Zaffran takes you on a culinary tour across the country

The newly designed menu and décor of ‘Zaffran’ at Hotel Novotel takes you on a long culinary tour from across India. If you have time on your side and are looking for an elaborate feast, the restaurant’s menu offers an exhaustive range of options.

Right from the aromatic spices of the Kashmir Valley, Rajasthan’s traditional deserts to Bengal’s rich delicacies and the spicy flavours of the South, the options are aplenty. On the recommendation of Kasa Janardhan, the food and beverage manager of the hotel, we started our culinary journey with some of specialties of the restaurants - Zafrani Kalmi Khaas and the Patrani fish. “The Patrani fish is a Parsi dish made with mango and green chilli paste,” explains executive chef Nareshkumar D. The tenderness of the salmon fish comes with the banana leaf wrapped around it. “We put very little oil and then it is put on the grill,” the chef adds.

While trying the starters, you can opt for a mix of the North Indian choices and delicacies of the south. In tune with the ethnic menu, the decor and live music of the restaurant, too, have been done keeping in mind the traditions of India. So on three days of a week, you have a ‘jugalbandi’ of the violin and mridangam, and on other days you can enjoy famous ‘ghazals’ that recreate the charm of the Nawabi era.

The main course has specialties like the Murg Dohra Masala, Aloo Bhukhara (a type of ‘kofta’ prepared with plum), Murg Tikka Parda Bemisal (creamy chicken served in layers of spinach and white sauce) and the Andhra fish Pulusu. One of the highlights of the menu is the Zarfrani Raan Khas. “This is an elaborate preparation of baby lamb meat. The dish is prepared after marinating the meat for five hours, later cooked in tandoor and then kept on ‘dum’ for two and half hours,” chef Nareshkumar says.

Rajasthan’s famous Dal Bati Churma, Aloo Mutter ki Topi from Mysore, Punjab’s tandoori Pomfret, Konkani lobster, Gongura Mamsam to delight to regional palate, Chicken Chettinad and Appam of Kerala are a part of the menu.

The open kitchen counter at the front offers a peep into the organised kitchen setup of the restaurant. If you are the kind who likes to stick to one style of cuisine, don’t forget to seek the help of the chef in scouring through long menu to make the right selections.

Ambience: Indoors

Service: Good

Price for two: Rs 1, 000 to Rs 1,500