Review: Saffron Bay – A Twisted Indian

You need to prepare yourself for dinner at an Indian restaurant- make sure to develop a good appetite, be ready for a heavy meal and a spiced night. We knew Saffron Bay would fall in that category, and we were ready to face the pangs of hunger with all our might, knowing the restaurant would come to our rescue. Located in the hustling road of Chowpatty, where people gather like free food is being served, Saffron Bay can be spotted through its blue/red lighting glowing through the windows of the 2nd floor. The restaurant is not too big but has a banquet section on the 1st floor for bigger groups or parties. We were told a new lounge bar will be opening soon on the terrace, but more on that later. Our evening started with a chat with their Brazilian bartender who loves blending Indian spices with fresh fruits and creating a drink that is unique and Indianized. And his excitement was seen in the Anarkalini, a vodka based drink made with fresh pomegranate, passion fruit, mint and a hint of spice. The Whiskey Sling too was a heady mix of cherry brandy, Cointreau, whisky and pineapple juice that was fruity with a hard punch of alcohol. The drinks sure left a bittersweet symphony on our tongues that bettered our wait for the starters.

The menu consists of soups, salads, starters, mains and desserts, all of which have one thing in common- a contemporary twist to the traditional recipe. For example, our first dish, the Broccoli Gulbahar that is marinated in yogurt and fresh spices is topped with mozzarella. Who would’ve thought ordering tandoori broccoli with cheese would be a decision well made! Because the greens were so brilliant, our hopes rose when the Surmai Steak reached our table. Seasoned with ginger garlic green chilli, lime grilled on a bed of grilled tomatoes and eggplant, this one sounded more interesting than it tasted. The paste was thick and dry and the fish, chewy. Next up was the Bakarkani Barra, char grilled chicken stuffed in bakar naan, served with dry plum sauce; an absolutely delectable dish that had bags of flavour inside soft bread.

The portions are quite filling for two people, so a break between the mains and starters is advisable provided you try another one of their Indian cocktails – perhaps a white wine Sangria with coriander in it? We decided to try their Kotambhir Gosht and were pleased with the softness of the meat. The Kombi Chi Kalwani that is chicken in dry coconut and malwani masala was also flavoursome and recommended for the Indian cuisine lover. The dal makhani was one of the best we’ve tried at an Indian restaurant. With so much on our platter and hardly any room for more, dessert was going to be missed but we were convinced to try their Ras Malai which is a melt-in-your-mouth moment you don’t want to miss. Skip one starter but definitely go for the dessert!

We were happy this wasn’t another butter chicken and roti experience and had more innovation to it than your regular Indian restaurant. A twisted meal of conventional and modern mixes, Saffron Bay has set good standards to start with, if you like to experiment with cuisines.

A meal for two would cost approximately Rs. 2,500 with two drinks.

Address: Revival Building, 39B Chowpatty Sea-face, next to Café Coffee Day, Marine Drive, Mumbai

Contact Number: 022 23696991

- Sneha Mankani

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