The Bhukkad Café : Left Me Wanting More!

There are some restaurants you see promoted on social media which immediately make you think of a friend you want to experience it with. I sure did as soon as I heard of the opening of The Bhukkad Café in Karama. Just the name and the snazzy picks of the interiors were enough to want me to go there.

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My friend was relocating to India and as one of her last meals with the Teen Badmash Saheli troupe in Dubai, The Bhukkad Café was the place we zeroed in on (well at least I nudged the decision!).

The interiors quirky-ness did not disappoint.. I have enough of photos to prove it was Instagram worthy. But then it all slowly fell apart.

It was packed when I got there and I was seated on a chair of sorts which was the same height as the table – I knew insticntlively this would not be the most comfortable way to have a meal – but with no other tables free, I did not have a choice.

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As I was waiting for my friends to arrive, I looked at the menu – so many words on a page which made it feel too busy – and the descriptions promised us some nostalgic moments of our college days spent in India (Bombay and Calcutta mainly).

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So off on my nostalgic memory I ordred a Bourbon Freak Shake (made out of my favourite childrhood – to present biscuit bourbon biscuits). I asked them not to top it with cream (not a cream person). When it arrived, besides the one biscuit sticking out, the rest of the shake felt just like a regular chocolate milkshake! Not sure what I expecting to get, but it was a drink I could have had anywhere.

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Just as my shake arrives, my friends do too. They quickly order water and a lassi… and then we all take a look at the menu again!!! In the meantime, a table with normal chairs and a table free up, and we ask to move there. Oh! Felt so much more normal…

This is what we ordered (and I give it to you with the descriptors in the menu and my commentary):

Vada Pav – This one needs no intro – Mithibai is Legendary, and Vada Pav is Love, but when Legend met Love, the cupid was our very own, Makkan.

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Commentary:  Absolutely spot on in terms of taste. The vada unfortunately was room temperature so we asked if that was what they were going with – turns out it should have been hot. But that is a minor gripe and the taste transported us back to Bombay. I needed some more fried chilli and as service seemed lacking, I went to the counter to ask for some.. I was politely asked to take a seat. Rather than twiddle my thumbs I finished the last bite of the vada pav and the chilis arrived about 7 minutes after my last bite – but that had to do with messed up service, and not with the taste. A special mention to the chutney – superb. I enjoyed it enough, that at the end of the meal, I even ordered it as a take away so I could let my husband try it, my friend did the same.

Bombay Frankie – Drum roll for the one that comes in three fillings – Paneer Tikka, Chicken Schezwan and Keema – wrapped up in a soft & crisp paratha – smothered with love, and the memories of your college canteen.

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Commentary: Anyone who has been to college in Bombay will have a memory of a Bombay Frankie and the taste of it will be entrenched in one’s memory. This one was a good chicken roll – but did not transport me back to my college days – and that is what disappointed right after I took the first bite. I was not the Bombay Frankie I remembered.

Oh! At this time, we were still waiting for our lassi and the bottle of water that my friends had ordered when they walked in. 2 dishes down but the wait continued. On reminding the staff, the lassi arrived some time later, but the water took longer!!!! It was then we were told they were 2 servers down – if only they had mentioned it at the start of our meal, our expectations would have been put in place!

Let’s continue with our orders….

Mac n Tikka – The mildness of a creamy white sauce pasta loaded with cheese or the heat of red tikka sauce pasta? – Can’t Decide? You’re in luck, because Mac n Tikka to the rescue.

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Commentary: Was not a run of the mill choice on the menu and we took a risk and it paid off. It was interesting and made for a nice change. Would recommend this

Thele-wala Sandwich – Thela-wallas are synonymous with street-food, pulling out magical dishes out of limited ingredients – filled with Cucumbers, potatoes, butter and pepper, will take you down memory lane.

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Commentary: This sandwich did not take us down any memory lane, unfortunately.

Threaded Chicken – Soft boneless chunks of juicy chicken coated in our secret sauces & wrapped with our secret threads delicately & fried until golden, an innovation winner.

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Commentary: Try eating this without making a mess.. and I promise you will fail. One bite and the ‘secret’ threads crumble – some into your mouth and quite a bit across the plate.. the chicken did not have much of flavor – but the dipping sauce helped…

The Bhukkad Café is one of the restaurants which I believe had focused more on the décor but I think the focus needs to be redirected towards the taste of the food. As much as I loved the quirkiness of the interiors – that is not what I am paying for at the end of the day. I am paying for the whole gamut of what I would expect a restaurant to have – an ambience, service and good quality food. On my visit 2 of these were lacking which made the last time the ‘Teen Badmash Saheli’ had a meal together (or until the next time we are all in the same city together) a bit of a damp squib.

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I hope The Bhukkad Café team take this constructively because I know this restaurant can be what it set out to be – taking you down memory lane one dish at a time and offering a space to chill out and create more memories. Good Luck!

Location: The Bhukkad Café, Shop No. 6, Shamma Building, Al Karama, Dubai Telephone: +971 4 3499957 Open from 10 AM to 12 midnight.

NOTE: I ate at The Bhukkad Cafe on my OWN time and money! The views and opinions expressed on this blog are truly my OWN.