The ambience at JW Marriot Juhu always spells grand and classy. At Saffron, the Indian and Awadhi specialty restaurant at JW Marriot, the grandeur and class merges with tradition and completely Nawabi tastes giving birth to Riwaz – a concept that brings back the long forgotten and classiest, tastiest regal dishes to the dining table.
The protagonist of this food story is Chef Shahnawaz Qureshi, Sous Chef at Saffron. His family is one which has plenty of secrets of the culinary kind. Treasured recipes which found their way into the Saffron dining table after 200 years!
With appetite going on an overdrive at the very thought of Nawabi delicacies, I sat nursing my Saffron flovoured Gin & Tonic (try it – gives a whole new twist to the regular mundane drink) at the “Taste The Tradition” dinner. Rows of pickles and heaps of spices gave me plenty to peep into. Amuse Bouche was brought to the table – Pani Puri with a twist which was rather difficult to get into one’s mouth; I prefer a regular puri which fits into my mouth.
And then they arrived – the most tender Kakori Kebabs I had ever tasted. I was in seventh Heaven – the kebabs were made with the finest quality mutton mince and some khoya had been added to it making it even more juicy and tender. The Murg Ke Parche was wonderfully spiced with black pepper and garam masala which was quite different from the regular ones. Then there was the Pasanda Kebab – that it was spiced just right goes without saying; what needs a mention is the quality of meat served – it was top of the the line, the best cut with little bit of fat on it which added to the texture and taste.
Giving the Bharwaan Mewe Paneer and Khubani Aloo a miss, I dived into the main course – the fragrance emanating from the Raan and Nihari Gosht was unbelievably appetizing. The Raan looked just the way a raan should – unfortunately for my over-salivating tongue, the mutton was a tad overcooked thus drying it out. The Nihari Gosht was flawless – perfectly succulent and perfect balance of spices – the amazing flavours had me craving for more but wisdom dictated that I try the Murgh Musallam too. If food flavours can act as a system of teleportation, I’d be in a palace in Lucknow, such were the flavours! The Hara Masala Bater didn’t work too well for me as I am not truly fond of quail. Having already over-eaten, I watched the Kachhe Kele Ki Sabzi, Khatti Arbi & Dal Qureshi being served. The Khichda was wonderfully full of flagrance & I couldn’t resist trying out a few spoonfuls – absolutely divine!
Do ask for a Saffron infused Vodka with Pineapple Juice and flavour of Elaichi to wash it all down when you are at Saffron, its quite unlike any other cocktail, delicious if one is fond of the elaichi-saffron combination.
All good intentions of staying off sweets vanished at the sight of what Saffron calls Sweet Gold Platter – a visual extravagaza of a variety of gilded chocolate treats. This is a must try – your eyes and taste buds will say a huge thank you. I couldn’t resist the Shahi Tukda too and wished I had room for more.
There was only one way to bring the dining experience to a close, that is with a very traditional paan which was nicely laid out on a platter. As I sat relishing the paan, Chef Shahnawaz regaled us with insights into Awadhi cuisine.
The cuisine, the menu, the concept – Riwaz, Saffron, JW Marriot Juhu – all par excellance. All that food, and none too oily or too spicy – rare feat indeed and kudos to the Chefs!
Do visit Saffron at JW Marriot Juhu and try out the curated menu for Riwaz, it is not every day that one gets to savour Awadhi cuisine at its very best.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 4 | Ambiance: 4 | Service: 4 | Overall: 4
Meal for Two: INR 3000 (taxes extra) | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes |
Timing: 7.00 p.m – midnight | Wheelchair access : Yes
Address: Saffron, JW Marriot, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400049
Telephone : 022 66933225 ; +91 9976979929
Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.