Tag Archives: saffron

Italian, as I like it

Being a sea food lover, an entire menu of Italian food, revolving around crustaceans, sounded irresistible and intrigued me too. Chef Rajiv Das at Stax, Hyatt Regency, has curated a special menu for a limited period of time to wow the palate of sea food lovers and naturally, it beckoned me.

Typically, fresh scallops are laced with lemon butter garlic sauce, but Chef here chose to be different and that’s what made all the difference to the dish. He opted for an orange vinaigrette which was subtle and did not overpower the flavours of the scallop, but instead enhanced those. This pan seared scallop with french onion compote and orange vinaigrette dressing was the perfect testimony to chef’s mastery over his craft as he had flawlessly married the flavours.

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The soup boasted of mild but distinct flavours, as one could taste the crab, lobster, mussels and more in a comforting and tangy tomato broth. The slow cooing process used here was what imparted the true flavours to the soup.

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I have a weakness for risotto and thus opted for the saffron infused risotto with scampi over the Lobster linguine, which also sounded inviting. And I was glad I made this choice. The creamy risotto was bursting with flavours, but not a wee bit heavy and appeased my taste buds instantly.

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Grilled tiger prawns  as the main course, could be any sea food lovers dream come true, but since I wanted to indulge in my guilty pleasure- dessert, I skipped this course.

Oh! my favourite Tiramisu in Mumbai is at Stax, so how could I not do justice to it? I let the creamy, sinful dessert envelop my palate, as I relished each spoonful of this well-made Italian dessert.

The food had a home style rustic feel to it even though it was so well presented. The flavours were unmistakable and the textures mesmerizing. And yes, the portions, hearty.

I have never quite enjoyed an Italian meal so much as this one proved to be light and flavourful as opposed to the heavy ones I am often used to experiencing.

On for dinner only, at Stax till February, this one is a must-try for all crustacean lovers.

Rating : 4/5

 

 

 

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A Royal feast: Zaffran

An entry into Zaffran at Todi Mills , Lower Parel, Mumbai is embarking upon an exciting culinary journey of North Indian cuisine. With an  all new look and design that presents a different experience, the original charm, flavours and taste, that have been the hallmarks of Zaffran since 2003 are completely intact.

Zaffran by Ice Hospitality is run by a trio: Munib Birya, Param Gandhi and Chef Chetan Sethi and is known for its outstanding Indian dishes with special touches that make even the simplest dishes a magical gourmet experience. After the first ever outlet that opened at Crawford Market, Mumbai, this is their first expansion in South / Central Mumbai.

The dining area at the ground level has an understated elegance with water bodies and cosy alcoves, reminiscent of an unfurling saffron bud. The décor is contemporary and yet spells the old world charm.

The upper level is equally plush with Bedouin inspired interiors with “mashaal” lamps lighting up your way as you make yourself comfortable under dazzling screens and shamianas.

In keeping with the Indian tradition of hospitality, the service at Zaffran is exemplary. Since we were not drinking wine, kachi kairi Margherita is what we were recommended and it was the perfect choice. Tangy and sour, it actually helped me whip up an appetite for the delicious food to follow. The Zaffrani Murg shorba, was a delight for the palate. The shredded chicken and fried onions complimented each other and the hot broth was soothing.  Easily one of the best soups I have had. The naanlets with a mushroom stuffing were cute and tasty.

Although we were eating Non vegetarian food, we were told that the vessels for non veg were reddish in colour while the silver ones were meant for Vegetarians. A nice comforting distinction I thought.

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The kebab platter looked appetizing. The fillet in the macchi tikka simply melt in the mouth and was perfectly spiced. The seekh kebab had overpowering spices which doused the flavour of the lamb and was thus disappointing. The lasooni prawn was fresh and succulent, although a bit bland. Vegetarian options were exciting too. Tandoori broccoli was unique, as was the galouti. The paneer tikka was nothing to write home about.

The Zaffrani Raan biryani tantalised our palates and was cooked to perfection. The aroma filled the air, even before we tasted it. Dal makhni was excellent and reminiscent of the one at Bukhara, ITC. The kadai macchi was luscious and the butter chicken rendered me speechless.

The meal was sumptuous and the desserts were just another step towards gluttony. The zaffrani phirni had too much of saffron in it, and the rice in the phirni was a wee bit grainy. The chenna payesh was delectable and reminded me of Kolkata and my Bong connection.

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Chef Chetan Sethi has painstakingly created the menu and the ingredients spell quality from word go, while the flavours and textures have been carefully blended. Dining at Zaffran is truly akin to attending a royal feast.