I knew I had found the place by the half dozen or so taxi cabs parked in a row outside. I’ve always maintained a simple rule throughout my travels; when on the road find where the truck and bus drivers eat. When in a new town, follow the taxis. So I was sure I was in for a treat before even stepping into Haji Sahab’s, one of the highest rated restaurants in Discovery Gardens. I don’t know if the RTA has a restaurant or canteen for its drivers but if it does, I’m pretty sure it will look something like Haji Sahab’s at 07:30 on a weekend morning. The place was packed to the hilt with taxi drivers. And just like that clip where the guy walks in to the noisy bar and zip! silence! everything stops, and everyone looks at the guy all at once – yeah, that’s pretty much what happened to me. Perhaps this isn’t the best place to walk into in PJ shorts, wearing Crocs and a bright yellow tee saying “go and have a nice day somewhere else – thankfully I had my weekend stubble to hide behind.
What happened next was even more surprising. Waiter AND supervisor rushed over and ushered me to one of the bigger tables so I would only have to share with three other taxi drivers…hmm, I was thinking, the food had bloody well better be really, REALLY good. And it was. Actually it was better than just good. It was OMG good. Okay, so that maybe a little exaggerated, give the man a break – I had like fifteen drivers watching me eat. But I could tell they were impressed. Because in-front of me sat a portion each of Haleem, Aalu Keema and Nihari, and then there was this oversized (if a little oily) Paratha, pieces of which I would break off to scoop up, in alternating order, each of the above. And just for added effect I would let a little smack of the chops slip through, once even quite a loud burp. After a couple of those they stopped staring and returned to doing whatever it was they were doing before this freckle-faced, foreigner walked in.
The truth is, as amazing as my breakfast was, it cannot be taken as a true representation of Haji Sahab. This is one of those restaurants which quite obviously has huge depth. And the analogy one fellow reviewer made to Ravi’s, calling it Ravi 2.0, was not far off. Well, the taxi drivers certainly thought as much. So I’m going to have to come back again to try the Biriyani everyone is raving about, and the kababs, and the mix kata kat, and the…Bah Bah!