Although the menu shifts at Gran Dabbang, you can expect a fusion of Indian, Paraguayan, Italian and other influences. You see, chef Mariano Ramón travels – and pays rapt attention when and to what he eats along the way. Happily, the denizens of the Palermo district of Buenos Aires now get to reap the benefits of his globetrotting. There are dishes like cured ham, with bamboo and egg yolk. House pickles with labneh, black sesame and beans. Lamb curry. Pakoras de acelga (Swiss chard, sauteed and served with carrot chutney, sriracha and yogurt raita). And corn bread with sobrassada sausage, chili butter, beets and spicy pickled peppers. There might be polenta one day, a twist on falafels the next. Fresh artichokes. Flatbreads.
In fact, because so many small plates are sure to tempt, one of the best ways to approach Gran Dabbang is with a small crowd – of people who don’t mind you nabbing more than your fair share, of course. But thankfully for such delicious grub, the vibe is decidedly laid back. There are no pretensions or airs here. It’s just great food served in welcoming, comfy surrounds.
The decor is fairly monochrome, from the white walls to the black accents – there are thin painted beams and a blackboard wall with the list of the cafes and cervezas on offer, as well as drop lights with gleaming golden interiors. But it’s not the austere kind of monochrome, there’s a handful of lighter, colourful hints thrown in for good measure, including brightly-hued plump sofa cushions, blonde wooden tables and voluminous green leafy plants. All told, it’s a compelling combination, which explains why its tables are packed week-round. After all… it’s Dabbang.