The logo of Papee da Dhaba, a new Indian restaurant in Hicksville, shows a smiling chef wearing a turban and holding aloft a chicken. This, according to owner Mike Singh, is none other than Papee da Dhaba himself.
"Papee," he explained, is a term used by Punjabis to describe "an authentic Sikh fellow." A dhaba is a roadside establishment "where they cook local food, fresh, and people stop by and eat in the open air." So, "Papee da Dhaba" would be the Sikh chap with the friendly little roadside restaurant.
Aside from the walls and roof, that's a pretty good description of this eight-month-old restaurant that specializes in Punjabi cuisine. The papee's chicken tikka masala is sauteed with onions after it has been roasted in the tandoor oven. Rogan josh is goat on the bone that has been cooked with curry, yogurt, black cardamom and tomatoes. Another Punjabi specialty is dal makhni, black lentils with onions, tomatoes and ginger.
Singh, a trained chef, also owns Masala Wok in Hickville, which serves Chinese-Indian food. He says he has always wanted to open a restaurant that served the food of his native Punjab. Large parties can be accommodated, Singh says.
Entree prices range between $10 and $15.
Papee da Dhaba: Roadside Indian Cuisine is at 5 E. Marie St., Hicksville, 516-681-0011, papeedadhabahicksville.com