Here’s my rule of thumb every time I go out dining..I tend to shy away from Asian / Indian joints /cuisine / food; simply because I get enough of it every other day at home and the whole purpose of going out (in my opinion) is to ensure you get something different from the everyday mundane options.
But like everything else there are exceptions given the crowd, situation or occasion. My exception tends to be generally when out with folks. That’s when I tend to be less adventurous with the flavor palette and stick more to known cuisine. And Indian / Asian cuisine is back in the equation.
Anywho having said that we are frequent visitors of the Indian place at the Centre point Salmiya. The restaurant earlier was named Jungle ( with questionable jungle décor) but was last year revamped to “ Zafra” to be modeled more of a lounge style casual dining restaurant. It’s a more refined format now with the restaurant housing a Michelin star Chef! ( score) ..We need more of such chefs around.
Anywho, our visit purposes last weekend was for dinner for 4.
For the appetizers we ordered 1 plate of simple papdi chat to be split among 4 of us. This is basically a sweet and sour savory dish. Nothing but thin crackers with some cracker bits with yoghurt and tamarind paste drizzled over it. There was some pomegranate bits sprinkled over this as well. Instead of the bread basket you get a papad basket with different variations of papad. The chef did send over a chef’s complimentary kabab to our table. The Kakab was made of pudina flavor.
For the main course we kept it simple since we didn’t want to over eat. So we ordered 4plain butter Naan and 1 order of butter chicken which was quite a generous portion.
We washed it all down with a bottle of chilled water, 1 fresh orange juice and 1 mango juice.
For the dessert we ordered the dessert platter which I believe should be re labeled as the heavenly platter. The desert platter comes with a bit size portion of 5 desert items from mango kulfi (ice-cream), brownie, Gulab jamun, to dahi ( yoghurt) and a sweet made of cottage cheese ( I forget the name).
Our total bill came to about 17 KD ish which was super reasonable for the amount of food we had.
Now for the verdict
The Good – The ambience, the segregation of the different seating areas and the food selection all this translates to a better dining experience and that’s what would make this place worth a try. It could be for anyone preferring a casual Indian food place not willing to spend so extravagantly as in Asha’s but wanting an expensive environment I believe the makeover was long overdue and it was successful with Zafran. to someone
The Bad – In my opinion (and others could differ), the place is a little pricier in comparison to ordinary Indian restaurants serving similar food. But like I mentioned, you are paying for ambience and such.
The Affordable – The place is definitely affordable despite being slightly on the pricier end but here’s the trick with any slightly pricy restaurant…you know what to order and what not to bother about.
I definitely give the place a thumb up and a “got to try” signal for this weekend.