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ZAMBAR

There are good restaurants and there are great restaurants. Zambar is a great South Indian specialty restaurant. When it opened at DLF Cyber Hub it quickly lighted its path as a favorite and it's really because the painstakingly researched comprehensive menu by Chef Arun Kumar from Kerala features specialties from Pondicherry and Goa, Maharashtra and Bengal that has dazzled people's palates! Walking in, we immediately fell in love with the décor. Inspired from the Chettiyar houses in Tamil Nadu.. the colourful interiors and exteriors of the restaurant spread across 1900 sq ft with indoor and outdoor seating is a neat blend of traditional and modern ideation yet simple; the open show kitchen as a backdrop makes for a great display and we got hungrier as we savoured the delicacies made right before our eyes. Once seated, Chef Arun noted our preferences and made a few suggestions. 

 

We ordered 'Suriani Chicken Soup' to kickstart the culinary journey. The Syrian Christian home-style soup stimulated and refreshed our taste buds. The chef then sent out 'Kerala Chai Kada Chilli Chicken' [Kerala tea shop version of chilli chicken] and 'Mutton Kola Urundu' [mutton mince balls spiced up and flash fried].. 'Andhra Chicken Vepedu' [chicken coated with Andhra spices] and 'Batata Malige' [potato wedges in Konkan spices]. Aside from the appealing presentation these dishes were some of the tastiest I've had in years: the chilli chicken was a dream as I savoured mouthful after mouthful of the spicy chicken dish. It was masterful.. I don't know how they did it but it registered as a totally new chilli chicken experience demonstrating that great spices can do amazing things! We couldn't wait to get to the entrées. 'Achamma's Lamb Curry' gave us a taste of the Grandma's Recipe with lamb cubes simmered in coconut curry and spices. This was a completely joyful dish which didn't overstuff. After all we needed room for 'Sali Botti with pav' and 'Coastal Chicken Biriyani' prepared in the Malabar Meplah style. Bliss! 

 

It's really a thrill to see so much enthusiasm and talent assembled behind the showcase window.. the kitchen team spearheaded by Chef Arun are pros with the world at their feet! Though we were stuffed to the brim the chef said our meal would be incomplete without their signature dessert: 'Coconut Jaggery Pudding'. The steamed South Indian soufflé is an ingenious dessert presentation since it appeals to nearly everyone's cravings.  Wrapping up the meal with delicious filter coffee.. I promised the chef I would be back for the seafood specialties. A few must-try dishes are 'Chettinad Prawn Thokku' and 'Mangalore Crab Masala'.. 'Chettinad Lobster Kari' and 'Mahaballipuram Shark Puttu'.. 'Kerala Fish Fry' and 'South Indian Calamari'. Thalis and tailor-made platters are also available on request. Proprietor Amit Burman is no stranger to the culinary business and he brings a wealth of knowledge and customer service skills.. communication talent and business savvy to Zambar. The team exemplifies what's required to create a successful synergistic relationship.. everyone has a strength to add so that the whole is absolutely stronger than any of its parts. I look forward to revisiting many times in the future. Until then bon appétit!

— JASMEEN DUGAL

 
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