Zafran, Mirdif City Center – Review
The spice saga continues…
A saga of spices and flavors of quintessential Indian fares, the newly revamped Indian bistro Zafran at Mirdif City Centre is calling all foodies to a culinary journey through India. From the sodden vegetation of the South to the desirous calling of the mystic Rajasthan, from the agricultural plains of Punjab to the spice treasures of Hyderabad, the journey of piquancy is a tribute to the varied palate that India is known for. An inundation of recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, influenced by the many colonial nuances and the variation bought by the seafarers (in search of the exotic land), Indian cuisine is a tale best told in flavors. To bring the story of the food alive, Zafran at Mirdif City Centre brings the regional flavors of India with a menu featuring distinctive curries, BBQs, and snacks from across the country.
On one such adventure to discover the culinary history of India, we headed to Zafran Mirdif City Centre and were in for a great surprise.
The recently refurbished restaurant has a contemporary look now. Unlike before the ambiance is more engaging and relaxed, with vibrant blue walls, colorful chandeliers, and an open kitchen that adds more of an unpretentious appeal to the restaurant. The décor also exhibit subtle accents of Indian heritage, which is inviting and homey at the same time.
India is known for its obliging hospitality, and it took us no time to connect with the convivial staff, who not only briefed us about the food but also how the dishes are prepared in the traditional way. From pickles to chutneys to garam masala, the restaurant produces a number of in-house condiments and spices to bring out the true spirit of Indian cuisine.
The rich menu exudes Indian specialties starting from the street grubs such as Poppadum to BBQ and Biryanis. The first thing that caught our eye as soon as we settled was the variety of Chutneys including; a retro dates chutney with a hint of spice, mint chutney and the mindboggling watermelon chutney made with watermelon peel dried and turned into a delicious condiment. The chutneys went superbly with the variety of poppadum that kept pouring in while we waited for the main.
Starting off with the appetizers, we tried Dahee kebab (deep-fried yogurt dumplings) one of the most interesting dishes from the menu, the Double Mushroom (batter fried mushroom with vegetable and cheese), and Aloo Tikki (pan fried potatoes cakes).
After the tingling experience with the starter, we moved on to try the BBQ variety, which had the uber-sized Tandoori King Prawns (char-grilled prawns with cream and cheese marinade) and a mixed BBQ platter that included, chunky Chicken Malai Tikka, Bhatti KA murgh, Tandoori Chicken Tikka and Rampuri Seekh Kebab. The interesting thing about the BBQ platter was that there were three different varieties of chicken tikkas all with an individual twist to it, from subtle to spicy the juicy tikkas marinated and grilled to perfection. I personally loved the Tandoori chicken tikka which had the right amount of heat and smokiness.
Next, for the main, we wanted to try the regionally flavored curries (a new addition to the menu) offering the diverse regional flavors of India. In small servings we tried Gosht Aur Kairi ka keema a minced meat cooked with tangy unripe green mangoes, bursting with flavors, Chakki ki Sabzi was a curious traditional Rajasthani dish made of the gluten extracted from flour, Baingan Bartha – was a delicious vegetarian curry made of eggplant, Dhaba-style chicken curry – north Indian style chicken in gravy & last but not the least Kerala Fish Curry – a fragrant fish curry with hint of coconut and a dash of hot spices…
No visit to any Indian restaurant is complete without the Biryani. So, we tried the mutton biryani, which came in a traditional clay pot sealed with flour dough. The juicy biryani with succulent pieces of tender mutton is a masquerade of spices hiding within the warm fragrant basmati rice. It was simply delicious. Period.
To finish off the sizzling savory experience, we also tried the traditional sweets from the menu. The sweets came in bite-sized serving including Gajar ka Halwa (carrot dessert) and Gulab Jaman, Kulfi (traditional Indian ice-cream) and Ras Gulas.
With great food, friendly service, and a comfortable setting, Zafran at Mirdif City Center is one of those places that you can trust in terms of taste, value, and service.
Recipient of BBC Good Foods Best Asian Restaurant Award, a top rating of 3 Black Hats from Whats On and a Time Out Dubai Shortlisted Restaurant, Zafran truly exudes the brilliance of modern Indian cuisine. The restaurant is open to guests for lunch as well as dinner from 11 am – 11 pm on weekdays and 11 am – 12 am on weekends. To make a reservation please call: 04 2840987
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