Friday, March 21, 2014


The true spectrum of south Indian cuisine and the neighbouring coast at Zambar goes far wider than the generic Idly, Dosa and Uppittu one runs into in everyday life

No other restaurant in the capital can be credited with creating mass appeal for South Indian Coastal fare as Zambar has which seems to hold true for their brand new outlet at the hot and happening Cyber hub. The interiors influenced from the Chettiyar houses in Tamil Nadu are carefully unbiased, attempting to convey the essence of the traditional South yet with modern essentials without getting too hung up on specific cultures. Simple, ornate and colourful with movie posters and lamps, this Cyber hub outlet is sensibly comfortable without being superbly posh or unnervingly opulent. 
The food, in keeping with the décor, is delicious and thankfully they are being quite obsessive about ingredients, every dish has a distinctive flavour, which is quite a treat in these days of ‘one spice fits all.’ Although they serve intimidatingly large thalis too, I would recommend the variety to be sampled slowly and go the a la carte route and would suggest approaching the food like a tourist, slow and steady through all the four states since every cuisine is so defiantly individual. The highlights are the Kerela tenderloin fry, teamed with appam or even steamed rice is decadent to the core. Also the spicy stuffed Coastal Andhra Mirchi Salan redolent with peanuts, cumin and sesame flavours. Then there is the Konkan fish curry, designed to go beautifully with steaming rice. There is also a Kerela chai kada (tea shop) chilli chicken, though with all the spice and frying it is overly satiating given the fact that it is rather heavy to begin with. If you are feeling more indulgent try the scalding chettinad chicken that teams superbly well with their signature Malabar Parottas, which are simultaneous crisp, flaky and fluffy. To end on a sweet note I would suggest their gorgeous Malabar pancakes laced with cardamom, with fudgy, flamboyant flavours. And yes the Coconut jaggery pudding which is soufflé inspired is out of this world. All in the restaurant is a celebration of South India’s varied cuisine with some dishes like the Goan Cafreal, Parsi Mutton with Mumbai bread and Bengali Kosha Mangsho from the neighboring coast. The service is friendly and quick. 
Chef Arun Kumar
Chef Arun Kumar’s master stroke is his ability to take well-loved traditions and recipes from the coast, and present them with flair. For epicureans this is a restaurant not to be missed and for those new to this cuisine, there is no better introduction with a nice ambience to match.

Zambar, Ground Floor, DLF Cyber city, CyberHub Gurgaon
Average cost for a meal for two: Rs. 1000/-
Timings: 12:00pm (noon) to 11:30pm
Credit Cards accepted: Mastercard, Visa, and Amex
Liquor License: Applied for

Take away / Home delivery: Yes

published in Statesman