Rajdhani Street is a totally different concept from what made Rajdhani the thali masters they are today. I suppose the best way to describe this new venture, which started with their funky little branch in JLT, is fusion Indian street food…similar to (big breath) Once Upon A Bite, The Curry Lane, Bol Gappa, and Kulfiholic to name but a very few in Karama alone (there are many, many more throughout Dubai). Rajdhani Street shares a common space, be it partitioned, with their famous thali brothers. Step into the now familiar resurrection of Rajdhani in Karama and you are invited to choose between thali and à la carte (à la carte referring to the street food). A backlit funked up Rajdhani Street sign ushers you into an interior which is cheerful, colourful and bright – a youthful demographic its obvious target – children of the Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum generation.
First things first, for some unfathomable reason this new Rajdhani Street does not offer thali whereas the JLT original does. I know, because I’ve had one there. Instead, I settled for the Pani Puri Thela Wala and an ingenious Pav Bhaji Fondue. After my meal, I criticised my otherwise smiley, friendly waiter for allowing me to also order a Jal Jeera with my meal. Jal Jeera and Pani Puri are an overkill. That said, my build-it-yourself Pani Puri was excellent although I was a little miffed that two of my seven puris had holes in them. No complaints about my fondue though, which was superb.
Service, other than the little hiccup I mentioned above, was friendly and prompt but nothing like the exaggerated pampering one gets next door…or at any Gujarati or Rajasthani thali restaurant. Rajdhani Street is a welcome addition to a segment of the market which is fast becoming overcrowded. The fact that it offers nothing new or creative obviously doesn’t bother anyone, its rating is already sky high. I’m an old-fashioned guy and prefer my pani puri the old-fashioned way, standing at a chaat counter having it made for me by a guy who punches holes in the puri with the same thumb he scratches himself with – yeah! But if you want your chaat and street food sterilized, pasteurised and homogenised – this is one of the better places in Karama to get it.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.