One of the advantages of visiting or living in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires is that there are always cool new restaurants cropping up that deserve further investigation. One of Buenos Aires’ newest restaurants is Gran Dabbang, a result of Argentine Mariano Ramón and Brit Philippa Robson’s fertile imagination. A simple, relaxed place but well put together (You won’t find pretentiousness here.), Gran Dabbang feels like a breath of fresh air in Palermo. Still, it's one of those restaurants that are hard to describe.
The varied menu hits a number of Asian notes, with dishes like curry, dal and pakora. But pigeonholing it as an Asian restaurant (like the restaurant’s logo would invite you to do) just wouldn’t be accurate.
Dinner at Gran Dabbang — Photo courtesy of TESS Worldwide
At Gran Dabbang, you’ll find plenty of nods to other regions like Italian gnocchi and polenta and Middle Eastern hummus and baba ghanoush, as well as dishes that upon first glance don’t seem to pay homage to a specific cuisine at all. The mild goat cheese topped with pickled vegetables comes to mind. However, the dishes change on a regular basis, so keep your eyes peeled for what cuisines or new incarnations will come up next.
Most of the food menu is composed of small plates, so if you’re really ready to eat, choose multiple dishes or stick to the couple of big plates on offer. Luckily, the prices are quite reasonable; you’ll feel no qualms about ordering wine and dessert. However, you should be aware that only cash is accepted; no cards.
The décor at Gran Dabbang is modest but welcoming, with solid wooden furniture, two couches, a handful of green plants, lamps suspended from the ceiling and a couple of tapestries and Indian movie posters gracing the walls. The restaurant is small and can get rather busy, but Robson is friendly and efficient. The service is better than at many other local restaurants.
Gran Dabbang is located on Avenida Scalabrini Ortiz between El Salvador and Honduras, just outside Palermo’s main restaurant and bar zones. The closest subte station is Scalabrni Ortiz on Line D. The restaurant doesn’t have a sign, so when you walk by, you’ll know that you’ve found the right place when you see the restaurant’s sandwichboard tempting you with the latest dishes.
Gran Dabbang is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday.