Coastal food has always been my favorite, mainly because of my long stint with Mumbai. Couple of places has been my favorite in Delhi like gunpowder and swagath. Gunpowder recently shut down and Swagath has lost its charm now.
I had heard a lot about Zambar and their Chef Arun. I wanted to try out at Zambar, but somehow didn’t get the chance to visit . Last week Sonali invited me to try their food, and I was glad to have received the invitation as I already had a desire to visit Zambar. Being a foodie and a passionate cook I wanted to meet Chef Arun and hear out his passion and journey on being a Chef!
On Monday evening I reached their on time and was greeted warmly by their staff and soon joined by journalist turned film maker turned Chef – Arun . His passion for food and journey all over India had given him excellent exposure to explore different cuisines and reinvent home cooked recipes. He shared that most of his dishes that he had introduced here were from various part of coastal India. He will now go beyond southern India and introduce cuisines from Mumbai and Kolkata too.
Rasam and papad was complimentary and served to everyone. Rasam was hot, spicy and very tasty.
We started with non-veg platter which had small portion of mutton sukka from tamilnadu, chicken 65 from chennai and kerela chai kadda(an excellent take on indo-chinese chilli chicken) which is very popular in kerela tea shops and is a great snack. Another exciting dish was mutton kola urundu, -mutton mince balls with aromatic home spices flash fried. This was outstanding as the juices and flavor was locked inside the mutton.
The sea food platter was equally amazing. Kerela fish fry, south indian kalamari/squid rings filled with seafood was blissfully simple and outstanding. Prawns stir fry with gunpowder had the freshness and flavor of prawns intact. The gunpowder flavor gave the ping and opaque prawns a sizzling taste.
Mangalore pork sukka and Kerala tenderloin fry both were equally good and enjoyed it with fluffy Malabar Parota. Star dish for me was the Pondicherry mint and coriander chicken which had thick green curry and superb flavor of mint and coriander and both were perfectly balanced and was great to eat with fresh appam.
Mutton biryani cooked in Malabar moplah style was passable and was more like mutton pulao. Same goes with Salli boti which had overpowering tomato gravy and tasted like north Indian mutton curry.
Interestingly, Chef Arun shared that preparing Mumbai like pao is not possible here. He did try out various recipes and different method, however the perfect Mumbai pao is yet to be achieved here in Delhi and I salute him for his honest confession. Water makes a big difference when it comes to making bread.
For Deserts, I had small portions of Pongal, litchi payasam and semolina pudding and all of them equally delightful. I ended the meal with a sweet note and a perfect ending to a great meal.
I would love to come back to Zambar with my family as well. Outstanding sea food platter and equally amazing non-veg starters, the star dish i.e Pondicherry mint and coriander Chicken, Malabar Parato and Appam,and the succulent Manglore pork sukka and Kerala tenderloin fry ………is worth having it again and again!
I would also love to try all the other dishes in the menu which I didn’t try
Overall a big thumbs up to Chef Arun and his team for putting in tremendous effort and giving us some brilliant home cooked style costal food which is difficult to find in Delhi/NCR
Overall Rating – 4
Average cost for a meal for two: Rs. 1000/-
Timings: 12:00pm (noon) to 11:30pm
Credit Cards accepted: Mastercard, Visa, Amex
Liquor License: Applied for
Take away / Home delivery: Yes