Village is a buffet type regional cuisine place inside a mall, the Raghuleela Mall at Kandivli (W)to be precise. We were driving around aimlessly to try out a new place for Sunday lunch and since we had some work at Link road Malad, we decided to try out this place. It was also mentioned in the What's Hot supplement that comes along with TOI Mumbai edition on Fridays.
It is a large hall with a traditional village kind of ambience. Three counters serving Punjabi, Gujarati and Rajasthani cuisine respectively, cots and chairs strewn around the place with tables, a central place where they have live musicians and dancers, plus some autos, tempos and lorries converted into interesting seating arrangements.
We were welcomed by a guy applying 'tilaks' to men and women alike and a glass of cold chaas (and by some REAL LOUD MUSIC).
Once inside, we saw a lady performing the traditional Rajasthani dance performance to some live music that was quite loud for an eating joint. The place was quite crowded but there were enough seats to accomodate more people. Each of the regional counters had over 15 varieties.
Some of them in the Punjabi couter were Chole, Parathas, the grilled mushroom and cauliflower, Veg 'Kolhapuri', Dal Tadka etc.
The Gujarati counter had some interesting dishes like the Parwal in green gravy, Mixed Kathor nu shaak (mixed sprouts in a spicy sweet gravy), dahi kadhi, bajra ni khichdi, ghee rice, chilas were made fresh in the live counter, bajra rotis, etc...There were the staple dhoklas and khandvis ofcourse, along with kanda bhajia and methi bhajias.
The rajasthani counter had mainly chaats.
The desserts were kadhai wali doodh (milk simmering away in a large kadai with malai floating on the top, garnished with saffron and chopped nuts), moong dal halwa floating in ghee, jalebis, shrikhand, gulab jamun, kulfis from the ice box like the roadside kulfi-wala, golas and sugarcane juice from the live counters.
They have attempted the mela kind of ambience by throwing in some hukkas, palm reading lady, mehendi lady, pupper show...
While I appreciate the effort in creating the ambience (you almost forget you are in a mall) and the idea behind creating a mixed regional cuisine 'dhaba' - the plethora of choices and noises make it a little overwhelming. I for one, couldn't figure out what to eat. The freshly grilled tandoori mushrooms were good. So was the bajra ni khichdi which I was eating for the first time. The punjabi gravies were run of the mill, high on masala and oil, as in most regular restaurants. As our Punjabi friend remarked - the punjabi counter had a 'kolhapuri' dish and the dal tadka had plenty of curry leaves in the 'tadka' which is not essentially punjabi. The Gujarati food had loads of sugar in everything I tasted. The kulfi was pretty tasteless and the kadai wala doodh was just sugared milk - and I couldn't focus on the food at all while the decibels were increasing by the minute.
It is Rs.300 per head inclusive of service charges on holidays / weekends and between 150-250 on other days.
6/10 for the ambience
4/10 for the food
7/10 for family entertainment /kid-friendly place etc.
Worth a visit if you are in the western suburbs on a weekend and if you choose the dishes from the menu carefully.