You know a restaurant is special when you see celebrities and/or the owner/s of other restaurant/s dining there.
I was treated to a double-whammy when the dashing Tollywood heartthrob and owner of Biryaniwalla & Co, Reza Ashtarian walked into Chowringhee’s yesterday. Among his entourage was the man who brought us NH17 which, until it closed, was one of my favourite Indian coastal cuisine restaurants in Dubai. In my books, these guys are part of Dubai’s F&B elite.
After some pleasantries, one of them nods in my direction and asks, you still the number one blogger on Zomato? I wouldn’t think so, I reply, I’ve only just started blogging again after four months (how can you objectively blog about a restaurant during lockdown?).
How’s the food? another of them asks (I knew that question was coming). Well, the biryani isn’t as good as Biryaniwalla (one of my favourite biryani’s in town) but the rest of my chicken thali is definitely noteworthy, especially the chicken curry – and the dal makhani, which was added to my thali as a comp, is pretty good too. Portion size is generous and, at around AED35, it’s affordable too. I say that but Reza didn’t let me pay for my meal. I only know how much it costs because I asked the waiter before ordering.
Speaking of which, service at Chowringhee’s is first class…mainly because of the waiter I mention above (he’s actually more like the restaurant supervisor). Before the celebs arrived, I had the chance to chit chat with him – cool guy. So, I ask if they have chass (spiced buttermilk). It’s not on the menu but I will personally make you some, he replies. I immediately like this guy. And he actually goes back to the kitchen and comes out a couple of minutes later with the most amazing super spicy chass (serves me right for encouraging him to make it HOT). And you know what, all the celebs ordered the same.
The celebs aside, lunch at Chowringhee’s reminded me of what I missed most during lockdown – dining at the small boutique restaurants which are dotted around Dubai, no more so than in Karama. It’s Thumbelina-sized restaurants like Chowringhee’s, with no more than three or four tables, which gives Dubai’s culinary scene its colour, diversity and keeps it all honest and real. Whilst we all still need to be wary of the virus, I’m grateful for the measures restaurants like Chowringhee’s are taking to ensure we can dine in a safe environment. And I’m happy to be blogging again.
Chowringhee’s, definitely worth a visit.
Hey! Now read this –
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.
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