Over 30 years ago the iconic Dhaba inside The Claridges hotel on Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road opened its doors. The original Dhaba was a small, rustic highway themed restaurant with comfort Punjabi food.
Today, dhaba gets a whole new mojo – or as we like to call it – SADDA SWAG. Dhaba estd 1986 is now in a new age avataar with a Theka for pauwa bottle cocktails, a paan counter and kitschy interiors with coloured chandeliers, vintage Bollywood posters, patila counters, truck art elements, an all enhanced with the masala of Bollywood music.
Some things haven’t changed – the same warm hearty service and portions with menu classics like the famed balti meat along with some naya maal for you to roll up your sleeves, And if you stick around long enough, you may also witness the staff breaking into a dance when the song of the month comes on! If you’re on a diet – leave this site now 😉 To aaja aur pind ka drama kha ja!
Mr. Kabir Suri, co-founder and director of Azure Hospitality, holds a degree in Economics and Business Management from Wheaton College, Massachusetts, USA. His professional career began in the field of commercial real estate finance with North Fork Bank in New York followed by Argent fund management in London as an analyst. Thereafter his role required him to assist the founding partner by providing investment strategy and in-depth research that focussed on the banking and hospitality segment. Kabir’s personal interests in the food and hospitality segment led to him to shift focus from finance to the hospitality sector where he spent 3 years with International award winning restaurants Zuma and Roka. Kabir’s responsibility initially at Zuma and Roka was operational; but with the increasing need for growth. His core responsibilities shifted from operations to business development, spearheading global expansion and brand development.
Mr. Rahul Khanna is an alma mater of student of École hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Hospitality Management. he found Slang – a lifestyle concepts company in February of 2006 upon feeling the need to provide a fresh paradigm to lifestyle and hospitality conception in India. Having worked with Mandarin Oriental and Jumeirah in London, Hong Kong and Dubai respectively; he has expert knowledge on the conceptualising of design oriented food and beverage outlets as well as being responsible for special events and training of operational staff in different capacities. With his current capacity as director, Azure Hospitality he has played an intrinsic part in developing and managing brands like Mamagoto, Speedy Chow, Maalgaadi, Dhaba Estd 1986 Delhi, Foxtrot, Sly Granny etc.
He is also involved in projects, which include Below8, a restaurant and bar in Gurgaon, The Stage, an events management and graphic design house, as well as a food and beverage consultancy firm.
Jaiywanti (Janti) Dugal is the food director at Azure Hospitality since its inception in 2009. The much talented connoisseur oversees the kitchens at Mamagoto, Speedy Chow, Rollmaal and Mamapaati. Coming from a blend of a Sikh and an Indonesian background, Janti Dugal, embarked upon her journey into the hospitality sector from a boutique company which served Pan Asian and European cuisines for over 25 years. She has also been the Chef and a Chief Promoter at Delhi’s first authentic Thai street food restaurant “Spice.”
At Azure Hospitality, her role is predominantly two fold – to conceptualise new recipes, R&D while travelling various parts of Asia as well as quality control across all restaurants under Azure Hospitality and revenue centres. With a kitchen brigade of over 150 chefs, Janti’s role is pivotal to Azure’s growth and expansion in the future. Her cooking philosophy is to take standard recipes and tweak them with new, contrasting flavours, providing signature tastes that are original and scalable. Using zero preservatives, MSG or colouring, she focuses on seasonal ingredients and constant evolution.
Chef Ravi Saxena
Chef Ravi Saxena has developed his culinary skills over the past 21 years. After graduating from IHM Goa, he started his career as a Kitchen Trainee with The Leela in 1992. Soon after, he joined The Holiday Inn, Pune as second in command to the Executive Chef, to take responsibility for the kitchen right from its inception. However, not one to rest on his laurels, Chef Ravi then spent a year (1999) at Baisan International Hotel, Bahrain, with a versatile performance in Mexican, Mediterranean, Italian, Arabic and Continental cuisine. He followed this up with The Imperial, where he joined as a Junior Sous Chef, opened the Italian Restaurant ‘San Gimignano,’ and was later promoted to Executive Sous Chef in 2005. Skilful and recognized for his managerial abilities, he defines these experiences as a quest to gain more knowledge of his craft. An avid drinker of whisky and non veg (as Punjabi as they come!),the opportunity to meet and learn from chefs, he feels, allowed him to groom and familiarize himself with international standards and practices while staying true to those highway roots.
A milestone in his varied career, Chef Ravi joined The Claridges in 2007 as an Executive Chef. His dedication, talent, eagerness to learn, and determination to train those working with him are just a few of the attributes that he brings to the table, along with flavours and tastes that charm gourmands in an instant.
Chef Ravi Saxena is an integral part of Dhaba Estd 1986 Delhi, with his duties as the corporate chef for Dhaba across locations.
Mr. Vineet Kochar is the head of operations for Azure Hospitality Group, pan India. An MBA from Alliance University and a commerce graduate; ventured into the realm of hospitality at McDonalds India and through his diligent efforts; success was bestowed upon him. After his considerable tenure of seven years at McDonalds, he started working at the Nikai Group; thereafter in 2008 joined Lite Bite foods as a Brand manager- overseeing brand development. Making significant strides professionally, he started leading new store openings and operations and was elevated and thus become the brand head in a short span of time. In 2013, he joined Dhaba Estd 1986 Delhi which is now a part of Azure Hospitality.