Cranking things up a notch, Dhansoo Cafe in Gurugram’s Ambience Mall recently unveiled a new menu. Travel+Leisure India & South Asia stopped by to sample the lavish feast.
After a successful opening in 2021, Dhansoo Cafe is now ready to woo diners with more Indian dishes that celebrate nostalgia and wholesome flavours. Led by Vikrant Batra and helmed by corporate chef Ashish Singh, this outlet has now rolled out more options in the starters and sides sections, drawing heavily on the nation’s loved street-side snacks and countless meat options.
A Review of Dhansoo Cafe’s New Menu
Dhansoo Cafe primarily serves North Indian dishes. With its new menu, the restaurant has now introduced more street-side specials and elevated it for a more sit-down experience.
The meal begins with a complimentary rice paapad — as opposed to the usual dal fried variations. At once I know that Dhansoo Cafe is looking to break free from the mould. My first dish, Ram Laddoo (INR 195), seemed ordinary at first. But the crisp moong dal pakodas and fried chilli pakodas tell a different tale. The grated radish paired with coriander sprigs, when paired with the mint chutney, reminds me of the city’s famed snack. It doesn’t take long for me to polish the plate clean!
Next up is a grand Raj Kachori (INR 245). True to its name, this one is truly royal. The hardened deep-fried kachori is loaded with sweet curd, pomegranate pearls, crisp sev, spiced potato, and, to my surprise, moong sprouts. The taste, just as expected, is quintessentially chaat!
The Puff Samosa (INR 305), one of my favourites from the new menu, is crisp, flaky, and deliciously buttery. But it’s the accompanying choley that wins me over. Peppered with green chilli and a hearty blend of spices, this North Indian chickpea version is the right mix of tangy, sweet, spicy, and sour.
I’m full of praise for the Dahi Ke Sholey (INR 385) as well. Presented as halved pieces, the hung curd encased in milk bread is a happy respite from the deep-fried goodies from the first half of my meal. Although this, too, is made pakoda-style, the blend of flavours in the curd makes the dish feel light. Surprisingly enough, I don’t feel the need for the accompanying dips — it’s that good!
I also sampled the Kathal Gilawat (INR 425), the restaurant’s take on Lucknow’s signature galouti kebab. In Dhansoo Cafe’s version, the meat paves the way for mashed jackfruit, lending the dish its juicy texture. A special mention to the accompanying tamarind chutney that gives the melt-in-mouth delicacy the ideal tangy kick.
Meat eaters can savour hearty servings of Bheja Masala (INR 655), made using mutton; Mutton Barra Chaap (INR 645), which comes loaded with spices; and the chef’s signature Old Delhi Butter Chicken (INR 455), credited to be as good as the ones found in the bylanes of Jama Masjid.
After a flurry of desi dishes, it’s only fair to end the meal with something truly Indian. At Dhansoo Cafe, this flavour comes hidden in a long-forgotten dish: Yaddon ki Churri (INR 270). A traditional Punjabi dessert made with sweet, crumbled roti doused in ghee and jaggery, this plate of goodness is often left out of restaurant menus. Despite a full stomach, I savour every bite. The creamy rabri and soft kalakand to pair take the dish to divine levels.
Those looking for a more contemporary take can opt for the Coorg Coffee Mousse (INR 355), Dhansoo Cafe’s version of Italy’s famous tiramisu. This light, airy recreation comes with hints of cinnamon woven through mascarpone cheese, coffee, and whipped cream.
The Kiwi Quench Margarita (INR 595) pairs well with my meal. The tequila helps wash the palate, allowing each flavour profile to shine through. The freshness of Kiwi brings a citrus touch underlined by fruity goodness. The NRI Masala LIIT Infusion (INR 595) tilts heavy on the spices, while the presence of soda reminds me of Delhi’s famous Banta.
With its mismatched sofas, neon signage, and blaring music, Dhansoo Cafe ticks all the right boxes for a laidback meal with friends and family. During my visit, the restaurant was packed with diners of all ages — a family of four, including a toddler child; a group of high schoolers, possibly unwinding before catching a movie at the theatres across the lobby; and even a couple, sheepishly exchanging sweet nothings over drinks. Irrespective of the occasion, the team here will happily give recommendations to ensure a memorable meal.
PS. The restaurant also organises live sports screenings, so keep an eye out!
Price for two: INR 2,500 + taxes
Address: T-304A, 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, DLF Phase 3, Gurgaon
Timings: noon to midnight
All photographs courtesy: Dhansoo Cafe
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– Are kids allowed at Dhansoo Cafe?
Yes, kids are allowed at Dhansoo Cafe. The restaurant is a great option for a fun, family outing.
– Does Dhansoo Cafe have vegan options?
Dhansoo Cafe can customise dishes for all kinds of dietary requirements.
– Is Dhansoo Cafe wheelchair accessible?
Yes, the restaurant is wheelchair accessible.
– Does Dhansoo Cafe have parking?
Ambience Mall, where Dhansoo Cafe is located, has ample paid parking.