- Add: 135/137 East Coast Rd
- Opening Hours: Mon-Thu (1130am-10pm), Fri/Eve of PH/PH (1130am-1030pm), Sat/Sun (930am-1030pm)
- Website: http://www.zaffronkitchen.com/
- Phone: 6440 6786
I have always been drawn by Zaffron Kitchen when driving home along East Coast Rd. There was always a hive of activity that could be seen through the wide glass panes fronting the restaurant. Finally, after 1/2 a year of procrastination, I got down to organizing a farewell dinner at Zaffron for my gal pals. The lady who took the reservation over the phone was extremely friendly and accommodating even when I tried changing our arrival time just 15 minutes before the original planned one. Thumbs up to that. (Pet peeve: rude staff taking reservations)
Now, if you walked into Zaffron Kitchen ignoring the tandoori ovens (or “Tandoors) at the front entrance, you would never have thought that this is an eatery that specializes in Indian cuisine.The tandoors are apparently ‘Made direct from Rajasthan’ and it was such a delight just peering through the glass panes, observing the chefs going about their chores.
The great expanse of brick & wood used within the interior, the clever mix of dining furniture and modernistic lighting gave the place a rather contemporary feel. An interesting spin for a restaurant serving traditional Indian food.
I couldn’t help but compare this new (relatively) place with Bar Bar Black Sheep at Robertson Quay. Same genre of food, but a totally different kinda ambiance and service level. The quality of food was also marginally better than that of Bar Bar Black Sheep. Serving size was generous and we (4 girls) regretted over-ordering – bill came up to a $100! Thanks for the treat again CS 🙂 Paiseh.
On to the food:
Drinks: Strawberry and Mango Lassi $4/each. This popular yoghurt-based drink is a must-have in all Indian restaurants. Not exactly fantastic here as we heard the waiter muttering something about the strawberry being ‘flavourings’ and not real blended fruits. It was also a little too sweet. I expected more of the sourish tinge to it but was left with a saccharine tongue. That being said, its a great thirst quencher. Just don’t expect the traditional lassi flavour..
Salad: Zaffron salad (non-veg) ($9) Chicken tikka with chopped lettuce dressed in Zaffron’s special dressing topped with cranberries and pistachios. I must say they were really really generous with that ‘special dressing’ and the pistachios. I was a big fan of this dish though the rest were too overwhelmed with the copious amount of dressing mixed into it. (Sorry for the badly taken picture)
Dosai and Tandoori Bread: We had the Paper Dosai ($4.50) and Garlic Naan ($4). HUMONGOUS paper dosai was served. Took up about 70% of our table for 4 . Space constraint aside, we had a great time munching on it. It was one of the crispiest paper dosai I have ever eaten! The Garlic Nann was normal, but one great thing about it was again, their generosity with the garlic bits. I lovee garlic.
Curries: Butter chicken ($14.50)– Chicken Tikka marinated in a delightful yogurt and spice mixture, and simmered in a rich tomato, cashew nuts, butter flavoured gravy accented with dry fenugreek and Paneer Butter Masala – Indian cottage cheese simmered in a tomato, butter and cashew nut gravy that’s flavoured with dried fenugreek leaves. As Sha said: ” I swear there are drugs in there” It was just non-stop – the way we dipped our bits of dosai and naan into the curry mixture. SO addictive. Sha (the picky one) had to throw her serviette onto the plate to effectively stop her from downing more. Nuff said!
Tandoor: Tandoori Mixed Grill ($28) – Chicken Tikka, Malai Tikka, Fish Tikka and Seekh Mutton kebab. It looked really promising, but sadly, turned out to be our least favourite dish. Paying $28 for this wasn’t justifiable (by our standards) and the cook was probably too enthusiastic about the salt that day. My dining partners were all overwhelmed by the saltiness which sadly, gave a bitter tint to the tandoor spices.
Another east-side restaurant that I would re-visit for the dosais, naans, curries (definitely!) and desserts (didn’t get to try it this time). Parking is a little inconvenient (its a Katong thing) though, so public transport might be your best bet.
And no, I don’t think this place has anything to do with a certain Zac Efron.