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It was always going to be a tough sell to make people in suburban Mumbai, weaned as they are on Punjabi-restaurant cuisine, recognise that the cuisine of Avadh can be much more complex. But Chef Himanshu Taneja has managed to pack out the Marriot's North Indian restaurant despite offering cuisine that is genuinely Lucknowi. He has done it by sourcing his cooks from the UP capital and letting them cook the dishes they know best. Apart from Dum Pukht, there is not one restaurant in Mumbai that offers North Indian food that is as good.
When in doubt always go for Indian cuisine. You cannot go wrong by dining on Indian food. The cuisine is heart-warming and classic compilation of curries designed to bring you comfort and solace. The practice of dunking a piece of buttery naan in a bowl of curry instantly lifts up your spirits. When your palate has had too much of Chinese or American, it always comes back to the comforting embrace of Indian food. For South Mumbaikers, ‘Saffron’ is their go-to place to get a curry fix. The restaurant has been a long-standing favorite of the residents when they crave for some good old-fashioned curry minus the Punjabi gimmick the city has become used to. Saffron is part of the fancy JW Marriott Hotel on Juhu Tara Road, an ideal place to entertain an important foreign client or family.
Chef Himanshu Taneja has bought a wind of change to South Mumbai food scene by kicking out Punjabi restaurant cuisine from his Indian menu at Saffron. His choice to concentrate on Avadhi food has bought to his patrons a complexity of flavours adapted from the royal kitchens of Lucknow. The chef outsources his cooks from the UP and lets them cook what they know best. The result is magnificent. A full-fledged bar menu accompanies the starters nicely. Begin munching on, bhuni boti, hare mutter ki shikampuri, achaari paneer tikka, murgh ke parche, gilwati kebab, khoya aur mewe ki seekh and lehsooni jheenga. Main course entails, bharwan mirchi aur teekhe aloo, lazeez pasliayan, paneer pasanda, lehsooni palak, koh e awadh, tawa subz, murgh musallam, dal e khaas, butter chicken, paneer tikka masala and nihari gosht.
Other than the usual breads featured on every Indian menu there are some innovative signature breads offered by Saffron. Pick up, warqi paratha, sheermal, gilafi kulcha, bakarkhani, ulte tawe ka paratha and khameeri roti. Pamper your sweet tooth with an assortment of desserts like, rasmalai, kulfi, gulab jamun, nariyal ice cream, shahi tukda, paan ice cream and motichoor laddu ice cream. On one hand is their traditional Indian menu and on the other is their contrasting décor that is modern and edgy. Smooth pale wood walls and dark furniture further accentuates the play of contrast. Dining style is kept formal so one can dine in comfort in the lap of luxury. Don’t be fooled, Saffron is expensive. Best save it for special occasions.