A Taste of India in the Good Neighbor City

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MTT News's picture
Matt Geiger

This article marks the start of a new Middleton Times-Tribune series profiling local eateries. While Middleton is by no means a large city, the dining options here rival those in much bigger urban hubs. Citizens can taste recipes from across the globe without leaving their area code. The series begins with a trip to Dhaba Indian Bistro, which opened three years ago and is thriving today.

When Dhaba Indian Bistro opened at 8333 Greenway Blvd. back in 2012, it was an immediate hit with area diners. This locally owned eatery boasts a wide array of dishes from northern India. (Proprietor Sumanjit Singh grew up in Punjab.)

Samosas, which are spicy turnovers filled with vegetables and cheese or spice and lamb. Seventeen types of Indian breads, ranging from ginger naan to whole wheat roti. Chicken, beef, lamb and goat curries, along with seafood and an abundance of lentils, eggplant, spinach and other vegetable dishes round out the menu.

It’s a far cry from the Americanized Indian buffets that many people think of when they imagine eastern dining.

The kitchen features a barrel-shaped clay oven – a “tandoor” - that can reach a temperature of 1,000 degrees. The dining area features profuse natural light, illuminating a rich tapestry of lush decorations.

Singh said the reason for choosing Middleton was simple. “[The] Middleton community is the best [for] living and working,” he stated. And work he does, running the restaurant six days a week, without interruption, for the past three years. (Dhaba is closed Mondays.)

The kitchen is a spectacle of colorful spices and savory aromas. And in the dining room, many regulars from surrounding businesses enjoy lunch, while families from all around come in for dinner. Dhaba’s yelp.com score is an impressive 4.5 stars, with reviewers calling it a “hidden gem” and “the best Indian food in Madison.” While it’s not technically in the City of Madison, the comment is a testament to how much people are enjoying all Dhaba has to offer.

Keep in mind, Dhaba uses a heat index, ranging from one (mild) to five (scorching hot).

Singh, who is formally trained mechanical engineer but comes from a family of restaurateurs, said he’s thrilled to be thriving in the Good Neighbor City.

“Things are really, really good,” he said.

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