After a much deserved break from the usual, including long stretch hours of improving our doing-nothing skills, we finally grew hungry again.
This time, we wanted to try something traditional instead of chic Cafes or Fast Food jonts. Thus Saffron, another chain from the Sankalp group offering North Indian cuisine unlike Sankalp’s original speciality- South Indian.
We were apprehensive about the idea because our peers, who had already visited the restaurant, had some complaints about the service they’d received. And that was what made us more determined.
Saffron is set near Sukhadia Circle, in the lane sporting the popular Pav-Bhaji mini restaurants and flaunts “I’m bigger on the inside” principle, sincerely.
There’s a parking Area and waiting area just outside the restaurant, plus there is an extended seating arrangement inside for waiting customers as well.
The two floors of the restaurant boast the capacity to hold 80 diners at a time and make excellent arrangement for big groups. I add this because a birthday party containing 20 women was having a happy time even as we were lunching.
To talk about the waiters, they try to be attentive with the bustling crowd upsetting the natural ambience of the restaurant and most of the times they succeed in doing so. We shouldn’t blame them about occasional flukes because they make up for it by being extremely polite and understanding.
The Menu is a brochure worth exploring. There are so many items to choose from! We started with the usual, soup.
Lemon Coriander soup
As described, it was a Vegetable clear soup flavored with coriander and lemon grass. Lemon grass confirmed a slight tinge of lemon in every sip, but apart from that there were carrots, cabbages, capsicum, chillies to keep up the delicateness of the soup. Vegetables soft and gravy mild, how a soup should be. I would recommend this soup to the readers.
With the soup we got a complementary helping of a preparation created by Saffron. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to know how it was made, but to me it was a large crunchy chappatti served with chutney. Delicious as well.
Tandoori Shikari Aloo
Baby potatoes, capsicum, onion and tomatoes marinated in fresh mountain herbs, mounted on a skewer and roasted in a tandoor. This dish was implemented in the most impressive style of serving I’ve seen in a long time.
The waiters removed a panel in the center of our table and inserted a setup to keep the Shikari Aloo warm in its place (as in the picture).
There’s a lazy character created by Uncle Pie in Tinkle comics, named as Shikari Shambhoo, that’s how we were feeling like. Two lazy Shabhoos smelling the extravaganza and dreaming about the brave times we’ve had.
But I digress.
Shikari Aloo were soft and squishy from the inside, not stuffed with masala but sure coated with it. The capsicum and onion had lost all their spicy essence and were crusty to support the baby potatoes, tomatoes on the other hand were juicy. The dish was delightful, especially due to it’s style.
I ordered this drink because it was said to contain Strawberry pulp (not milkshake), cream and lemon. An interesting combination because adding lemon to a fruit has to be done carefully. Hence this drink wasn’t as I had expected. The Strawberry pulp did taste like a Strawberry shake, and the lemon part wasn’t as inconspicuous. The drink was a tad too sweet for a person’s taste.
By this time, we were already feeling full. And we reduced the number of rotis we had reduced to half. The main course was as follows:
Sometimes known as the Nine-gem curry Navratan Korma is prepared using nine varities of boiled vegetables like potatoes, carrots, green peas, french beans, cauliflower, capsicum, cabbage, bottle gourd and cluster beans and a generous serving of dry fruits like cashew nuts and raisins. This dish comes sweet and was beautifully prepared by the Chef. The combination was so well mixed with the gravy that we couldn’t easily differentiate the vegetables. But again, because this dish comes sweet not many people would like it, but if it appeals to your mood, I would recommend this as well.
Kulcha cheese chilli garlic
Stuffed with a combination of grated cheese, green chilly and garlic, these proved to be the most wonderful Indian replacement of an Italian dish known as Garlic Bread. I could eat those Kulchas over and over again until I’d forget the existence of Garlic Bread, that incredible they were.
The cheese was the right amount, garlic was the right amount and the fact that we were eating it on Kulchas made them Holy Grail!
So here comes the note: If you are one of those who order garlic bread almost everytime before an Italian meal (even if only consisting pizzas), these Kulchas are a must for you.
Rotis were served in pieces of half and frankly, after the Kulchas I sort of lost my sense of taste for everything else. But I do know that the rotis were soft, easy to break and uniformly heated in all parts. No complains there.
Go fida for the Cheese Chilli Garlic Kulchas and beware of the drinks, Sankalp’s restaurants have a tendency to make them too strong and sweet. The bill was Rs 602. Not nominal at all for a lunch for two, but was totally worth it, except the drink.
For the devoted readers who’d asked, I’m sorry but I can’t give absolute rating to the food. Every person has their own taste and what I write is for the average.