Fine dining is always a rather grand affair, but that doesn’t mean that the food you’re served will leave you completely satiated. Sometimes, the best restaurants dish out the most ordinary food and I could name a few five-star hotels and fancy restaurants in different parts of India and other places that fit quite perfectly into this category – courtesy my stint in journalism.
After several disappointing meals, I’ve learned that the best food experience often lies in the most nondescript places, and you’re more likely to stumble onto them by accident (and by fate, depending on how good they are!). That is exactly how my friend found Raju Omelet.
A little background is necessary. Now that I live in Dubai, and life is comfortable enough, I’ve been on this journey of discovering new dishes and beverages as often as possible. I share this principle with a friend and colleague, who loves to eat and drink just as much as I do. Needless to say, when she stumbled onto Raju Omelet, we couldn’t wait to dine there. I felt assured it’d be a welcome break from my homemade dishes like pepper chicken for example.
The concept is simple, but brilliant. It only serves egg-based dishes – omelletes, curries and pulaos – and reeks of Gujaratiness. The walls are covered with clever posters, which talk about the benefits of eggs, and bulbs wired to a single exit point and clipped to the ceiling to look like a chandelier. The kitchen is buzzing and warm welcoming aromas float through the door each time someone steps in or out of it.
A tiny eatery, Raju Omelet is just one in a long line of restaurants in a Karama bylane. It just about seats ten people comfortably, but that shouldn’t deter you. Reminiscent of dhabas in India where you can park outside and have your meal brought to your car, Raju Omelet too entertains customers who mostly stand outside the restaurant and have tea or a roll.
This is familiar territory, I think, when we get there on a warm Friday evening – teenagers lolling outside with tea and cigarettes in hand and cars honking to attract the attention of Raju Omelet’s waiters. It’s a busy little place, with all kinds of people occupying the tables.
We are fully prepared to head to a second restaurant for a more filling meal after, should just eggs don’t do the trick, but we couldn’t have been more wrong. We started off with a power omelette, made with pureed spinach, before moving onto a more cheesy version. Half full already, considering the sizes of these omelettes are huge, we ordered egg bhurji and rice simmered in butter. The combination was a rustic as could be, and truly amazing. The restaurant claims to use a secret in-house masala mix, which gives the bhurji its rich flavour, and the result is a genuinely satisfying meal and you, yearning for more.
We rounded off the meal with some cutting chai, leaning on a car outside the restaurant. While my friend, who is from the UK, found the idea of me leaning on a stranger’s car appalling, I was completely at home in this little piece of India.
Share your egg/omelet story wherever you are. We’d love to hear them.