|Executive Chef Sandeep Kalra|
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Traditional recipes are masterpieces like art created by Picasso and Van Gouge wherein even a slightest of change made, could destroy them. It is a rich heritage we have inherited, and I firmly believe that no mixture or as people call it ‘fusion’ will ever measure up to what we call ‘authentic cuisine’. No person who values heritage will ever tell you to sell his family heirlooms. That said, times are changing and people are inventing new ways to get rid of the old. But is it necessary? Well I would say fusion if married well is a sure shot winner but can be confusion if isn’t done the right way. Fusion is good unless people don’t use it as an excuse to mix ridiculous ingredients, charge double the prices and upset customers.
To me eating is joy of life, which ancient traditions and practices have enriched, pampered and protected to make them what they are today. Hence when I got an invite to try out secret recipes by celebrated Chef Izzat Husain at Saffron, how could I have ever miss a chance to experience the magnificence of the royal kitchens of Awadh as he recreated treasured Indian classics like the Kakori Kebabs, Gosht Yakhni Pulao, Zaffrani Nehari and Baqakhani? For those who do not know Chef Izzat Husain has been taking Awadhi cuisine across the globe. A hard working food enthusiast, he has spent several years to search and revive authentic recipes of Mughlai, Awadhi & Lakhnawi cuisine and has left no stone unturned to learn the cooking techniques it from a royal kitchen khansama or a home cook.
Coming to my experience, Just stepping into Saffron made me feel like royalty as my table was replete with a table reserved with my name tag on it! The food is neither fussy nor complicated, but hugely tasty, with very generous portions. I tried a mix of the regular menu at ‘Saffron’ coupled with some dishes from ‘Rivaayat’ which Executive Chef Sandeep Kalra specially curated for me. The piece de resistance for me was the melt in the mouth ‘Kakori kebab’ For me the benchmark of a good Indian restaurant is its ‘Biryani’ and here I found an ancient recipe that has faded from the memory of the world rediscovered in this rare Biryani eating experience, the multifaceted identity of the Nizam’s preserved in its original form.The dessert menu was a whirlwind of flavours, as for me, after a delicious meal the ‘Paan Ice-cream’ was a fitting and soothing ending. I guess I’ll need to make another trip to do justice to the entire menu. Attention to detail is clearly a valued premise at Saffron. The restaurant is a balmy strip of foodie fun and a meal of Rivaayat dishes adds a measure of gustatory refinement. Truly I enjoyed here not just a cuisine, but an experience that goes beyond mere satisfaction of appetite to the realm of sensuality! Trust me being here is reason enough; soaking in the colonial grandeur of an elegant era while enjoying a selection of viands well beyond reproach!!
Saffron, Trident Gurgaon, 443, Udyog Vihar, Phase V, Gurgaon 122 016.
Tel: 0124 412 4307
Timings: Lunch - 12:30pm - 3:00 pm. Dinner - 7:30 pm to 11:30 pm.