As I belong to Lucknow, Awadhi food has been very close to my heart and I went to Zaffran as soon as I got to know about the current Awadhi food festival here.
I have been to Zaffran earlier but not in recent times. The Ambience here is decently done with a lot of wood work. They have succeeded in creating a serene environment, which is very rare these days. I was also surprised to see that the 70% occupancy here was of foreigners. I believe the suttle flavour and not so spicy marination is a reason for the same.
The special Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh food festival is a Lucknowi treat for Mughlai food lovers. In starters we had Murg Gulbahar Seekh. The Chicken Seekh Kebab were very soft and sumptuous. The flavours were brilliantly balanced as well. Zakande Kebab were the next starters. These boneless Mutton pieces are roasted on a tawa with another magical marination. The third starter was a boneless Chicken leg stuffed and shallow fried on a tawa. This was the best starter so far. The masala covering the Chicken pieces was amazingly flavourful. A Lucknowi Dastarkhwan cannot be complete without Mutton Galauti. So here they were as the fourth non veg starter. The Galauti were perfect in texture and spice both. It is a difficult combination to achieve and The Chef here has succeeded in it. They were served with Khasta Roti. In the veg starters they offer Veg Shami and Nasheman Seekh. Veg Shami are prepared using mix vegetables and daal. They are a must try for the vegetarians. Nasheman Seekh, a Paneer based Seekh Kebab were also very good.
In the mains we had Nalli Nihari and Murg Pardanashee. Nalli Nihari was a little let down here. Could have been better. Murg Pardanashee was great. Loaded with earthy flavours and a terrific preparation. My Vegetarian friends had Bagare Baigan ka Salan. They simply loved it to the core of it. They served assorted breads. The basket included Cheese Naan. Sounds a little funny but it is a must try. The Cheese Naan worked as a superb combination with the curries.
Then came in the Dessert. Zoke Shahi, a combination of Shahi Tukda and Rabdi. It worked as a best ending possible to the Dastarkhwan by all means.
The service here deserves a special mention. The servers follow the classic service standards and are extremely hospitable. They are also totally thorough with intrinsic knowledge of food and are very helpful while ordering. This food festival is getting over on 31st of March. So, go ahead to Zaffran and don’t miss this Lucknowi Dastarkhwan.
Picture Credits: beautifulfoodie.com