Never have I thought that there would be a time when my family and I can’t decide on where to eat while we are in the Joo Chiat area, near I12 Katong. Yeah I know, there is a lot of food there, but I guess, choosing somewhere new to eat is a decision we can hardly settle on. But we love Indian food, so we decided to try this ‘hipster’ Indian restaurant called Zaffron Kitchen.
Now, for those of you who think this is a typical Indian Restaurant, you are wrong… A bar next to the kitchen, first time I have seen that in an Indian Restaurant. But, nevertheless, I ‘have faith’ in them, so many awards stuck to the glass panel at the entrance, seriously??? Anyway, you key in your order on a Ipad with a wooden cover… I don’t know, don’t ask me why is that so, and the food did take quite a while to arrive.
Also, the kitchen is an open concept style, and I distinctly remember the beep of a microwave oven… Not very professional…
Now, on to the food! This is the Garlic Naan ($5.00), a staple of any Indian meal with Curry. It was definitely lacking in Garlic flavour, and it could have been more crispy, doughy would be a good word to describe it.
This is the Briyani ($5.50). The way they serve their rice was unlike other Indian Restaurants I have been to. Normally, they would come around with a bucket of Briyani and would scoop out some on your plate. Here, they just serve it in individual portions, a little stingy I must say. Anyway, the Briyani was tasty, but it was slightly overcooked, mushy and lacking in aroma.
This is the Pilaf Rice ($5.50). I didn’t really care of this… It had little pineapple-flavoured Nata De Coco cubes, which gave the rice a dessert-like taste.
This is the Chicken Tikka ($14.50). Cooked in their Tandoori Oven, it was tender, but not juicy… It also had an odd, pasty Spice coating which I didn’t care for. Ohhh, and you can specify which spice level you want for your dish, we went for normal… And trust me, it was spicy enough!
This is the Fish Tikka ($14.50). It had the same flavour as the Chicken, but I definitely question the quality of fish they use, it was mushy and tasted like frozen fish.
This is the Palak Paneer ($14.50). This is a dish I really enjoy, a smooth Spinach Curry with a Indian Cottage Cheese, a nice non-spicy curry… But, their version wasn’t as smooth as I would have expected, the cheese was also quite tasteless…
This is their Goan Fish Curry ($18.00), normal level spiciness. I guess this is their alternative to Fish Head Curry, something I judge Indian Restaurants very strongly on… And I have to say, their Fish Curry was a disappointment. It was quite thick and tasteless, and their fish tasted like the Fish Tikka, questionable and most probably frozen…
I also tried their Okra Masala ($13.00), normal level spiciness. This is one of the dishes I enjoyed a little more, the Masala was at the right level of spiciness, and the Okra is something I quite like, but it had a slight bitter taste, pointing it to be a little overcooked.
Finally, something to cure spice burn, a Sweet Lassi ($5.50). Lassi is, essentially, a Indian Yoghurt Drink, and for its name, Sweet Lassi, it was quite sour, the drink wasn’t mixed properly I must say… Stir it properly!!!!
In conclusion, yea, as you can probably tell, I didn’t really care for their food, expensive and slightly pretentious. I wouldn’t say this is exactly, representative of Indian food, no… I would leave that to Gayatri and Banana Leaf in Little India to continue battling it out!!!
135/137 East Coast Road