Is there anything better than a spicy dish on a cold night?
Located at Harbourside, Darling Harbour, Zaaffran boasts one of the best views in Sydney, overlooking the harbour in all its darling charm. Enjoy the city lights from a table on the balcony, or inside with an aroma of Indian spices, a teaser for what’s to come.
Spicy Prawn Spoon
We began with a spicy prawn spoon, pleasantly plump and juicy with a great aromatic flavour.
Gilafi Seekh Kebab
Big spice in a small Gilafi Seekh kebab of minced lamb; with sliced beef spare ribs and tempered potatoes. Beef so soft and potatoes so succulent. I wanted a main size serving of just this, please.
An open canapé of potato, date-tamarind and mint chutney, on a flour crisp.
Gol Guppa Shot
Woah. Careful when you drink (skol) the chilli and mint water, as though the mini poori filled with spiced potato doesn’t pack enough punch. It does, just to be clear.
These little rolls of cottage cheese served with tomato chutney were light and utterly delightful.
Zaaffran Partner and Chef Vikrant Kapoor described this dish as a “symphony of vegetarian appetisers”, a colourful symphony of Eggplant Nirali, Beetroot Gilaavat and Corn Cakes with scallion. The seamless combination of traditional Indian spices on the fresh Australian ingredients of beetroot and avocado was fantastic.
This Zaaffran sampler included a chilli garlic glazed Salmon, coriander-mint smoked King Prawn (so much mint it’s green), curry leaf grilled Chicken Tenderloin and my favourite, a crusted barramundi and grain mustard. The Barra is marinated with garlic, ginger, red chilli, tamarind and coriander, semolina crusted and fried crisp. Every intricate detail on the plate was executed with care, and the spices subtle and well balanced.
Slow Cooked Lamb Shank
Slow cooked lamb shank that fell right off the bone, saturated in a tasty spiced jus on a bed of potato mash, this dish was the absolute heart and soul of our menu.
Is it a pie? Some sort of quiche? Break through the flaky pastry and it’s chicken dum biryani like you’ve never seen before. Dig a little deeper to find the chicken with barista, garam masala, mint and saffron. Fun fact: saffron (after which Zaaffran was named) is the most valuable spice in the world!
An assortment of freshly baked naans, buttered, cheese and Zaaffran’s signature mushroom and garlic naan. Raspberry and Mango Sorbet
This was light and uber refreshing. A brilliant palate cleanser from all the strong savoury flavours.
Rose Brulee & Zauk-e-shahi
Zauk-e-shahi, a milk dumpling with saffron and cardamom; and, Creme Brulee flavoured with rose and cardamom. The essence of rose in the brulee is delicious, distinct yet not over powering.
It’s not hard to see why Zaaffran was recently awarded two hats in the 2015 Gault & Millau Australian Guide. It doesn’t pretend to be traditional; it’s contemporary Indian fine dining. The food is presented beautifully, the waiters are well informed, and while the dishes may be unconventional, the flavours are undeniably Indian.
Contributed by Lae, who dined as a guest on behalf of 2 Hungry Guys