rs. 40) is excellent for starters. Soft drinks as well as hot beverages are also available.

"A homely hangout is what people want, some place they can relax, chill out, and have a good meal," Jatin believes. This restaurant can seat 28 at a time, and has simple décor, informal atmosphere, and music drifting from "potted" speakers. And it is this melange of informal concepts, good food, and a personal touch that makes Dal Chini unique.

An average meal for two at Dal Chini is priced at Rs. 120. Cards are not accepted. Home delivery is free within a 5 km. radius, and catering is undertaken for parties up to 150 persons. The place is open on all seven days of the week from 1 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. Call 8512800 for details.

DOMINIC D'CRUZ

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