Golden tablecloths bloom with vases of cut flowers as petal-like fans whir overhead. Their regal hue symbolizes one of Zaroka Bar & Restaurant's guiding principles: that guests are akin to royalty. Inside the dining room, traditional Indian meals unfold amid ornately carved picture frames, vibrant music, and colorful conversations. To explore India's nooks and crannies, chefs craft dishes from far-flung regions such as Punjab, Gujarat, and Bengal. House specialties range from spiced chicken kebabs baked in a clay oven to curried shrimp simmered in a coconut pot. The kitchen also prepares an array of vegetarian dishes, such as savory garlic naan and three types of lentil dal. An ideal dessert or palate cleanser, the rosewater lassi teems with sweet, floral hints, like a game of charades with a potpourri sachet.
Glowing sconces line the crimson and cream walls inside Namaste India, where traditional Indian dishes adorn linen-topped tables and fill the air with spiced aromas. Marinated lamb, chicken, and seafood slumber inside a clay tandoor oven until they're mildly smoky and tender throughout, while other proteins and vegetables steep in rich curry sauces, aptly scooped up with fresh-baked naan bread or ladled over delicate basmati rice. Patrons can wash down meals with sweet, salted, or mango-flavored lassi drinks, or snatch a classic dessert such as gulab jamun—deep-fried milk dumplings that are soaked in syrup and delivered to tables via an air gun.
After the chefs cook lamb and chicken kebabs in a clay pot, they send them to diners? table in a grand fashion: The morsels of meat sizzle and hiss atop hot iron plates right before guests' eyes. Bangalore Restaurant & Bar treats guests to classic Indian dishes, including nearly two dozen vegetarian options and the chef?s special lobster simmered in a creamy onion cashew sauce. A daily buffet bestows diners with an array of marinated chicken and lamb chops.
The chefs at Saffron Place take spices seriously. Drawing on shelves of cumin, curry, fresh ginger, and garlic, they craft each dish individually to account for each person's preferred level of spiciness, be it mild to smoking hot. The individual preparation of each order ensures that their traditional north Indian and Bengali dishes arrive at tables still steaming from the stove or easily startled dragons. Servers carry goat curry, chicken tikka masala, and vegetarian platters to tables or customers waiting for takeout orders.
The chefs at Masala rain Indian and Nepali seasonings down upon succulent meats slow-cooked inside a tandoor clay oven and simmered veggies flooded with sauce. Divided into two, Masala’s menu features Indian favorites such as curries, skewered lamb cubes, and 13 types of Indian bread, including hand-stretched garlic naan, as well as Nepali dishes such as mo-mo cha steamed dumplings filled with veggies or chicken. Within the eatery’s yellow-hued walls, a full bar cohabitates with a daily lunch buffet, which arranges tasty eats in a row, like a police lineup of the California Raisins.
Chicken entrees at Mumbai Times traverse both familiar and foreign territory. There's the ubiquitous chicken tikka masala, but also chicken chutneywala, prepped with curried mango and mint, and chicken makmura, a traditional Calcutta Jewish dish with almonds and raisins. Yet, the chefs ensure that the chicken's origins are far from unknown?any chicken dish can be made with free-range, on-the-bone poultry for a small fee.
In fact, free-range chicken grilled in the tandoori oven is a chef's specialty. It's but one of many dishes on a menu that spans India's northern and southern regions. To complement mainstays of vindaloo and rogan josh, the list boasts zesty kebabs and exotic sauces, such as the coconut tamarind variant found in the goan fish curry. An expansive vegetarian segment features bindi masala sasuralwali, or, as the accompanying text puts it, "okra you would eat at your in-laws' house."
For those who'd rather scope out their food in advance, a weekday lunch or weekend brunch buffet that takes place beyond the restaurant's mosaic archways hosts a sprawl of platters. The lunch buffet includes a glass of wine, whereas the brunch buffet comes with champagne, a better fizzy morning drink than seltzer coffee.