How I landed here at Zaffran is another story but their branch at Crawford Market has been a favourite specially for, their Chicken Ala Kiev. This time it would be the Zaffran at Hill Road, Bandra. Because my college was in Bandra, I was used to Bandra yet somehow it had never stopped fascinating me. Anyway, I was a little hungry by the time we reached here and the temperature outside were soaring.
I was here for lunch. I expected this Zaffran to be a little different than the one I frequented because of the location. Apart from the altered menu that didn’t serve Chicken ala Kiev, the decor was different too. We sat on a comfortable round table accomodated in sofa. The ceilings made in wood and the the chandelier right above our heads. If it’s about food, I am a control freak, that is when I decided to try out their kebabs and biryani. I didn’t remember how long had it been since I’d had proper Indian food at Zaffran, perhaps what it is known for.
The rendevous with food
I ordered a Bailey’s while I started my wait for Murgh Banjara kebab and Roomali masala papad. Bailey’s Irish cream here was delicious, the consistency was think and it felt rich. Even though it is a dessert liqueurs, I like to pair it with almost anything. Sipping on it nonchalantly as I absorb, chew and swallow food.
That feeling you have when you see an attendant bring you your food (specially when you’re hungry) is the best feeling ever, of course, it is ordinal after actually eating the food. I was glad I felt the same when I ate it. The kebabs arrived in a rectangular metal plate. Though these kebabs were no different that the usual ones, what set them apart was the fact that they were done so well.
These were perhaps the best Murgh Banjara kebabs I’ve had. The meat was tender, it melted within moments of putting it in my mouth. These kebabs were elevating. The tender meat and the amalgam of the flavours and juices of the meat sure did make my taste buds do a little dance! I wish things like last longer.
The masala papad like the name suggests was dome shaped like a roomali roti came with finely chopped onion and tomato salsa. The only issue I had with this papad was it became soggy too soon
Obviously this isn’t something you get else where and (I have to admit did provide me with the tiny ego boost after) almost every table had ordered this after seeing this on my table, the only regret I wish I could help people eat better (but then hey! it has to begin some where, right?).
Next up was a biryani. My friend is a huge fan of Biryani. He is the reason why we were at Zaffran anyway. After about 15 minutes of wait that ended with something that looked like this.
The use of saffron was understated, perhaps, the use of sweet caramelised onion strings replacing the usual deepfried onions in a biryani dominated it. The meat was tender and tangy (because I am used to the spiciest of the foods) but the flavours were distinct apart from the subtle sweetness of the caramalised onions. The rice in the biryani was decent enough to compliment the rich flavours and the juices of the meat.
It took me quite some time to get over the fact that my meal was over too soon, may be just like they say, good things end too soon. On the brighter side, there was tsill some room for dessert. Now when we talk about a meal like that a Phirni or an Indian dessert would have gone well, but I wanted to end it with a chocolate mud pie.
I was here to catch up with a friend for lunch and I agreed to this only because it was long since I’d have Biryani and Kebabs. I wasn’t exactly smitten by the food here but it sure as hell was worth every penny I spend here. A warm yet a subtle decor that puts you at ease once you enter. Food is worth the money and because I was here to catch up with a friend, my time was amazing! Nostalgia and food put together is a lot.