Murthal is a name which is not unfamiliar to people living in NCR or the new age travelers on NH 1, GT Road. The name is almost synonym to food, Dhaba and Paranthas. Offroaders team decided to venture out to explore the unexplored at Murthal and to understand what could have made it such a hit with people.
We set out from Gurgaon in the morning around 1000h on a rainy Sunday morning. Weather was wonderful and our company was just fantastic.
We set our radio to our favorite radio station and set course singing along to all the perky Bollywood numbers that played on our radio. It was a smooth drive with luckily no pot holes and almost zero rush on the roads. It took us less than two hours to reach Murthal. Considering that on a normal day we take a minimum of two hours to reach Delhi border from Gurgaon it was quite a pleasant experience.
As we made our entry to Murthal our confusion began because there were Dhabas on both the sides of the road with their hoardings promising 7 stars experience. It was tough to decide which one to oblige. Some had beautiful exteriors and some felt ordinary with no unique feature in sight.
We finally zeroed on Amrik Sukhdev Dhaba, apparently the most talked about Dhaba in town. The word Dhaba would be a huge misnomer for this vast expanse filled with luxury cars and selfie-bug-bitten guests. It must be a common stopover joint for Canada-heading Punjabis because it has a big display board announcing flight status of every international flight from T-3. For shopaholics there are compact shops overflowing with stuff ranging from handicrafts to exotic candies. To add to the ambience and to provide the right backdrop to the shutterbugs there is water flowing from fountains.
But when you enter the dining hall there is neither the ambience of a star restaurant nor the rustic charm of a Dhaba. It’s just one chaotic place where hungry revelers ravenously look at those who were lucky enough to find a suitable place to sit. There are more people waiting to grab a table than the ones who are enjoying the meals and, who could enjoy the meal when there are over 100 people waiting to displace you and pounce on the opportunity.
The paranthas that we had were no different from our regular neighborhood Dhaba and, although menu boasted of multi cuisine and every possible dish catering to Indian tastes the environment kind of put us off. Moreover, a regular Dhaba goer greatest attraction is the veritable varieties of Chicken dishes but that are sadly missing from the menu.
We hurriedly gobbled our paranthas feeling almost guilty for occupying that table for so long. We came out with some relief and quickly scooted towards our Car. The only good memory we could muster up was buying some fresh guavas from the road side and enjoying sinking our teeth into their sweetness. I could have happily driven another 100 Km to Ambala for the real Dhaba taste. This confusing mix of modern Dhabas is unfortunately not my platter.