The Saffron Tree brings back those lost dishes once relished by the various nawabs in our country. Every dish in the menu is prepared with abundance of research, knowledge and heritage. It was an honor for PanchPhoron bloggers to get invited for exploring through this culinary alleys of history.
Before deep diving through the pages of history why not take sip of some exemplary mocktails from the bar like Mango Tango, Melon Surprise and Green Apple Mojito.
In starters, we tried some rare and exotic starters from the houses of nawabs and nizams. From the kitchen of Nawab of Lucknow we had Litchi Ke Kebab, originated from Muzzafarpuri litchis. Extravagant Nizams of Hyderabad challenged his court and thus invented a chicken stuffed kebab wrapped in a paan (beetle leaf) known as Paan Aur Gosth ki Tootak. The fish loving Nawab Begum of Bhopal asked her royal cooks to infuse sweetness of mangoes balanced with the spiciness of kebab, so we have Macchli Aur Aam Papad ki Kebab. Who could have ever thought to have kebabs in these form?
Chef Sambit also introduces in his menu some contemporary cuisines only available in his kitchen. Kataifi Achari Prawns is fresh jumbo pickled prawns baked with vermicelli pastry wrap. Crab Meat ki Galawat prepared with delicate crab flesh sourced from the Sunderban and served with cream cheese in mathri cones. This is a pure bliss.
In Kolkata, if your Mughlai menu does not reflect biryani then its a heinous crime. Have you heard about pork biryani? First time encountered with their signature creation TST Special Pork Biryani. The long grain rices mixed with aromatic spices cooked to perfection with boneless pork loins. What a dish for pork and biryani lovers like us. To enjoy the delicateness and novelty of safaida (almost white colour biryani) we also had Hyderabadi Murg Sofiana. The white colour and richness in taste is due to usage of almond paste and milk instead of saffron. To respect the local palate potato and egg also found its place in biryani. The Saffron Tree has also ticked this box with flying colours.
With biryani one cannot miss the salan in the offering. The rare curries are the amalgamation of research and ethnicity. From the royal taste buds of Nizams of Hyderabad chicken minced preparation Murg ki Khagina to another modern take of keema matar with bacon and pork shoulder minced meat preparation Smoked Bacon Keema Matar.
Do not think to get up from table yet without trying their classic desserts but again with introduction of molecular gastronomy. Phirni Crème Brûlée is the sweet pudding but velvety soft, torched with brown sugar for the crispy caramelized topping. Lastly the most delicate, difficult and subtle dish prepared by the house is Nimish. The lost recipe of hand churned creamy, milk froth garnished with saffron, which will make you feel like you are eating soft fluffy clouds with every spoon.
Le Cordon Bleu gives this city Chef Sambit Banik who spent laborious 18 months in researching the roots of all the menu dishes and making it just the way how it should be with precise proportion of spice, authenticity retained in preparation but served with a twist where history meets contemporary. The chef ensures to speak with every guests dining in his restaurant and telling amazing historical culinary facts. One may think which is more fascinating if chef’s amazing story telling behind each preparation or his culinary wizardry.
Bro Tip: Must try Crab Meat ki Galawat, Macchli Aur Aam Papad ki Kebab, TST Special Pork Biryani and Nimish
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