It was on a "special" occasion that we visited Pratap Da Dhaba. My cousin was introducing her boyfriend to us for the 1st time and it was he who chose this place for the venue. My other cousin, who's her brother, and I, were already playing "protectors" and being all khadoos (= disapproving) about the whole issue and were dissing the BF on our way to meet him, grumbling about him choosing (coz he's a Northie) a North Indian restaurant. The fact that we like North Indian food and this place totally blew us away is a different matter altogether, but we guys enjoyed playing jerks and in making her nervous & literally dread the whole moment :D !!!
The place from outside, for a fleeting moment, resembles a tavern from the Wild West with the name on a wooden plaque and a wooden door. Once you enter inside, you're greeted by this big L-shaped courtyard with many plain wooden tables & cane chairs lined up next to each other. Some tables also had the typical "dhaba cots" instead of the chairs and the walls resembled village walls with Punjabi phrases written on them. Finally, Punjabi-style dressed mannequins complete the whole visual experience. But it being a hot, sultry day, we chose the cool environs of the restaurant over the typical dhaba experience of the courtyard.
We ordered Paneer Malai Tikkay and Chicken Tikka to go with the Jaljeera. The P.M.T was a brilliant choice with perfect seasoning and soft paneer pieces that simply melt in your mouth. The Chicken Tikka fared quite well too on the taste front. Jaljeera, we felt, nicely complemented our choice of starters and rounded off a good beginning to our meal.
Moving on to the Main Course, we all chose different breads- Roti, Naan, Roomali etc and based on the BF's strong recommendation, the Butter Chicken. [By this time, after having had good starters, my cousin & I were already warming up to the guy and decided to let him lead the way with the ordering :D]. We also decided to order Dal Makhani based on a hunch and in the end, what amazing choices they turned out to be. The Butter Chicken is undoubtedly the real deal with an ideally thick, cashewy & buttery gravy containing soft, succulent chicken pieces while the Dal Makhani was creamy and tasted fantastic. We ditched our plan to order some rice and continued with our finger-licking "roti-curry" experience.
The saying that "the best is served for the last" could not have been any truer in our case. The complimentary Paan Shots and Jalebi-Rabri that we ordered turned out to be the icing on the cake, especially the latter. Hot Jalebis dipped in sweet, heavenly (viscous) Rabri... mmm... just simply supercalifragilisticexpialidocious !!! In the end, not only did the food win our hearts (big time !!), but the BF was well set on his way to do the same. [Maybe it was his plan all along, knowing our weakness for good food :P. If yes, sinister, but smart :D !!!]
Verdict :- Highly recommended for some fantastic Punjabi fare. Though on the expensive side, positive VFM considering the excellent taste of food.