Friday, December 23, 2011

Zambar at Ambi Mall, Gurgaon

A couple of months ago on Onam, a good friend of mine, who is originally from Kerala invited me to a traditional Onam feast at her place. Having never been to one of these before, I didn’t quite know what to expect, though knowing her, I knew the food would be great. What amazed me was the huge spread she had put up. The sheer number of dishes on the table was mind-boggling. It made me realize how little I know about south Indian cooking. Most of the South Indian restaurants I had ever been to were basically Sagar Ratna duplicates with the same menu of dosas, uttapams, idlis, vadas, and a couple of other similar stuff we’ve all had a thousand times. Of course, it’s not that I don’t find that yummy. I do, but the lack of variety in a typical Sagar Ratna menu has meant that I have been quite ignorant of the range of amazing dishes that South Indian cuisine has to offer.
After the Onam feast that afternoon, I got lucky once again because I discovered a place called Zambar in Ambience Mall in Gurgaon. Thanks to them, I don’t have to wait till my friend invites me again if I want to satisfy my craving for great coastal food. I’ve been there several times now and just love everything about it. The first thing I like is the way it’s done up. It looks and behaves like a good, fine-dining restaurant. The ambience is lovely, they use very nice crockery, they put in visible effort to plate and present their food beautifully, and they even have a fairly long alcohol menu. I’ve never seen an alcohol menu at a South Indian restaurant before!

The most important thing, of course, is the food. There are a lot of options to choose from and all the ones I’ve tasted have turned out to be very nice. My favourite there is the appam and stew. My husband’s is the King fish fry. My kids haven’t broken out of the Sagar Ratna mould yet and insist on their plain dosas, which is a challenge because Zambar only has dosas and idlis on their snacks menu, which they serve from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. So, we’ve literally had to beg the waiters there to break that rule and give us just one dosa between the two kids so we can enjoy our wine and our meal in peace. Luckily, the restaurant staff has been very cooperative…maybe they all have kids too and know how valuable that quiet time at the dinner table can be!
The downside, if any, of Zambar is that it is expensive. A meal for two with a glass of wine each will cost you around Rs. 2500, on average. Of course, this will go up by a fair bit if you order some of the expensive fish or prawn dishes. So, I guess you can’t really go there terribly often – not as often as Coco Palm or Sagar Ratna (or my friend’s place!), but it’s definitely a great option for those evenings when you want to eat something different, comforting, and yummy in a pampered environment.

Note: This article originally appeared on merinews.


Anonymous said...

This is wonderful info.. Keep posting dude

Faridur R Choudhury said...

You might also like to try Swagath. Its owned by the same Sagar Ratna group but serves delicious non-vegetarian fare which includes Malabari and Goan. They have outlets in Defence Colony, Sec 18 Noida and Sec 20 Gurgaon (near the Bikanerwala)

Arunav said...

well...its Zambar...and not zambhar...( considering , its south Indian I keep wondering why they omitted the H....:))

Living in Gurgaon said...

Thanks, Arunav! Fixed:-)

Reality Bites said...

I can't agree with this review. I have been to Zambar and find their food quite average. Their serving time is too long. And the price is exhorbitant like you said.