Saffron – J W Marriott – A place that we had never ever been, in spite of being a member for the past so many years.
J W Marriott is one of our most favourite places to go for breakfast and dinner/buffet. Over the past couple of years, we have been meaning to visit Saffron and in fact would end up booking also a couple of times, but upon reaching there, would always end up looking at the place, and get disheartened with just an odd table being occupied and the menu.
Last November, we had a party here and Chef Himanshu had been extremely kind to share some starters which were the hightlight of the evening. And so it was decided to flip a coin to decide amongst Sofitel (Tuskers/Jyran) vs Marriott (Saffron) to flag off my daughter’s birthday. Yes she is an adult, but celebrates a week of her birthday more or less. A couple of tweets and I had Chef Himanshu insisting that we visit the Marriott, which also happened to my daughter’s choice. Made a booking, ordered the cake and we were set so to speak.
I have had a birthday experience, which was brilliantly recovered but it still is remembered. Reaching there, the flawless service I remember & love Marriott for was in evidence – reservations, corner quiet table done, menu presented, drinks order taken – frozen Margarita for me and virgin Mojitos for the ladies.
Looking at the menu, I saw some changes, most importantly the Tasting Menu – this seems to now slowly being introduced by Fine Dine restaurants and I can see it being well received. Our server was pleased and explained it as ‘Buffet on the Table’ He quickly laid out some crisp – non blackened papad rolls – (Yes I do judge a restaurant on the quality of papads) with green and mint chutney, both were superb.
In just a couple of minutes the train began – Kebabs – chicken & mutton – Gilawati Kebab ruled – one of the best that I have tasted; friends who know their meat well, have always shared that the Gilawati has to be crisp and tender, a difficult task for many to achieve, but superbly made. In fact one of my friends who had tasted this in November, has been insisting that we visit only for the kebabs.
The veg was as good, in fact the mushroom – Khumbh ki Gilawat was extremely well received, particularly by my wife who normally avoids mushroom.
The drinks had to be reminded, Mojitos came, but I was still parched for my Margarita – and I normally like to drink it before I eat my meat. It finally came, a bit melted with less salt at the top then I normally like AND very little Tequila by my & Marriott standards – And yes I have had it many a times and always perfectly made.
And suddenly the Man himself Chef Himanshu made an entrance taking out time from his busy schedule, to meet us and wish my daughter. A quick chat and he was off to some other crisis, promising to come back.
But Hey, What’s a drink, whilst everything was going fine and we were having a good time. Stuffed with starters, I would have loved to just continue with them. But our Server gave a stare, and telling me that there is some lovely fish. The Main course covered chicken, meat and fish with of course Dal which was lovely, can be had with just the warqi paratha.I also tried out the Pindi chhole, and my wife said it was as good as a couple of our favorite places.
Stuffed to the gills, Biryani time – “Biryani ho toh Mutton ki, ya na ho” seems to have been taken to heart at Saffron. I had to actually beg that I not be served mutton pieces, but just the rice with the gravy. Tried it, the fragrance of the rice with the mutton was superb (And No I cannot wax eloquent any more ;)).
The ladies loved the veg biryani (yes I know what is written above) with the lovely raita.
Again a lightening visit by Chef Himanshu to inform that there was a special cake besides the one reserved. The staff including Sudip the F&B Manager brought it out, sang along and we had a bite; though not my daughter because she is off sweets & hence does not touch. She asked the staff to please have a piece and also all who were on duty at that time. But they insisted that I try out the Shahi Tukda.
AND then the surprise, my voucher, membership card was returned to me, with compliments of Chef Himanshu and Marriott, telling us to use it next time around. NO it had nothing to do with any experience or so, but an invite that had been pending for a long time. We were completely blown away with the thought.
We did take photographs, but were enjoying so much that, the food photographs may not be superb, but then I am not a Photographer in any case.