Last weekend we had a family dinner at a restaurant called “Village”. This is a rather interesting and unique concept place located in Raghuleela mall at Kandivali (west). The idea is you pay Rs.300 per head and get an entry which gives you access to all the food that is available that evening at the place. Cuisines available are Rajasthani, Gujarati, Punjabi and live “chaat” counters. Entry is first-cum basis and they don’t accept reservations. And that’s also because the seating is free style, you just about corner off a table where you set base with your team and then go about on the food hunt.
It’s a very gujarati/rajasthani influenced set-up of a typical village with a town square which has a huge articial tree under which tarot card readers, bead sellers, mehendi-walis are located serving the diners. The seating is also very typical with khatiya (cots) and tables. If you move around you will see some rather interesting tables like a truck which had a table set behind its back and a rickshaw split open to fit a four-seater table.
We entered the place at about 8PM and it was moderately crowded but in no time the place was jam packed. Just around that time they start the entertainment show where a bunch of ladies perform a traditional dance and a man saddled on a costume horse does a little jig too! Thankfully after the dance there was a small break and a puppet show kept the noisy kids busy for a while. The large space gives them great freedom to run around like crazy.
Spread out across the place are various food counters where you can just about eat anything as much as you like. We had pani-puri, sev puri, masala khicha, khama dhokla, vada – And a bit more just for starters. I didn’t seem to like the khicha very much it was too salty. Maybe the masala papad would have been a better bet!
The pav bhaji was a good choice, because the pav is soft like cotton and absolutely delicious. The center court is where you have the main course items like panner ki sabzi, dal baati, khichu, karela kish-mish, gatte ki sabzi, biryani, khichdi, kadi, dal dokhli accompanied with bajre ki roti, tandoori roti, phulka, channa batura. For a sweet ending there was gulab jamun, jalebi, dal ka sheera, kulfi and kadhai doodh.
For refreshments don’t expects the cokes and pepsis of the world around here. There is sugarcane juice, chaas (butter-milk) and a gole wala if you want to suck up some flavoured crushed ice. Oh and yes they have a hooka counter also where you can pick a flavour of your choice. But this ain’t included in the 300 bucks we paid earlier.
Verdict: The place is a good experience, tends to get a bit loud with all the naach-gaana. Strongly recommended that you go there in groups – couples stay away and surely not for those looking for a nice quiet place to chat. Food is good variety and quality but nothing awesome about it. I am not sure if I would go back again.
This review has been cross posted at my food blog, Khana Peena. I also put it at burrp!