Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dining at Dala Rooster homestay Panchgani

The food served at Dala Rooster is wholesome and tasty. You can have  traditional Maharashtrian cuisine or western-type food. Breakfast items are fixed – upma, poha, sabudana khichdi etc. You can also have bread/oats & butter and ask for egg omlettes to be served. At tea time there are no snacks, just Glucon-D biscuits. 

The kitchen-cum-dining area at Dala Rooster
There is a very spacious area for the cooking of food as well as a the dining area for guests. On the cooking side are all modern equipment, including a toaster, a cooking range, a dish washer and a refrigerator. Next to the dishwasher is a washing machine. Near the dining table are 2 drinking water machines & an oven.

Kitchen area

Oven and drinking water near dining table.

When you sit at the dining table, you have a magnificent view of the valley  through the large glass window.
Valley view from dining area

Breakfast at Dala Rooster
The onion-poha as well as the upma were made to perfection – nothing like the lumpy, soggy way we invariably make back home! Slices of lemon and sev were kept in separate bowls to have as toppings for the poha. You can ask for fruit juice too, this being the large packs of Tropicana. The other family staying there had requested for juice, and this may be an extra you probably have to pay for. 


Lemon slices and Sev for garnishing
Tea time at Dala Rooster
Like the food, the tea is also substantial, put in a large jug meant for hot liquids. The cups are large-sized & not some miniscule variety so we each could have 1 ½ cups. At our request, we had ginger tea. 

Substantial Tea
Main Meals at Dala Rooster

The dining table is set in readiness with the required cutlery – spoons, butter knives, forks, plates, glasses and bowls on pretty table mats. Salt, pepper, two jugs of water and tissue paper is also placed on the table beforehand. The food is served in large glass bowls and you can help yourself.

A well set dining table ready for guest
For lunch and dinner you can request for specific types of food. So prior to our arrival we had requested for dal, rice, chappatis and bajra rotis and a vegetable. We were amazed to see the size of the chappatis and rotis as well as the generous amount of food which had been cooked. No stinginess as far as meals was concerned! The potato vegetable was extremely spicy and oily & hence we requested that the subsequent meals be cooked with less spice. This request was acceded to, with the next day’s meal of masala bhat and cauliflower vegetable being cooked to our satisfaction. The cucumber-tomato raita too was devoid of spice. We also got curds and chaas on request, the curds being the local brand (Govinda/Krishna). 

First day lunch

Masala bhat and rotis for second day lunch (veggies not in photo)
It should be noted that breakfast, tea and meals must only be had at the main dining table or in the gazebo. You will not be served in your room (though you are allowed to have your own snacks & drinks in your room). The dining table seats 8 persons. Your group can sit by itself and dine before/after the others. This is advantageous if you are a vegetarian and the other guests are eating non-veg food, plus you are then not obliged to make formal table talk with other guests. On the other hand, the disadvantage of having the one dining table is that you need to wait till the other guests finish their meal before you can have your own. However, you do have the option of dining in the gazebo if you wish to eat separately.

One thing I felt the absence of is a wash basin in the dining area. It is awkward to wash up after a meal at the basin which is part of the cooking area & you need to go to your room to rinse your mouth. 

Food costs at Dala Rooster
As mentioned in the blog post about rooms, breakfast and tea is included in the tariff. You have to pay for the lunch and dinner meals. The cost will have actuals, which depend on the type of food requested. You thus pay for the vegetables, oil, flour, rice, dal and masalas as well as extras like curds. In addition, you pay the cooking charges and a small fee for conveyance (meaning the transport cost for fetching requisite items from the market). For our stay, the cooking charges were Rs.360/- and the conveyance fee was Rs.25/-. The total cost for our food was Rs.935/- (2 days, 4 meals, 3 persons). It was value for money! 

Contact Information
Capt. Vikas Gokhale
"Dala Rooster"
Paramount Society Survey no. 545/5,
Panchgani – 412 805
Ph: Contact Capt. Gokhale via email & give your contact nos. He will contact you. 

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