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Sitaram Building, & 1st Floor, Block No B, Dr. Dadabhai Naoroji Marg, Crawford Market, Mumbai 400001, MH

+91-22-23442690, +91-22-23401976, +91-22-23459000, +91-22-23479065

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Hukkahs Under Howrah
Nov 02, 2005 04:13 PM 3962 Views
(Updated Dec 05, 2005 01:30 AM)

Food and Presentation:


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Value for Money:

HUKKAHS UNDER HOWRAH.... huh???? what am I talking about, well I think by the end of this review you would probably have an idea.

Zaffran, I kept driving past this restaurant for over a year now and always saw people waiting outside even after the clock struck 12am. Well, whats the big fuss about, I thought to myself, and as the name suggest, one would expect a lot of moghlai and peshawari dishes, since I dont fancy such food, I decided to give Zaffran a shot on a hot Tuesday afternoon.

To begin with parking is definitely an ordeal and the best place to park would be in the security of your own building and hop into a taxi to get there. Once there, you are welcomed by the ever smiling bellboy. Apparently they have additional sitting on ground level, but the bell boy was more than eager to wisk us to the mezzanine floor. They even have some sort of a lounge cafe on a higher level but is operational only in the evenings I guess, this I realized through personal experience as I decided to venture to this level and caught a glimpse of a surprised old man sewing a curtain amidst a few Hukkahs that were strewn around...any affiliations to Zarapkar's In Dadar.... just kiddin.

Anyways, lets talk about Zaffran, well the mezzanine floor is a dingy little area with around 30 pax in capacity all sardined inside it. Incase, you're planning on having a romantic dinner where u would want to indulge in some pillow talk or a business meet to discuss a merger, you may safely strike this place out or you may end up having the entire restaurant know about your intentions after your meal. I decided to start by having some chicken shorba, which I must confess was quite good.

Since this is one of the few places that one can have a fusion of various cuisines, especially Bengali and for those of you wondering how this is possible, apparently Howrah - the Bengali restaurant which sits at the side of this place and I presume is run by the same people offers u a chance to try out anything from their menu even while you are at Zaffran. So I decided to order some Fish and Prawns from Bengal and some Chicken from the middle east and although most of Zaffran's menu looks like english extracts from some Urdu cookery book, the food I must say was good. I generally do not like to include recommendations on what to eat, as I trust that each one has their individual taste and would like to experiment. Infact when critics recommend dishes from various restaurants, I sometimes wonder if they had a chance to taste all the dishes on a menu before they come to a conclusion.

Anyways, the ambience is good and the music definitely takes you to a scene from arabian nights, the decor is simple but striking, especially the art hung on the walls is worth a mention. The service is slow but good, however, I think its good because they have more stewards then customers, dont get me wrong here, not that Im on some downsizing spree, Im sure all of them are overworked in the evening but during the afternoon there just does'nt seem to be any work around as a result, they just stand behind you in a firing line formation and keep staring into space and before you can say ''Jack'' you have the handy man at your side ready to take your order. I think the place could do with maybe a manager doing the rounds inside the dining area and the service left to the stewards, as this way they would only have two or at the most three servers doing the rounds.

The food is priced keeping the conscious spender in mind and a meal for two should make your wallet lighter by a thousand rupees. The place boast of serving food right until the wee hours of the morning, so for all you late nighters, you mind want to give Bade Miya's a rest and try this one out.

All in all, I would give the place a 5/10 and with so many cuisines, It definitely feels likes puffing Hukkah's under the Howrah bridge.

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Zaffran - Crawford Market - Mumbai