I think Indian’s the kind of food I don’t have very often in Manila. My household’s attempt to cook good Indian food always ends up in dissatisfaction. Yup, my brave attempt at Lamb Rogan Josh one time resulted in utter failure and a waste of good meat. So when my Tita asked me if I wanted Indian or Din Tai Fung, I decided to take on her offer for some good Indian food. Zaffron Kitchen doesn’t look like your typical Indian restaurant, the interiors were laid-back European with a hint of NYC loft at the same time.
Exposed red brick and a clever arrangement of desk lamps. Sorry, I thought this place looked cool. Will talk food now.
We were welcomed with these clip-board menus. There was a short intro to Zaffron but the gem I discovered in this S$15-S$45 menu is that at the very back they serve affordable weekday lunch sets. I thought of getting either the Butter Chicken Set or the Mutton Rogan Josh but the mutton won me over.
We had some Garlic Butter Naan before the food came along. This tasted best though when I dipped it in the rich curry sauce and when this green round of awesome came.
Introducing Palak Paneer (SG$13), a popular vegetarian dish with square chunks of Indian cottage cheese on a generous bed of spinach gravy. Wow. This was so rich I can’t even describe how this tasted but my god, seriously order this if you haven’t tasted amazing. You could fool yourself into thinking this is healthy or whatever but it probably isn’t, the spinach was a full, creamy and good enough to eat even without the cheese.
My Tita also ordered the Fish Tikka which consisted of 5 pieces of grilled dory and a spicy green sauce. I don’t know what the sauce is made of exactly but it felt like guac with a bit of a nasal kick. I’m accustomed to Chicken Tikka but fish is a welcome alternative if you’re a) feeling healthy or b) too lazy to chew. Yummy though, I think when eating Indian, Tikka might be the safest dish to order. Flavors aren’t ever too overpowering.
Compared to the rest of the menu, the Mutton Rogan Josh Lunch Set was a steal at SG$13.90. It came with a drink, I picked the Iced Limau/Lemonade and plain naan bread, curry sauce, papadum, rice and the Rogan Josh.
A closer look! I think overall, this was good but I think the Rogan Josh could’ve afforded to be more tender. I think a few minutes in the pressure cooker would’ve done the trick. The sauce was great though and it tasted like it had a bajillion spices with is always a good thing for Indian in my book. The rice was perfect and I thought the fried onions on top were a great touch. I do love my onions. Papadum, I believe, is Kropek’s slimmer and more awesome younger brother. I’d take this anorexic, super crispy version any day. The set was good and all but I feel like this review would’ve been stellar if I ordered the Butter Chicken instead, can’t ever go wrong with that.
This restaurant was pretty huge. I mean, look, they even have a play house area thing for the kiddos.
Zaffron Kitchen currently has one branch along East Coast Road but according to the one who served us, there are talks of it opening another in Vivo City. I wanted to check out Awfully Chocolate which was a cute boutique right next to it but I was too full for dessert. The chocolate truffles there resembled the Royce Nama so I’m curious to try some next time I’m there.
137 East Coast Road,
+65 6440 6786