Rest : Zaffran
Meal : DinnerLoc : Todi Mills, Lower Parel
Todi Mills is fast becoming a hyper active restaurant destination, new places opening and some shutting down at regular intervals. The mill space reminds you of the early days of Phoenix, hap hazard, difficult to enter and exit, hopefully in a few years they can sort out the traffic management.
Anyway, i have heard of Zaffran and known about their Crawford market location for a while, though never quite made it. They have set up a new outlet at Todi Mills, replacing the ill fated Zinc, a bar which never really opened its doors (Zenzi Mills nearby has shuttered as well, Cafe Zoe a few feet away thrives as does Blue Frog)
Zaffran fortunately happens to be the first restaurant if you enter from Tulsi Pipe Road we were able to drop the car and enter through its massive wooden door in seconds.
The menu is a mix of Mughlai and Punjabi dishes, equal parts veg and non-veg with plenty to choose from for both.
The lemon iced tea was delicious.
The starters were the Paneer Tikka, which was pretty good with a solid, spicy after taste, the paneer mushroom with cheddar, was too spicy and the cheese did not taste like cheddar at all. Their signature naanlets i totally loved. little naans with tomato, reminded me of the naan, garlic, olive oil and tomato combo served at Arola. The Aloo Chat, was interesting with the taste of North Indian style tamarind chutney but a tad too sweet.
The Dum Subz was vegetables in a saffron gravy. very nice, pick of the lot, glad i went with the recommendation.
The Paneer Makhani was disappointing, i was hoping for something more in the Moti Mahal direction but this was more in the Shiv Sagar style, i have long contemplated not ordering paneer anymore and try out other dishes, doubly disappointed as they had some interesting curries..
The Roomali was not bad, not as awesome as the butter naan but pretty good.
The Dal Makhani was fabulous, totally rocking and i found myself just eating the daal by itself.
The Biryani was okay, it was served with a cold, garlic infused raita on the side, this coupled with the daal made the taste go beyond good. Best to order this while ordering main courses as it can take upto 20 odd mins to prepare.
Overall, initially i was a bit sceptical about the place having a rep as a non-veggies haven but all things considered it was pretty impressive. The layout and ambiance is interesting and there is a touch of imagination to the menu as well. I only find the location to be distressing as getting in and out of Todi on a busy day can be painful.
The service is quick and friendly.
The pricing is surprisingly on the reasonable side and considering the portions which are impossibly huge and can easily suffice a table for four its good value for money. They have a liquor license and reasonable bar menu and Zaffran is now my number one choice to take over seas guests, replacing Khyber.
Food : 8/10Service : 8/10
Damage : 2200 for two with no drinks