Verdict: Impeccable service, generous portions. Starters surpass expectations but the main course and dessert are a disappointment in comparison.
Table for 2: Rs 800-1000
Address: 2nd Floor, Phoenix Marketcity, Nagar Road, Viman Nagar (and, West Block, Amanora Town Centre, Magarpatta)
As you step into Zambar, a South Indian specialty restaurant, you will be transcended into the idyllic God’s own country. You could hop aboard a giant houseboat or jump on to a smaller boat that is cut out out to be sofa and irrespective your choice of seating, you will be well taken care of by Zambar’s courteous staff.
Their non-vegetarian platter, has a variety of 5 preparations – Chicken 65, Mangalorean Chicken Ghee Roast, Zambar Pepper Chicken, Kerala Mutton and Andhra Chicken Fry; each of which has subtle yet distinct flavours of the region they belong to. Our favourite is the Mangalorean Chicken Ghee Roast for its rich, succulent flavour and the Chicken 65 because it simply melts in your mouth. The Zambar Pepper Chicken has a subtle yet definite pepper aftertaste, while the Andhra Chicken Fry comes with a spicy, overpowering andhra style sauce. If you’re not a fan of pungent food, try the Kerala Mutton.
For the main course we tried the Mushroom Peralan, the Mamsam Pulusu and the Chicken Stew. What works for the Mushroom Peralan, a typical Syrian Christian preparation is the simplicity of its flavours – the spices are delicate, almost negligible but the flavour of the mushrooms is distinct. It goes well with appams as well as the Kerala parota. The Mamsam Pulusu, which is a tangy Andhra style mutton curry was slightly disappointing as the sourness of the gravy gets slightly monotonous after the first few bites. A little bit of spice could’ve definitely saved the day. A word of advice if you plan to order this one, have it with the parota and not the appam. The Chicken Stew lacked the richness and the flavour of ginger overpowered the preparation.
For dessert we tried the Unnakai which are banana ball fritters which lacked the flavour of banana and although it went well the jaggery syrup that was served alongside, it got too sweet towards the end and failed to work up the magic. If you like to finish off your meal with a cup of filter coffee, we’d suggest you give the one at Zambar a miss and hop a couple floors beneath to Up South (read review here). The one at Zambar is far too milky and definitely overpriced.
All in all, for the size of the portions and the quality, the food at Zambar is reasonably priced and if you’re a fan of the southern spice, it is definitely worth paying a visit to. Their bar is yet to open doors to patrons, till then you’d just have to do with their rasam shots.
Photos by Sahil Khan