My friend puts up in sector 30 and invited me to catch up for dinner. Since it was her treat, she got first say with the venue and obviously chose something nearer to where she stays. Hence, I made my journey to Zaffran in Star Mall for an early meal.
Getting to the mall is not much of a hassle as you can take Exit 8 from the Gurgaon Jaipur Expressway or if coming through Gurgaon, take a left from Signature Towers to make your way here. Parking space is ample here as not many people frequent this mall. It is quite popular for its movie theater that screens movie at quite low prices. Also you can find stores that have discounted outlets of various brands. As such this mall didn’t pick up much in popularity and that is the reason there aren’t many food joints her as well.
Zaffran is located on one of the corners of the Lower Ground floor and is accessible from inside the mall or even from the main entry to the mall. One problem with these DT malls is the demarcation of floors that include a Lower Ground and Upper Ground and then basement that always tends to confuse you! I made my way into the restaurant and having reached earlier than my friend, I found that it wasn’t crowded at all with only one other table occupied. The place has simple interiors with wooden furniture glowing in a strong yellowish hue from the lamps above. The wall on one side has some metallic leaves making up an artistic background.
Get Set Gobble:
As she arrived a couple of minutes later, we began our meal. They served us with some papad and bowls containing mint chutney, sirka onions and a pickle. The menu is on a wooden boards with vegetarian dishes on one side and non vegetarian on the other. So the biggest dilemma we faced while ordering was the fact that she was a vegetarian while I was a non vegetarian. We wanted to go about ordering a bit cleverly so that each gets to try dishes to their liking and not end up wasting food in the end. As I scanned the menu, there were so many things that popped out at me as it did with her.Eventually I came up with the brilliant plan to order a Veg and non veg kebab platter.
As we waited for the order to come, she ordered the Summer hammer that was a mix of watermelon and pomegranate juice and I tried their Melon mojito that had watermelon juice and lemonade. Both were refreshing where the former was a little on the sweeter side and the latter slightly tangier. Mine came loaded with crushed ice but I could taste some granules of sugar through my straw that had not dissolved into the mix.
The Non vegetarian platter contained two pieces each of Mutton seekh, Chicken tikka, Fish tikka, Malai tikka, Reshmi tikka and Tandoori chicken. That was surely a good selection! The mutton seekh was the best item on it. It was full of flavour, wasn’t too spicy and was soft to eat. The tandoori chicken had two pieces one of which is the leg piece and I quite enjoyed that. The fish tikka was slightly dry and I had hoped for the fish to be more moist. The malai tikka was nice and soft and covered generously with the cream and the reshmi tikka was great too.
The vegetarian one had Tandoori mushroom, Tandoori aloo, Paneer tikka, Broccoli and Hara bhara kebab. My parents (who are vegetarians) are extremely font of hara bhara kebab and every home delivery option always has this dish on their to-order list. Having tasted quite a few, I can tell you for a fact that Zaffran’s hara bhara kebabs were quite amazing! The aloo had a crispy texture with a filling containing some cashews. Broccoli had been cooked well so that it still had a some bite to it when you ate it and was topped with cream. Paneer tikka had huge chunks marinated in a spice mix but was slightly dry. Overall it was a good decision as we got to try different items on the menu but my friend still missed two things she really wanted to try so we ordered them on the side. She wanted to have the Dahi ke kebab and Tandoori babycorn and broccoli. The dahi kebab were different from what we expected as they were aloo tikkis with a layer of dahi in the center. They tasted nice in themselves as the exterior had been cooked to a golden brown perfection. The babycorn tasted amazing and had a good crunch to it.
In main she ordered the Karari bhindi and Makai palak. I went for the Rara mutton and Chicken tikka masala. We also had the Dal makhani and Mixed raita. I think we made excellent choices overall coz I was super happy with my selection. The chicken tikka masala was simply amzing. It had tender pieces of chicken in a sort of chunky gravy that had a beautiful sweet flavour to it. Delicious! The rara mutton had a chunky keema gravy and I was delighted to see that the mutton piece was so tender that they were breaking off easily. I must really commend them at the preparation of their meat that was spot on in both cases. The dal did not disappoint and was quite delicious It did not have that overpowering sweetness from tomatoes or diluted creaminess from the addition of too much cream. All in all, it was just about perfect.
So we managed to order quite an interesting breads selection as well. We played safe with the Pudina Parantha, tried the Cheese naan that had melted cheese on top of it, Aloo kulcha with a nice potato stuffing and the Garlic naan with loads of chopped garlic on top. The bread sizes are not too big so it’s good to order a mix and share it.
Obviously we were so stuffed from our starters that we couldn’t finish the mains so we got some packed to enjoy at home. That however did not stop us from trying a little bit of their desserts. We ordered the Vanilla ice cream and Gulab jamun. Some people do love the combination, but unfortunately I am not one of those people. The gulab jamun was the long shaped one and had a little sprinkle of nuts on top. I quite enjoyed it as it was warm and perfectly sweet. I gave the vanilla ice cream a miss.
All in all it was a good meal and a day well spent!
Hearty Indian dishes. Prompt service. Mutton preparations. Variety of Indian breads.