INDIAN DHABA, KINARA DHABA: THE SEARCH FOR GREAT INDIAN FOOD
For all of you who intend to hit the road by driving from Mumbai to Pune, here is a fantastic place for you to make a stop, eat and enjoy great Indian food. The name of the place is The Kinara Village Dhaba, and it is located on the old Mumbai Pune Highway in the heart of Lonavala approx. 2.5 hours from Mumbai.
The Dhaba gives you a feeling of rural India which is so different from the urban Indian restaurants or even Dhabas. However, the Kinara still maintains the contemporary art of dining. Those who do not particularly like to eat with their hands, you have nothing to worry about. This is not a hardcore Indian Dhaba. It is well organized, maybe too well… However, This Dhaba will tickle your taste buds because it serves a wide range of mouth-watering dishes delivering the taste of India.
As the name suggests, the entire place has been done up in the form of a village and gives you that rustic feel the moment you step inside. An ensemble of artefacts like the bullock cart, sun wheels, huts, food stalls, etc. grab your attention the minute you start making your way towards the khatiya (a bed made of jute ropes tied to a wooden panel used in many villages in rural India, we promise to dedicate a post especially for the Khatiya it is so much more than just a bed!) where you can just chill out.
Like “Time Tunnel” with Tony and Dug, the setting of Kinara Dhaba takes you back in time and gives you a taste of the rural countryside that you otherwise miss in the urban and modernized restaurants in the metro cities.
There is a wide variety of delicious Indian Tandoori & Mughlai food on offer and a few popular Chinese preparations also find its place on the menu which I felt was a little out of place considering the ethnic setting of The Kinara Village Dhaba. The Kesar Jalebi with Rabri is one of my personal favourites and a must for those who have a sweet tooth. The food is tremendously tasty, I enjoyed the Mughal Chicken!!
For those of us who like to be in ‘high spirits’ with every meal, the restaurant serves carefully selected wines which is any connoisseur’s delight. To add to the ethnicity of the Indian atmosphere, a live performance of ‘Ghazal’ (a lyrical poem in Urdu consisting of five or more couplets set to music and sung in a unique style) is rendered every evening and I found it beautiful.
Check Out the mega Mestro of the Ghazal musical style – Medhi Hassan so you can feel the taste of the genre.
There is a Paan (beetle leaf) Parlour right at the entry gate of the village Dhaba which serves unique and juicy paan that is the best that you can ask for after a contented and fulfilling meal. And for all those who forgot to buy the oh-so-famous Lonavalachikki (fudge) on the highway, don’t fret…as there is a Maganlal Chikki (famous chain of fudge outlets in Lonavala town) shop right opposite the Paan Parlour.
So if you are going from Mumbai to Pune by road you really should visit this place -it is worthwhile!
For directions & information see Kinara Dhabha’s Web site and. Also, you can check up the Map Below.