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THROUGHOUT their checkered history, bloodied by the atrocities committed on them, Armenians have found refuge in India. Today, about 150 Armenians are living in Kolkata and the Armenian College there draws students from this Orthodox Christian community across the world. Not much was known, though, about the community that settled in Asansol, West Bengal, to develop the vibrant district town’s iron and steel industry, till Sabyasachi Gorai, a talented young chef previously with AD Singh, opened Lavaash by Saby at the picture-postcard-pretty restored heritage building Ambavatta One in Mehrauli.The Armenians gave the world lavash, the soft and thin unleavened flatbread; they created the tonir, an underground clay oven that metamorphosed into the tandoor; and their cabbage or grapevine-wrapped tolma, dumplings (manti) served with sour cream, and khoravat (grilled meats) now have a worldwide following. The flamboyant chef has dipped into this culinary tradition at Lavaash by Saby, his 150-seater restaurant set to open in phases. It has several positives working in its favour, not the least of which are the banana flower (mocha) puffs, onion tolma bulging with mustard-spiked prawns, the pizza-like pide (another Armenian speciality) topped up with molten cheese and runny egg, and manti served out of an earthenware steamer designed especially for the dumplings. Lavaash by Saby has potential.
1 January, 2018.The Wife's brother was in town, and he invited all relatives inthe city, to lunch at a stylish restaurant in the vicinity of theQutub Minar, Lavaash by Saby. We would be ten people. The threeof us (The Wife, Junior and Yours Truly), The Wife's parents, myparents, The Wife's cousin (who was in Delhi for a day), and TheWife's sister's mother-in-law, in addition to the host, of course.The restaurant is in the Ambawatta complex,where designer Manish Malhotra has a showroom, and many Page 3celebrities can be seen. This restaurant is built on the firstfloor of a renovated old Haveli-like structure. We chose to sit outside,to enjoy the good winter warmth, and nice weather. The restaurantis based on Armenian-Bengali cuisine, and the rates are quite high.We had read mixed reviews about the place, the food and the serviceon this forum, and quite a lot of it turned out to be true. Thedecor is neat, and the inside sitting areas are quite stylishly done.The tables are simple, with simple and functional cutlery. Themenu card has quite a lot on offer, including a large number ofvegetarian items. We requested to items that would be a bit lighton the spices coefficient, but were told that most were alreadyhalf-prepared in the traditional way. That would be quite fine,but the final serving had red chilli powder and other spicesadded later, which made it a bit difficult for my parents andJunior to enjoy some items. The thin crust pizza with exoticvegetables had nothing too exotic, but was quite nice, served ona wooden flat plate. The mocha puff had the delicious plantainflower filling, but it was a bit hot and spicy. There was achicken-based dish, which had chilli powder sprinkled on the top,in a lavash-based base. For drinks, we would go with lime sodas,sangrias, a coconut-based smoothie, canned fruit drinks, and awhiskey sour. The starters included a paneer-based dish, whichwas a bit spicy. The main course had a paneer rezala, a muttonrezala (which were fair enough), kabiraji cutlet (nice and crispy, but thefilling was hot and spicy), and a mutton kebab dish.We also ordered some momos, with a mutton mince filling.We would have all this with the traditional lavash bread, andbuttered govindbhog rice. For dessert, we shared two items, anOrange Pound cake slice, and a Chocolate Mousse.
We had a family celebration here..and it was a great experience. Quirky cocktails served with a twist.. certainly was entertaining...did not compromise on taste!LavashFish. Baked in a lavash was good,cheese pizza, Iranian lamb, chicken kebabs , paneer grilled ..all recommended!
First things first: It is located in the posh and pleasant Ambawatta Complex with very convenient parking. The decor is inviting and attractive with plenty of folksy decorative touches and nice views out of the balcony. So far so good!Although advertised as Armenian food with a Bengali twist, it may disappoint those looking for a more pronounced Armenian flavor (depending on what you order). It is also not intended for those looking for a quiet sophisticated meal. The cooks and waiters enjoy their Bollywood-style music loud and whether you like it or not, they will do everything they can to impose it on you. Although we were the only guests, a request not to play loud music was met with resistance, even defiance. Only a threat of leaving led to temporary accommodation. Our first order was a Jurassic Pizza - a thin-crust multi-cheese delicacy which was quite tasty in the middle but flat on the edges. Skimping on the size and being miserly with the cheese marred from what could have been an outstanding offering. Our next two dishes had their high and low points. The Kalimpong cheese certainly helped and the lavaash was excellent. However the ground lamb ravioli was a tad soggy and under-flavored and the spicy tomato sauce not particularly inspiring. With very small-hearted servings, we didn't feel really full. And couldn't help feeling that while what he had eaten was tasty, it was more pseudo-gourmet food than a truly satisfying culinary experience.Perhaps worth it as a one-time experiment but a repeat visit would probably feel like an over-hyped drain on the pocket.
A bit expensive but great food. Book in advance as it gets busy. Outdoor seating is nice during winters.
Recently visited the restaurant with a friend for dinner. The location was quiet and with Qutab minar as a back drop. Loved the ambiance and the nicely decorated interiors with a quiet elegance.We ordered Margarita classic ,vegetable cutlet ,Mutton puff as starters, Railway mutton curry with Lavassh bread.The drink and food was divine and the service excellent.Will definitely go again on my next trip to Delhi.
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Our love for well-designed stylish dining spaces have often taken us to ends of the country impressing us with the need to explore what India has to offer and break away from the conventional dining. Gastronomy in New Delhi has gone under a huge transformation and the patrons now willingly welcome the more refined and fashionable versions of conventional fine dining. ‘Lavaash By Saby’ is the brainchild of Chef Sabyasachi Gorai who was previously with famed AD Singh and found the inspiration of the restaurant in the coal sooted lanes of Asansol, West Bengal. It’s a little unknown fact that many Armenian families after fleeing home found refuge in various parts of the country and some of them settled in Asansol. Sabyasachi Gorai or as lovingly known as Saby dipped into the culture and bought its vibrancy and authenticity to the old roads of Mehrauli, New Delhi.
Lavaash By Saby is a good-looking stylish fine dining restaurant run by a passionate chef who is influenced by the joys of Bengal and Armenia and captures the same through his fantastic menu. With your drinks enjoy some starters like, chicken skewers, crispy lentil sticks, spiced soy keema koobideh, classical meat dolma, char grilled mutton ribs, the valley view cutlet, eggplant tolma, Jurassic cheese lavaash pizza and roasted cauliflower & pumpkin kebob. Main course entails, dill marinated pork chop, prawn claypot casserole, mushroom manti, lavaash fish, tenderloin steak and spiced pide pie. Tickle your sweet buds with the old monk mousse, Armenian coffee cream pot, ponchiki, chefs gata and milk chocolate walnut & cherry cheesecake.
Saby found a picture perfect heritage villa in Ambavatta One and converted it into a tranquil paradise of flavours and style. He then chose to throw away the edgy modernity of today’s trendy dining spaces and paved his own way with handlooms of West Bengal. The fetching beauty of hand-embroidered kanthawork upholstery that covers the chairs to the delightful motifs of peacock, parrots and pomegranates that seems to be everywhere, lends the space an enchanting appeal. A chrome yellow painted room flooded with sunshine and a vast sunlit courtyard shaded by a neem tree beckons one to relax and soak in the leisurely ambience. Lavaash may not be cheap but it takes you on a rollercoaster of flavours that stay with you for weeks to come.