A burst of warm spice

Posted 4th July 2019

Quite unbelievably, there is a secret in Milton Keynes that both shoppers and local workers just may be unaware of. Meander through the market of fruit and veg, hear the stallholder cries and tinker through the trinkets and you will come across Urban Dhaba. 

Front of Urban Dhaba Milton KeynesDhaba, the term given to a relaxed eatery or truck stop on the side of a road, is where the home cooks prepare the most authentic food in India. They use fresh produce from the farms around them, using simple techniques and nothing artificial is added. It’s Indian food, just how Indian food actually is. Urban Dhaba, that secret in our local town, is that place.  

Within a moment of being inside, you are transported to a warm and serene place, full of sunny charm and good humour. The welcome from Manish and his family is full of love for their food and their desire to feed. And you will be fed! 

Cocktails, spirits, wine and beer have been carefully sourced and much of it, from India. Cocktails with ingredients such as cardamom, mango and tamarind offer some really unique drinks, and curiosity may just get the better of you with selections such as a curry leaf mojito being freshly made.

The chefs are all from various areas of India, bringing their knowledge of spice blends that are local to them, so there is a wide selection of authentic dishes on the menu. But how did Urban Dhaba decide on this winning menu? After a night of dishes being prepared for family and friends to vote on, Urban Dhaba’s menu was formed from the tastiest and most popular dishes. What a great way to provide the best! 

If you’re looking for the outlandish red and neon yellow dishes with enough sugar to put a sweet shop to shame, you probably will be a little disappointed. Dishes such as Murgh Malai Methi, a butter chicken, with aromatic spices, fenugreek leaves and a cream-based sauce feels wholesome and fresh in comparison to many curry houses, all made from scratch with no artificial additions. The Mixed Grill is a real treat, with a number of meats and fish to try, all prepared with different levels of heat and spice. The popular Dum Biryani, with chunks of meat that melt in the mouth, is a special meat-lovers choice. 

Vegetarian food has a lot of thought in Urban Dhaba. With many of the Indian population being vegetarian, the choice of meat-free dishes is outstanding. Dal Makhani, slow cooked lentils, will walk you back to the streets of Delhi. Gobi Manchurian will certainly render you quite speechless if you thought you had tried every way possible cauliflower could be served. This dish with a soy based manchurian sauce gives these florets a crisp bite and burst of warm spices and would be well recommended for any diet. 

Lunch time at Urban Dhaba offers some great choices. An express lunch service with Majestic Thali now means a quick lunch is possible for busy ones and a Takeaway Wrap Meal is available too. If you want to take a moment away from shopping, give the standard cafés a miss and walk over for their Thali Lunch, where you can pick over a number of small platters with a friend. This way of eating is social and relaxed and a great way to explore different homemade tastes using locally sourced ingredients. 

If you are looking for a special venue for a birthday night, party or networking event, @urbandhaba offers a variety of food for your budget, with a fully licensed bar, stage, and restaurant with 100 seats. Special rates are offered for fundraising events and a 10% discount is available to charity employees and local businesses when enquiring about a partnership.