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Thursday, May 13, 2004

Zaaffran, Darling Harbour

Founded in 1998 by two brothers from Bombay, Zaaffran prides itself on serving modern Indian without abandoning the long-standing traditions of Indian cooking.

Head chef Vikrant Kapoor (formerly chef de cuisine at Raffles in Singapore) says: "Whilst you might find many western dishes use three or four ingredients, our dishes will typically have a dozen or more herbs and spices. It is the uncanny ability of Indian chefs who can combine so many different spices and flavours into a symphonic orchestration, pleasing not only the taste buds, but all the senses; which sets our cuisine apart from others".

After much deliberation and serious mastication, our judges declared the tandoori chicken a clear winner. With complex spices, the chicken was melt-in-the-mouth tender and juicy. The lidded biryani chicken made a spectacular entrance but there was more pizazz in the pastry than in its interior. The vindaloo was disappointing in its lack of heat and the lamb shanks were a little dry and tough.

Dessert was a smorgasboard of flavours. The rose creme brulee was enticingly addictive and the pistachio ice cream had enviable natural flavours. The traditional milk dumplings are definitely an acquired taste!

Good flavours with attentive professional service, Zaaffran is upmarket Indian with corresponding prices. With fabulous night views on the outdoor balcony, Zaaffran is perfect for the business diner or dinner date.

We had the banquet which included:

sunheri kabab: chicken tenderloins tandoor grilled with 'bhuna besan', green chilli, ginger and yoghurt flavoured with garam masala

nawabi tandoori murgh: free range chicken tandoor grilled with 'besan', mace, nutmeg, cardamom and yoghurt

bhindi aur baingan: eggplant and okra in a sauce of onions, coconut milk and tamarind with red chilli, curry and coriander

zaaffran khoorus biryani: chicken biryani with mint, saffron, nuts and 'garam masala' combined under flaky pastry served with raita

adla bemisal: cut up lamb shanks slow cooked in an aromatic liquor of saffron, cardamom, clove, bayleaf, coriander and caramelized onions

vindaloo: beef in a red chilli, rice vinegar, coriander, pepper, cinnamon & onion sauce

seafood istew: scallops, calamari and tiger prawns in a ragout of onions, tomatoes, coconut milk and tamarind with red chilli, clove and bayleaf

shahi jaam: Milk dumplings with vanilla bean icecream
Rosewater crème brulee
Belgian chocolate ice cream
Rosewater, pistachio and mango ice cream

Tandoor chicken with garam masala and green chilli

The famous Zaaffran chicken biryani pie

The goodness is revealed...

Osso bucco stew with biryani, basmati and garlic naan

Dessert smorgasboard

Lvl 2, 345 Harbourside Shopng Centre, Darling Harbour
Tel: 02 9211 8900
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posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 5/13/2004 04:59:00 pm


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