Last weekend some friends and I headed to Zaaffran in Darling Harbour Sydney for a wonderful Indian feast. I even skipped lunch to make room in my stomach for the occasion.. and skipping meals is not something I do very often because I tend to turn into a bit of a monster on an empty stomach!
Zaaffran is one of the first Indian restaurants I visited in Sydney and it is a beautifully located place to dine - the view over the twinkling harbour is undeniably pretty by night.
Let's get straight to the food though. We enjoyed the Vegetarian Banquet available for 4 or more persons at $41.90 per head. This included 2 starters, 5 mains and dessert of the chef's choice. Of course, you also get rice and basic naans.
Our starters for the evening included chaat - a plate of savoury snacks, typically served at cute roadside stalls in India.
Palak patta chana aur aloo ka chaat
Chaat of crispy english spinach leaf, potatoes and chickpeas with roasted cumin, chaat masala, mango powder, yoghurt, date-tamarind and mint toppings. What better way to enjoy spinach I say!
Aloo Makkai Tikki Chaat
Crisp potato and corn mini patties laced with yoghurt, date-tamarind and mint toppings.
Despite the menu description, out plates of chaat arrived with a wonderful beetroot dipping sauce - I just loved the Barbie like colour and it tasted as good as it looked!
And onto the main event for the evening - a fantastic spread of dishes...
Daal Tadkewali - yellow lentils cooked with green chilli, turmeric and curry leaf.
Subz Miloni - a selection of seasonal vegetables, chickpeas and potatoes in a fenugreek-flavoured, garlicky spinach sauce.
Torkari Kalwa - seasonal vegetables in a lemony coconut, onion, tomato and pumpkin sauce with 'qasoori methi'.
Baingan Ki Launj - eggplant in a sweet and tangy tomato, tamarind and jaggery sauce with fennel and nigella seeds.
Paneer Makhan Masala - indian cheese simmered in an onion-tomato masala with ginger, chilli and coriander.
And no feast would be complete without the naan.. oh glorious naan! The second naan pictured was an extra order requested by none other than me.. probably being a bit greedy, but the flavour combination was out of this world - mushroom with truffle oil. Yum!!!
No feast is complete without a little sweet to end the meal. We were served the chef's choice of 2 scoops of mango and rose ice cream. The dessert was ok, but a bit like an afterthought after the great savoury food we had enjoyed. I always think it's such as shame when restaurants are let down by their desserts... They are, after all, the last impression of the meal.
Unfortunately, there service was a little on the slow side despite the restaurant not being very busy for a Saturday night. Nonetheless, we left (rather, 'waddled') feeling very well fed indeed. It was lovely to walk alongside the harbour for a little to work a little before heading home to the satisfying slumber that ensues after a good feast! :P hehe
Level 2, 345 Harbourside Shopping Centre
Darling Harbour, NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9211 8900