Saffron Bay gets one of the basic tenets of the restaurant business — location — well, spot on. Located opposite Chowpatty on Marine Drive, there are few better places for an eatery to be in this city. It also has the guts to stand out, in this case, simply by serving non-vegetarian fare — a rarity on this stretch. But the question is: does it put these two advantages to use?
First things first; there’s no elevator to the second-floor restaurant. So if you want to bring your family here, think it through. The decor is psychedelic-meets-Indian. It’s primarily black (from walls to roof to table), with alcoves in neon green, pink and blue, and walls featuring Madhubani art and Ajanta-cave-style prints. Shehnai music was playing when we walked in, but the volume and tempo kept increasing, till at one point, we were speaking loudly over trance music.
The menu features the usual suspects of a Mughlai joint, with some south Indian, Bengali, Goan and Gujarati flavours thrown in. The Rathaloo Chips (sweet potato fries; Rs 160) was a bit dry, but the mayonnaise dip salvaged it. The Sheekh Kabab Lucknowi (minced lamb kebab; Rs 380) was hard to fault. It was sufficiently spicy and not too greasy. The starters raised our expectations, but the main course dashed them. The Murgh Mughlai (chicken in cashew gravy finished with egg; Rs 380), our server promised, would be medium spicy. But what arrived at our table was medium salty. Though chicken is hard to get wrong, we found undercooked bits. We abandoned it halfway and focused on the Maa-ki-Dal (Rs 210), which was just as mum would make it — lots of flavour and
butter. We polished it off with the Reshmi and Methi parathas (Rs 45 each) that were wonderfully flaky.
The view is brilliant. Make sure you ask for the sea-facing table. The staff is courteous, but the food is unpredictable. Though at the price we paid, we expected more than just good parathas.
What: Saffron Bay
where: 39B, Chowpatty Seaface,
Call: 2369 6992
What’s on the menu: Mughlai cuisine and some regional dishes
What we like:The view, the staff And The parathas
we don’t like:Tasteless main course