What ever happened to the maxim “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Dhamaka, one of the hardest restaurants to book a table at in New York, has just announced that it is scrapping its menu in favor of a new one that will retain only three of its current items. One dish that will be salvaged is its Rajasthani khargosh, a stewed rabbit whose preparation is so involved that the kitchen turns out only one iteration of the dish per night, making it available on a first come, first served basis.
As to why Dhamaka is revamping its menu at the height of its popularity, chef-owner Chintan Pandya is quoted by Eater is as saying that it was always his plan to change the menu every six months, adding that the restaurant’s unparalleled success caused him at least initially to rethink the strategy.
So why the change now? Pandya says it is to “get people excited about regional Indian cuisine.” That might make sense if it weren’t next to impossible to get a reservation that was (1) at an hour other than 5 p.m. and (2) any time in the foreseeable future.
The decision is reminiscent of the one by the Copenhagen-based restaurant Noma to close at the end of next year and return the following year as a “giant lab” named Noma 3.0.