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A Taste of NYC in Parsippany: Social Hub by Dhaba Redefines Dining Experience

PARSIPPANY — Many people don’t seem to mind dealing with the traffic, bridges, tunnels, parking, and what I find other inconveniences, that one can inevitably expect to encounter when treading over the state line to dine in one of those trendy, hot spot eateries in Manhattan. Don’t get me wrong, I also enjoy the City when I get there, but I don’t enjoy the trip.

The Social Hub by Dhaba, a relatively new to the area, Indian-inspired, multi-cuisine, sports-themed, premium restaurant and lounge has brought the same quality of food, service, and excitement you look for in NYC right here to Parsippany-Troy Hills with their new location on Route 46 East, taking over the location formerly occupied by Houlihan’s. I was fortunate to be at the Social Hubs soft opening in May of 2023 and it was time for a return visit.

The attention-grabbing artwork adorning the front coupled with the imaginative and playful art installations and embellishments thoughtfully scattered throughout the interior space.

It is notably rare to find a sports-themed Indian restaurant but to find one at this elevated level has to be unique. A definite Indian theme is prominent throughout the venue, yet as I stated, there is a definite NYC vibe and ambiance, particularly in the lounge area. You can’t help but be impressed with the interior décor and design. The softly lit lounge area is elegantly embellished with a warm and comfy cultured stone fireplace, brick veneer and off-white walls, a black ceiling with recessed lighting and ceiling fans, dark chocolate, soft wooden seating, and accents, with attractive upholstery. Romantic alcove seating and individual seating along the wall are available.  Something for everyone’s preference. The utilization of color, design, Bollywood artwork, and ethnic garnishments certainly adds to the elegance of the upscale, yet casual, immaculately clean, and comfortable setting. 

Executive Chefs Vivek Rana, Rakesh Prasad, Pat Minutillo, Bartender Pranay Raj and Manager Sharma

With soft-club/techno music comfortably playing in the background we chose to sit at their spacious, gorgeous rectangular bar for one of their signature cocktails, and to order a few appetizers, or as they listed them, “finger foods,” to later go into their separate dining area for our entrees.  Bartenders Pranay Raj and Teresa Vaca were the best, amiable, helpful, and professional in helping us navigate through Social Hub’s menu options; an extensive menu filled with authentic Indian flavors in traditional and fusion dishes. I should note the menu also offers non-traditional food, veg and non-veg, including such things as onion rings, nachos, fish and chips, burgers, pizza, and pasta for those looking for other options.

While Pranay offered some requested suggestions for our appetizers, I was able to peruse the multiple large-screen televisions mounted throughout the restaurant. What a great place to catch your favorite game, be it football, baseball, cricket, or whatever!

Methi Murgh Tikka (a delicious, mildly flavored, boneless, white meat chicken curry dish)

I started with a Smokey Negroni (Rozaluna Mezcal, Campari, Sweet Vermouth), while my friend ordered a Spicy Mango Martini (Tito’s Vodka with Siracha, fresh lime, mango puree). Teresa prepared them perfectly.  Delicious Negroni! I was also informed that all the bar ingredients at Social Hub are fresh and made in-house every day. The cocktail menu was just as impressive as everything else at Social Hub and included many unique and interesting libations, along with mocktails for those who prefer their drinks without alcohol. A large selection of draught beers, including IPAs, and craft selections are also available, and yes, you can even get a Guinness Irish Stout if that’s your preference. I did have to try a TAJ Mahal Premium Lager before I left.

Social Hub Cauliflower Manchurian (Fried Cauliflower tossed in Manchurian Sauce)

Our appetizers arrived quickly. We started with and shared, Veg Momos – Tandoori Flavored (Steamed Dumplings made with paneer, onion, ginger, and veggies in tandoori marination); Social Hub Cauliflower Manchurian (Fried Cauliflower tossed in Manchurian Sauce); Kat-E-Soya (Skewered soya chunks in a pickle marinade); and Methi Murgh Tikka (a delicious, mildly flavored, boneless, white meat chicken curry dish). Every dish was a treat! Packed with flavor! We both enjoyed every bite and even though we were both quite full, as every dish was plentiful, I insisted on having at least one of their entrees.

Kat-E-Soya (Skewered soya chunks in a pickle marinade)

As I stated earlier, initially we had planned on moving into the dining room for our entrée, but we were having such a good time at the bar we decided to finish off our meal there. For that entrée, we decided on Bhuna (a rich, bold, and flavorful, thick curry dish, cooked along with chicken). You have a choice of several proteins that you can have your Bhuna cooked with, including lamb, goat, shrimp, or veg. This dish was fantastic and came with sides of Basmati rice and Naan (for dipping into that wonderful sauce)! The taste created by the layers of spices was obvious. The taste was bold, rich, and spicy. Spicy, and yet quite mild, and it came covered in a deep, flavorful sauce. I would certainly order this dish again.

Veg Momos – Tandoori Flavored (Steamed Dumplings made with paneer, onion, ginger, and veggies in tandoori marination)

Never one to give up, we moved on to desserts. Once again, on Pranay’s suggestion, we went with the Tres Kesar Leches and the Social Falooda. The Milky Tres Kesar Leches was excellent. Spongy, rich, light, and soaked with a saffron-infused milk sauce, and topped with sweet fresh cream. Thumbs up on that one! Our second dessert, a Social Falooda, is a dessert I’ve never heard of, but it was delicious and a nice change of pace. It had a sweet and rosy floral flavor and was full of different textures. This dessert ice cream provided yet another layer of creaminess which complimented the vermicelli, basil seeds, and nuts that comprise this dessert.  Great meal all around!

It’s no wonder Indian cuisine is growing so rapidly, not only in the U.S. but worldwide, and it is easy to understand why, considering the vibrant, complex flavors, bold spices, interesting textures, and aromatic fresh ingredients that this cuisine is known for. No doubt you will experience taste combinations and overlapping flavors unlike those you will find with any other cuisine in the world.

The Milky Tres Kesar Leches was excellent. Spongy, rich, light, and soaked with a saffron-infused milk sauce, and topped with sweet fresh cream. Thumbs up on that one!

Social Hub by Dhaba is brought to us by the Fine Indian Group. The group owns 11 restaurants in New York and New Jersey, with four in Parsippany. The ones in Parsippany include Jashan, Dhaba Express, LaZeez, and of course Social Hub.  The interesting thing is that all their restaurants are unique in their way and each offers diners a different dining experience.

Looking for a great venue for date night, a place to catch a game, a place to meet and hang out with friends, have a business meeting, or just looking for a cool place to enjoy a great meal? Social Hub by Dhaba might be just what you’re looking for. Give it a try, I think you’ll enjoy your visit.

Social Hub by Dhaba, 1735 Route 46 East, Parsippany-Troy Hills. (862) 401-2800. 

Social Hours Special Menu Available at Bar Every Weekday From 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Available for Events & Catering – Birthdays – Wedding Receptions – Corporate Events.

Celebrates all Traditional Indian Holidays (follow on social media for details)

Valet Parking on Weekend – Large Private Parking Lot – Outdoor Dining (weather permitting). Take Out

Sunday to Thursday: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 Midnight and Friday and Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.

Reprinted from Parsippany Focus Magazine, February 2024. Click here to read.

Patrick Minutillo
Patrick Minutillo
Patrick Minutillo is a longtime Parsippany resident covering restaurant reviews for Parsippany Focus and Morris Focus. Reviews will also appear in Parsippany Focus Magazine, Tri-Town Focus Magazine as well as Morris Focus Magazine.
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